Recently I took care of a teenager with a warm red spot in her armpit.
As is always the case in every ER since the beginning of time, she stated she was worried about a spider bite despite the fact that she never saw a spider, nor had she ever seen anyone who had ever actually been bitten by a spider. Of course, when I entered the room she was on her cellphone. I waited about 50 seconds for her to finish her important phone call. I’m assuming the person she was talking to was named “I Know, Right?” because she said that roughly 944 times in the 50 second conversation.
Gurrl : “It’s a spider bite, I read about it,” she said.
My Brain: “No, it’s not. It’s an abscess from shaving like always. Also, you didn’t read anything unless it was texted to you.”
What I say: “I see,”
Gurrl: “Yeah, I think I need antibiotic. I’ve been putting (random food) on it ’cause I saw on Reddit that makes it better, but that hasn’t been helping.”
My Brain: “That did nothing but make it worse. I can feel my IQ dropping with every word you say.”
What I say: “I think you have an abscess. It is a collection of infection that usually needs to be drained. It’s been found that antibiotics actually are not needed in the vast majority of-”
Gurrl (interrupting): “Well online I saw that you can get-”
My Brain (interrupting her interruption): Here’s a picture of a pink duck with a bazooka. Isn’t that funny? Now you don’t want to scream at this crazy girl quite as much, right? Good. Oops, she’s almost done with her rant, say something positive.
What I say: “Yes! So we’re going to numb that up and drain it to get your better.”
Gurrl: “I know, right?”
I manage to perform the incision and drainage with my patient expertly assisting me with tips from her experience watching Grey’s Anatomy.
I wonder if when she goes to Starbucks if she tells the barista a better way to make coffee.
Oh well, another life saved. Here’s a picture of my patient.