Friday, August 13, 2004



Wake up abruptly, turn off pager, pick up phone, dial number.


I've slept for about 45 minutes so far this night.

Me (quite sleepy): It's surgery on call returning a page.

Nurse: Are you taking care of Mr. So-and-so, on Dr. X's service?

Me: No, but I'm covering for that service tonight.

Nurse: Well, Mr. S is 4 days out from a transhiatal esophagectomy with colonic interposition and he's been... blah blah blah... blah blah blah... and he is complaining of pruritis in his rear end.

Me (a bit more awake): What?

Nurse: Mr. S has pruritis on his rear end and he wants to know what we can do for it.

Me (annoyed): You're telling me that this patient is complaining that his butt itches and wants to know what we can do about it?

Nurse: Yes.

Me: Tell Mr. S to scratch his butt as needed.


True story.