Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Because I am watching friends go through a major annoyance which will cost them time and money, and I myself have just gone through a major annoyance that cost me time and money, I have been putting forth much energy to step back from events and look at them in a larger context.

Emergencies are when someone might be wounded or killed, or a family is going to lose the house; a child is missing, a job on the line, a decision with lifelong consequences about to be made.

Maybe what you are treating as an emergency is actually a major annoyance. Those are handled differently.

Gee thanks, AVI. Now I feel panicked and guilty about it. You're a pal.


bs king said...

One time in the ER, one of the surgical residents got called away from the area where he was doing stitches on various minor injuries to go help with a major car wreck that had injured four kids, and left their mother teetering on the edge. He worked on that case for over an hour, and left with her fate still uncertain. When he came back, a twenty something year old guy who had cut his arm while incorrectly using power tools complained about how long he had been waiting. I've never seen a resident turn so red with rage. He had to leave the room before he could compose himself, and even then I think he had to make the attending do the stitches.

Anonymous said...

Which reminds me of a patient I saw in the office this week. She had been referred after visiting the ER on Saturday with foot pain. Three weeks of foot pain. She didn't call her primary care. She didn't wait until Monday. Turned out she had plantar fasciitis, largely because at 5 ft. 2 in. she weighed in at a hefty 275 lbs.

After I told her that, in addition to applying ice to her foot and wearing better supporting shoes the best thing she could do to relieve the pain was to lose weight she left the office, declining a followup appointment. And no, she didn't go to the ED because she was uninsured.