It comes as a shock to nobody that in the ER some patients come in after doing “research.”
Now, I fully support understanding disease and independent research.
However, when “research” equates to a four-minute google/WebMD search, I have issues. Often patients convince themselves that they have some extremely rare disease.
“I READ IT! It causes permanent impotence and swarms of locusts to burst from eye sockets!”
I have had a patient come BACK to the ER after she read something in the comment section of Yahoo! answers. I am not making this up.
I really feel like the next time a patient says:
“Well, I looked it up on google and it said that I have either constipation or leprosy,”
I should just stop, pull out my phone, and click it a few times. Then I’ll stop, slowly look up, and say “Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry, your right, you have 9 minutes to live, I’m so sorry.”
Though, as a healthcare provider I must strive not to add to murkiness. Just today I was talking with someone outside of the ER who asked me why they kept yawning. I responded by saying “very likely it’s hypo-caffenemia, you need to get a coffee stat!”
They became nervous and asked me if that was real.
Then I have to explain that I just made it up. I hate explaining jokes.
Me: “Sorry, I was just making that up.”
Them: “Oh, so hypocafeinemia is not real? It’s like Tinkerbell, or Leprechauns, or the Titanic…”
Me: “Um, I think the Titanic…”
Them: “That’s good, because I think that might mess with my Hansen’s disease, I just learned from a Facebook quiz that I have it,”
Me: “That’s just another name for Leprosy,”
Them: “Whatever, jokie-McJokerton, fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, my fingers fall off,”
Me: “You got me.”
Remember to Like/Share