20 May 2007

The Best Chief Complaint EVER

Fear not, readers, I have not gone off-line, like so many of our brethren. I have not been posting because my domestic tranquility has been shattered, which has left me with little time or energy to blog. Indeed I have barely even looked at my email, so if I have not replied to yours, I apologize.

You see, we are moving. My Beloved Wife went house-hunting with a new colleague, Patrick, who is moving up from California to join our group. She came home to me, and the following conversation ensued:

"Shadowfax," says she, "I've found us the perfect house!"
"But Beloved," I respond, perplexed and alarmed, "I thought it was Patrick who was shopping for a house"
"Yes, but I've found the perfect house for us!" (She is very excited.)
"We already have a house."
"Yes, but you are going to love this house."
"I love the house we are living in now."
"No, you're really going to love this house."
"Oh, I see."

I think she pulled some sort of jedi mind trick on me.

So we are moving to a nicer and needlessly luxurious house (how many sinks does one really need?) and we are currently in the throes of getting our current place ready for market -- new roof, refinish the hardwood floors, millwork, carpet, paint, countertops, etc. The place is a disaster zone, and leaving for work is a blessed respite from the chaos that is my home life. In fairness, the new place will be lovely, if I survive the moving process to get there. But in the meantime I toil from dawn to dusk either in the ED or the construction site that was our home. (And it should be noted that The Beloved Wife is working twice as hard as I am with the move and full-time wrangling of two rambunctious boys.)

So as partial compensation for my infrequent blogging, I offer you this, the BEST and MOST AWESOME chief complaint ever, seen in our ED quite recently:

Monkey Bite

I kid you not. I will leave the details to your imagination as in reality they are prosaic and quite detract from the sublime wonderfulness of the simple fact that someone came to our suburban, North American ER with a Chief Complaint of

Monkey Bite

I am a simple-minded man. This gives me great pleasure. Monkeys are comedy gold. For the rest of the shift I had a smile on my face. I love my job.


  1. The details may detract from the sheer awesomeness of the chief complaint but I'd like to hear them anyway...

    Good luck with your move!

  2. I think that patient should receive a complementary copy of The Hot Zone then he'll probably never go near another monkey ever again! :-P

  3. Oh come on. Just 2 months ago we had two monkey bites in an 8 hour shift. No, seriously.

    (This is what happens when your hospital has a gigantic primate lab.)

  4. I'll bet you never had a patient who was pecked in the eye by a chicken! (we did several weeks ago)

  5. What about Patrick? Did he find a home?

  6. I have to admit, that is a new one! Awesome!!

  7. Excellent.

    I think the moment I decided to go ahead and become an EM provider was when I was working as a tech, on Xmas Day, and the staff doc came around to our section to say that the CC listed for a guy in another section was for real, and not a joke. That complaint?


    And similarly, the facts add nothing. The CC is the thing. I know just what kind of smile must have been on your face.

  8. You said in your post that monkeys are comedy gold, and from observation of other people I have to agree. It's some neural path that I don't have, though. Monkeys do not make me laugh.

  9. Congrats on your soon to be new home Shadowfax! Lots of work but sounds exciting. :)

    I beg to differ with Josh.

    Monkey anything presenting to an ER in the suburbs or city =comedy gold!
    LOL!!! I cracked up! Well written. Sometimes less is more. Monkey Bite? Hilarious - not for the Pt of course. :)

  10. I am jealous. That would top my list as well. You gotta watch out for yellow-relapsing Mediterranean monkey fever, though.

  11. I guess. Although I was not amused when I presented to a very large, metropolitan, university hospital with an occupational bite from a rhesus monkey, and the ER doc was (a) amused and (b) completely ignorant of the risk of Herpes B encephalitis and (c) argumentative when I explained the Herpes B prevention protocol. I mean, ok, (a) and (b) I can live with and even understand, I'm not nuts - but if you just told me you don't know what something is, why argue and tell me I'm wrong when I explain how to handle it? What a waste of time.


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