Sometimes the oddest thing about being an ER doc is that people have absolutely no problem opening up to you. Now, most of the time I am perfectly fine with this. I want my patients to feel free to share the details about their lives that may be pertinent to their medical problems.
However, I feel that sometimes patients have repress their feelings for so long that coming to the ER can be a cathartic experience where I am a pseudo-priest and they can divulge everything weird they have ever done in their life.
Me: Hello ma’am, what seems to be the problem today?
Her: I sat on a nest of fire ants.
Me: WHOA! That must be excruciating, we’ll help you with this problem.
Her: Well, it was thirty years ago, but my anus was on fire. I did it when I was drunk and in college after losing a bet, but never told anyone.
Me: Uh-huh. So why’re you here today?
Her: I covered myself in honey and then threw rocks at a beehive while singing the flight of the bumblebee.
Me: Okay, was this today?
Her: No, that was five years ago.
Me: Another lost bet?
Her: No, just bored.
Me: Sure, that’s not insane at all. Any non-insect problems bringing you here today?
Her: Oh, today? No, I’m just visiting my sister in room 13, thanks for listening.
Me: No problem, I’ll be over here gouging out my mind’s eye with a golf pencil.