Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Patient of the Day!

My surgery partners and I were in the student lounge this morning along with the anesthesia and GI students, waiting for the morning's cases to begin. It was scheduled to be a very light day. 

Out of nowhere, a gentleman walks into the room, very quickly. Not really an unusual occurrence as from time to time patients miss the giant sign that says "Secretary"...Instead this patient proceeds to grab my partner's coffee that was on the floor, tore off the top, and proceeded to down an entirely full cup of scalding hot coffee in three gulps. This being a hospital, we were all a little confused and initially concerned that something my be wrong with the patient, like he was choking, or having a panic attack. The patient ignored all our questions and concerns, in English or Spanish, and continued to voraciously gulp down Ben's coffee, all the while we stare incredulously asking ourselves What exactly is going on here?? They didn't tell us about this in medical school.  After the second gulp, we hear somebody from outside the room yelling out his name. "Stop that!!! Not again!!" And then nonchalantly telling us that he does this all the time, stealing other peoples' coffee, and voraciously consuming it. Totally normal! The patient then bolts out of the room, frantically searching for someone else's coffee. My partners and I can do nothing but sit there with perplexed looks on our faces before what has just happened registers. When it does the looks of confusion turn into smiles and fits of laughter.

It would be seemingly harmless, were the patient not scheduled for a hernia repair.

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