Friday, January 20, 2012

the crappie floppers

There are a lot of what I would, if I were being generous, call "ineffective copers" in the world. These are the people who can't tolerate a punture wound without doing a crappie flop in front of triage.

They run to the ER at the drop of a hat and as they cross our threshold revert to behavior similar to that of a 2 year old. Here's the thing, they fill thousands of ER beds across the country. The public thinks ERs are full of people who are really sick or injured. Wrong. They are filled with these kind of people.

These are the people with "chronic pain". They will keep coming back until someone labels them with some kind of syndrome or dubious condition to try and get rid of them.
They have achieved their goal. Now they have finally have a title for themselves. They can tell everybody: see, I told you I had something wrong with me. Even drug companies are taking advantage of the thousands of ineffective copers by developing drugs for them.

Instead of dealing with their underlying depression and emotional problems, they become their diagnosis, it becomes their identity. Their lives revolve around it. They suck their family into it.

They suck the life out of the ER staff. They unnecessarily fill beds that seriously ill people could be in. They spend millions of health care dollars a year on their syndromes and conditions. They are part of the reason your health insurance is so high.


hoodnurse said...

We had a woman yesterday who literally began screaming unintelligible words like a child because the charge nurse told her she was still going to be discharged despite the fact that she still had body aches and dizziness from the flu. I can't think of any other setting in the world where people can get away with acting this ridiculous. They would throw your ass out of McDonalds for acting that way.

Anonymous said...

How certain are you that none of these people are actually in severe pain for pathophysiologic reasons? Wouldn't it suck to find out you were a jerk to someone when they were truly suffering? But I'm sure this never happens. I've been in pain a long time, for reasons finally objectively verified. About the only way to keep from getting treated like a junkie during the confusing time when I thought the episodes were just from repeated acute injury (from pulling on patients) was to ask specifically for Toradol. There's a narrow path between being a sucker for drug seekers and dismissing real pain. Just because you don't know of a cause for pain doesn't mean it ain't there. But here's a tip for the docs: check inflammatory markers now and then. Cynicism can lead to misdiagnosis. You don't have anything to lose by mislabeling a patient, but they do.