Thursday, November 29, 2007

Supersize Me

The official start of the holiday season brings a week for caring for the morbidly obese. Now, I have no problem with people unless they refuse to take any responsibility for themselves, but I'm frankly getting tired of spending a lot of effort stepping around people's motorized scooters because they are so overweight they can't walk.

One guy (no scooter) weighing in at over 300 pounds presented with increased urination and insatiable thirst for about a week. To nobody's surprise his blood glucose was 620. I was kind of worried about this guy because all he could think about was going home to eat the cheesecake his wife had made. Sheesh! Guy, you are a walking heart attack and a stroke waiting to happen.

Supersized contestant number two was a woman weighing in at over 400 pounds who comes in by ambulance (EMS, you are my heroes) with an ankle injury one day after sustaining a fall in which she broke her proximal humerus. Truly, I don't know how this individual functions. She was clearly hygienically challenged. Her ankle was merely sprained, but a family member wanted her admitted. WTF! Don't you love how the family members are all over the patient in the ER, but when it comes down to taking care of the patient at home they trip over each other heading for the hills. I had PT do a safety evaluation and she failed because 1) the patient lives in a 2nd floor apartment, 2) the family had REMOVED THE BANNISTERS AND THROWN THEM AWAY TO GET FURNITURE UP THE STAIRS, which means, 3) she couldn't safely or QUICKLY leave the apartment in case of an emergency (!). Are you kidding? That woman had no prayer of leaving that apartment quickly for the last 10 years with 4 good limbs and wings. Yikes. The bottom line is that the patient gets admitted so someone else can take care of her. But the family drove her, I'm sure out of the goodness of their hearts.