Me: “What is the easiest way to tell if your patient is crazy?”
Resident1: “Past medical history?”
Resident2: “Current medications?”
Resident3: “Their infatuation with 1980’s cartoons?”
Me: “Shut up, 1980’s cartoons are awesome (click that link!). Did you know they are making a Jem and the Holograms movie? No? Well, they are, and no that is not how to tell if they are crazy. The easiest way to determine nuttiness is to look at the allergy list.”
If a patient has:
1 allergy: That is a bummer, I will not give you that medication
2 allergies: Shoot, that is too bad, but I can work around it.
3-4 allergies: Patient has issues, but maybe still just bad luck.
>5+ allergies: You are bat-sh*$ crazy. I believe my current record is a patient with 27 “allergies.” Yes, he/she is crazy.
Also, if a patient has a zany food allergy, the patient is bonkers.
Obviously, many real food allergies exist. Peanuts, shellfish, fish and others can cause true anaphylaxis. That is a real allergy.
But, when someone says Walgreens peanut butter, when bought on Tuesdays is OK, and sometimes Sam’s club is OK, but all others cause hallucinations of Alex Trebec. Also, I’m fine with peanut M&M’s and snickers, but not Paydays…riiiiiiiiight.
Sometimes patients list allergies to non-medications that have no business in their mouths.
Me: “Sir, you are not allergic to bleach, you just should not drink it in the first place. The same is true for hand sanitizer, rubbing alcohol, and shoe polish.”
Patient: “But I get sick when I eat varnish!”
Me: “I’ll be sure not to prescribe you any.”
So, now that you know that too many allergies are a bad thing. Let’s not forget about those who have real allergies and are still crazy.
I took care of someone who is allergic to strawberries. He came in after eating strawberries. He knew they were strawberries. He knew he would feel terrible and have a bad reaction. Then he ate them. He said he didn’t know why. Crazy.
And what about bees? If you are allergic to bees, you better have two epi-pens that you keep around at all times. I have known several people who could literally die if they get stung by a bee, yet never take it with them even if they are going camping. This is crazy.
In fact, I had a friend who found out he is allergic to peanut butter and bees, which he found out after eating the worst sandwich ever! Ok, not really, but you get the point.
I would be terrified if my child was allergic to bees or peanuts. It is slightly inconvenient for parents never to pack PB & J’s, but I can only imagine the mom/dad living continuously in fear that some idiot might pack something and just figure “meh, it’s probably ok,” and endanger someone’s kid. Parents with kids who have peanut allergies, I feel for you.
Till next time, try to stay healthy, otherwise you might look like me here…k
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