Ambulance Driver: So what brings you to the ER today?
Mouth-breathing parent: My son brokeded his toe.
AD: Ouch, I’ll bet that hurt! Which toe was it, sport?
Banjo-picking kid from Deliverance (holding up left foot and wiggling toes): This’n rot cheer.
AD (holding breath and looking closer): Which toe?
MBP: He droppeded a flesh lot on his panky toe.
AD (mentally engaging internal censor and accessing the translator neurons from my ‘family tree does not fork’ database): You mean he dropped a flashlight on his little toe, and you think it’s broken?
MBP: (grunting and shrugging shoulders, which I took to mean ‘yes’, but could have just as easily meant ‘get offa me Daddy, yer crushin mah cigarettes’)
AD: Does it hurt, son?
BPK: Naw. (manipulating toe with his fingers for emphasis)
MBP: I figgered it mot be a good idear to brang ‘im in and git it x-rayed.
AD (politely): Why?
MBP (condescendingly): Cuz it’s brokeded.
AD: Generally speaking, if a toe has no visible injuries and is not painful in any way, it’s pretty safe to say it’s not broken, and really doesn’t need to be x-rayed.
MBP: Are yew thuh doctuh?
AD: Nope, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.
MBP (missing the de rigeur sarcastic pop-culture reference because no doubt it is not played during Dukes of Hazzard and Hee Haw reruns): I wone-a heah whut thuh Doctuh says.
AD: Have a seat in the waiting room, Ma’am. The doctor will see you soon.
Caller: But y’all can fix it there, right?
AD (banging the phone receiver against the counter): We can x-ray it and perhaps splint it, but if it requires more than that, she’ll have to go to another hospital from here.
AD: If it’s a boo boo, we can fix it. If it’s badly broken, we’ll send her to a bone doctor at a bigger hospital. Either that, or we can amputate it here. We do have a physical therapist who can teach her how to use a prosthesis. He’s here three times a week.
AD (sighing): Just bring her to the hospital, Ma’am.
Laid Back Male Nurse: Who was that?
AD: Wrong number.
AD: Whoa buddy, that’s a nice wasp sting ya’ got there! Does it hurt?
Brave Little Kid: Not really.
Panicky Mom: He was stung by a big ole’ red wasp! Not a black wasp, but a red wasp! You know, the really bad kind?
AD: All hymenoptera stings are about the same, Ma’am. What time did this happen?
PM (checking her watch): Oh, maybe seven hours ago. But the swelling is going up his hand into his wrist!
AD: That’s the nature of swelling, Ma’am. I can give you an ice pack while you wait to see the doctor.
PM: How long will that be?
AD: How does Tuesday sound? We can see him sometime between the hours of noon and 7:30 pm.
PM: Excuse me?
AD (winking): Sorry Ma’am, I used to work for the cable company. We’re kinda full up right now, but if you’ll fill out the ER form and have a seat in the waiting room, we’ll be with you as soon as we can. It may take a couple of hours.
PM (catching on): You’re telling me this isn’t really an emergency, aren’t you?
AD (in mock horror): Heavens no, Madam! It is your right by law to receive an examination by a physician and stabilizing treatment, which in this case would be about 50 milligrams of Benadryl, just like you’d buy at Wal Mart.
PM (sheepishly): I gotcha. If it’s all the same to you, I think we’ll just run to Wal Mart on the way home.
AD: Bless you, Ma’am. Y’all drive safe now!
COWMAS Sufferer: Aaarrrggghhhh! Oh, the pain! The humanity!
AD: Just where does it hurt, Ma’am?
CS: All over! It hurts in my side and it goes down my left leg into my knee and when I raise my left arm like this it hurts and I can’t get comfortable and I’m running a fever and my joints ache and I couldn’t even get out of bed this morning and it hurts to lay down –
AD: So why were you in bed?
AD: Never mind.
CS: I need something for the pain! I can’t take this!
AD: So are you allergic to anything?
CS: All NSAIDs, Ultram…
AD (continuing writing, because I know what comes next): …aspirin, Tylenol, pretty much anything that’s not an opiate…
CS: apirin, Tylenol, Tramadol, and a few others I can’t remember. About the only thing that works is Demerol or Dilaudid.
AD: And how long have you had fibromyalgia?
CS: Four years…hey, how did you know that?
AD: Lucky guess.
CS: And I have chronic migraines, too. Be sure to put that on there.
AD: Certainly, Ma’am. Allow me to compliment you on your cardiovascular conditioning, by the way. You don’t find many patients who hurt as badly as you who have a heart rate of 66 and a BP of 108/64.
CS: How long will it be before I’m seen? Sitting in this chair is killing my back.
AD: I thought laying down made the pain worse.
AD: Never mind.
CS: Look asshole, I don’t much appreciate your smug attitude. I’ll have you know that my cousin is the chief of staff here, and he’ll have your fucking job!
AD: You’re a cousin of Dr. Y? Really?
CS: Yes I am, and you can bet your ass I’ll report this!
AD: Have a seat in Room Four, Ma’am. I’ll be right back.
[I walk to the ED nurse’s station and pull up a chair]
AD: Hey Doc, you never told me you were raised in a trailer park.
Dr. Y: Huh?
AD: Fess up, Doc. You were raised in a trailer park, and somehow you managed to overcome your humble beginnings. Poor boy makes good, and all that.
Dr. Y: What the hell are you talking about? My father was a surgeon, and so was my grandfather.
AD: Sure, that’s what you say. But if that’s true, Grandpa had a wandering eye and a weakness for white trailer trash booty. The woman in Bed Four says she’s your cousin.
Dr. Y (looking at the specimen in Bed Four wearing a wifebeater shirt and high water sweat pants): Oh really? What’s she want?
AD: Demerol and my fucking job, more or less in that order.
Dr. Y (chuckling): Tell her I’ll be there in a moment.
AD (sticking my head in the door of Room Four): Dr. Y says that he’s always suspected he had white cousins, but has never actually met any. So naturally he’s eager to make your acquaintance, and he’ll be here in a moment.
CS: Oh. Well…thanks.
*five minutes later*
Dr. Y: Looks like your patient in Bed Four eloped.
AD: Imagine that! And I so wanted to witness the family reunion.
AD: Good afternoon, Podunk General Hospital, Nail Salon, Tire Repair and Crawfish Hut. This is the Emergency Department. How may we alleviate your pain and suffering today?
Paramedic With Potential: Howdy, AD. Can you copy patient report?
AD (banging head on desk and whimpering): Go ahead.
PWP: We’re bringing in Hypochondriac Coonass Lady…
AD: God, please no. She’s been in every day this week!
PWP: And once earlier today. Three guesses as to her complaint.
AD: Chest pain and difficulty breathing? With perfectly normal vital signs, normal 12 lead EKG and absolutely no outward signs she’s having the big one?
PWP: You are wise beyond your years, AD. I wanna be you when I grow up.
AD: Put her in the Chronic Chest Pain Room when you get here. It may be a while before we can see her.
PWP: AD says ‘put her in her usual seat in the waiting room’. Got it.
Clerk: Reagan is back.
AD and Laid Back Male Nurse (in unison): Who?
Clerk: You know, the one who is possessed by the devil and likes to masturbate with whatever’s handy in the room?
AD: Seeing snakes again?
Clerk: And Jesus, who is apparently very disappointed in her for being in league with Lucifer.
LBMN: How about I get the paperwork started, and you do the exorcism?
AD: No way. She thinks I’m cute. I ain’t going in there.
LBMN: I’m senior.
AD: And I’m teaching your ACLS course next month. Don’t make me get medieval on your ass.
LBMN (accepting the inevitable): Fucking cheater.