Monday, June 12, 2006


Simply put, Patient G is a slug. She refuses to move around. She refuses to cooperate with the physical therapist. She refuses to do anything other than just lie there in bed.

But I can't help but like her because she's got a great attitude, never complains about anything, and always looks happy to see me. Even if all I do is chastise her for just laying in bed all day.

Patient G just had a major operation and needs to get out of bed and move around a bit. Otherwise, there's a good chance she'll develop pneumonia. And for a 79-year old woman, that will be the end of her.

Today, I met her son. As usual, I often spend a few minutes chit-chatting with the patient and their family, doing my best to answer any questions they may have, and then shooting the bull a bit just to get to know my patients a bit more. One of the interesting things I found out today was that her son is a first grade school teacher at a prominant private school. And that she used to teach there as well, many years ago.

Eventually time came for me to move on and see the other patients on my service, and as my junior resident and I were leaving her room today, he nudged me and pointed at the TV. I immediately recognized the opening scenes to Napoleon Dynamite.

Me: Oh man, I love this movie!

Resident: Dude, why do you think I pointed it out?

Me: [In my best Napoleon Dynamite voice] Do chickens have large talons?

Resident: [In his best Pedro voice] I guess I'll build her a cake or something.

We exchange a few more one-liner quotes from the movie, cracking each other up. Patient G looks at us with the typical smile grandmothers have when their grandkids are goofing around. The son looks at us horrified. His mother's doctors are about as mature as the first graders he teaches. ...maybe even less.

Resident: Mrs. G, we're going to come back and quiz you on this movie, so watch it carefully!

Me: Pay careful attention to the last dancing scene. I'm going to have you do that when we come back!