Saturday, October 22, 2011

Today's Last Patient of the Night......

.......was a 32 year old male who just wanted to ask a question about whether or not he should be seen, thus incurring an ER charge.  His 5 day old tattoo was looking a little red and swollen even though he had scrupulously treated it as directed by his tattoo artist with A&D ointment. 

Here is a teachable moment: as always, if you are already in my ER and "just want an opinion if I should be seen", the answer is, with few exceptions, yes.  Liability.  Even if it is for a stupid reason.  This was not a stupid reason, and he did have an infection.  Antibiotics.

Interesting conversation overheard between the patient and Cripes:
Tattoo guy: "Yeah, I have some tattoos so I know how they should be treated.  The place I go is really clean and uses all sterile stuff.  I've never gotten an infection before"
Cripes: "Well, it's good you came in"
Tattoo guy: "I have been getting a few tattoos over the last couple of years.  I used get piercings when I was younger but I've found that tattoos are more socially acceptable than piercings, more main-stream, ya know?  You're more likely to find business people with tats, see.  I work a lot with the public"
Cripes: "Oh, what do you do?"
Tattoo guy: "Auto salvage.  And I have quite a car collection.  Are you a car guy, Doc?  What do you drive?"
Cripes: "Oh, I have a Tundra"
Tattoo guy: "I have a 1945 Blah, a 1957 Blah Blah, a sweet 1960 Blah Blah Blah a..." (he listed about 6 more classic cars). 

I don't know, like, or care about cars.  Someone talks about cars or golf and I start doing the multiplication tables in my head or fake a seizure.  Booooooooooooooooooooooring.  But I did think the guy's take on the social implications of piercings....insightful.

PS  Aren't you dying to know what kind of tattoo he had?

It was a a horse.  Ya know, like on those sports cars?