First Arriving Network
First Arriving Network

Everybody’s Got a Diagnosis

Verbatim conversation from last shift:

Patient: “My arm was kind of numb and aching from where I was sleeping on it, and it scared me.”

Ambulance Driver: “Okay. So why all the jerking and flopping around, and the catatonic act?”

Patient: “I have conversion disorder. That’s how I deal with fear, pain and stress.”

Translation: “There is nothing physically wrong with me, but I have such poor coping skills that I react to the slightest emotional distress or physical discomfort by flopping around on the ground like a Tazered fish and making a spectacle of myself. Once I have garnered a sufficient audience of concerned friends and onlookers, I will fake a catatonic state until the ambulance arrives, whereupon I will react to the skepticism of the paramedics by suddenly awakening and declaring my symptoms resolved.”

Nowadays, they have official diagnoses for such conditions; convenient pseudo-scientific nomenclature that absolves people of responsibility for their actions. “I can’t help it, it’s a medical condition!”

Back in my day, we just called it “Being a pussy.”

I think the U.S. would be a better place if our next President would appoint Chopper as Surgeon General. He’s got the cure for what ails us:


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