Monday, April 25, 2016

Heard Around The Hospital: Ask Siri

"Boss, that was amazing. How did you figure out that patient had an embolus? That was a really hard call to make. He's alive because of you."

"Well, sometimes in life, you have to make the hard decisions. You just learn to go for it."

"I see. How did you decide on this case though?"

"Oh, this time I just asked Siri."

Monday, April 18, 2016

Heard Around The Hospital: A Blood-y Joke

We've all had them - patients who come in for a low blood count (low haemoglobin), get blood transfused intravenously into their bodies, and then the next day the phlebotomist shows up to measure their new blood count:

Phlebotomist: I'm going to need to take your blood again today.

Patient: But...but I just got some blood yesterday.

Phlebotomist: Well, you didn't think you'd get to keep it, did you?

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A Mother's Last Lesson

It is past midnight on the ward. The silence is punctuated by the occasional beeping of infusion pumps and the soft sobbing of relatives. I have just signed the death certificate of an elderly lady.

I offer my condolences to her eldest son and walk away. As I fiddle with paperwork at the nearby counter, I hear the youngest son's voice, cracked and hoarse from crying.

"I can't believe she's gone."

"I know." The eldest brother's voice, also hoarse. "She's at peace now."

"I-- I should have spent more time with her--"

"She loved you. She didn't blame you. Ever."

"She was my whole world. I just liked to pretend she wasn't--"

"She knew. Always."

The younger brother lowers his head and sobs silently into his arm. I try to focus on signing tags. A few seconds pass. I hear the younger son's voice again.

"I...I don't know how to go on."

"We must."

"Easy for you to say. How do I-- how do I live-- " His voice cracks.

"Because we are her sons. And that is how she raised us." The eldest son straightened up. "If she didn't teach us to be strong enough to live without her - she would have failed as a mother."

The eldest son reaches out and squeezes his brother's arm gently.

"Yes. Okay." The younger son wipes his eyes.

I gather up my paperwork and leave the counter. As I walk away, I hear the younger brother's voice one last time.

"Thank you, brother."

"Thank her." The eldest son's voice sounded steely now. "For making us strong."

Monday, April 11, 2016

Heard Around The Hospital: Starbucks

In the middle of a long line at the hospital Starbucks:

"Where's the house officer? Why isn't he taking our orders?"

"He got called up to the ward for a code blue, boss."

"Code blue? Before my morning Starbucks? How rude!"

Monday, April 04, 2016

Heard Around The Hospital: April Fool

In the middle of clinic on April 1st:

"And how are you feeling today, sir?"

"Doctor, I feel terrible. I've been really depressed lately. In fact, I think...I think I may shoot myself."

"What! That's terrible. How long have you been feeling like this?"

"APRIL FOOL! Bahahaha no, I'm feeling fine. I just came to get some flu meds."

Sometimes I think I may shoot myself.

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