A Touching Deathbed Scene

Overheard at Triage:

Male patient, 20ish, vomiting violently (and dramatically) for one hour, arrives via EMS accompanied by his overly distraught girlfriend.

Off to the waiting room they go, the Girlfriend, all silver bangles and dyed black hair, silently crying, the tears streaming down her face and making her mascara run, wailing about the cruelty of a certain triage nurse. Can’t you see he’s seriously ill? And then, the tell:

“Can he have some water? He’s, like, dying!”

That would be a big fat no. Giving water to vomiting patients would cause them, like, to vomit.*

Five minutes later, Girlfriend comes up to Triage, all teary and emotional.

“I have to go now,” she says, her voice breaking just so. “I left him some water.” Then in a whisper that would cause the heavens to weep, she adds, “I hope he doesn’t die.”

She shouldn’t have left: Boyfriend was discharged 20 minutes later.


*I thought the word “like”, used as a filler, was no longer hip. I guess I was wrong.


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  1. #1 by Jenn Jilks on Sunday 11 July 2010 - 0914

    Like, groovy, kewl, man.
    I wonder why she had to leave?! Hope someone has her back!
    You can’t make this stuff up, can you? Oh, my. You have to write a novel! It’ll be a best seller!!!!
    “All names, and places have been changed to protect the stupid.”
    I recall the son of one of my Hospice clients insisting we give his mom scrambled eggs. He felt it would make her well!

  2. #2 by Art Doctor on Sunday 11 July 2010 - 1218

    I second Jenn Jilks’ comment re-writing a novel~! I will buy it, and buy it for someone as a gift too :) There’s your 5% from one person already :) (5%=1% out of total sales ?~ I’m an artist..hmm)

    This drives me crazy…I think TV has a lot to do with it… the loss of neurons.

    Can’t wait until there’s 40 or 50 16 year olds hovering around me trying to get their point across in September…~NOT!

  3. #3 by Maha on Sunday 11 July 2010 - 2001

    Her wishes came true – he didn’t die.

    • #4 by torontoemerg on Tuesday 20 July 2010 - 2357

      yeppers — another satisfied patient at ol’ Acme Regional Emerg!

  4. #5 by thenonconformer on Monday 12 July 2010 - 0825

    Medicare in Canada, Quebec is too often a joke.. Pretentious.. I told one nursing manager to stop playing around and get back to work and she said she was going to file a grievance report against me, I rightfully repeated my request to her.. stop playing and get back to work. It is not my duty is a common excuse why things now also are not being done.. Very sick Patients diapers are changed when the staff feel like it too often…..Recently I was visiting persons on the Montreal Verdun hospital cardiac floor, and it is not uncommon for many cardiac patients to have also diabetes and yet the nurses on duty were neither cardiac or diabetic nurses, and when a heart or diabetes crisis arose they did not know now to handle it. The patients had to wait till the doctors came around much later especially weekends and evenings..

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