Friday, March 8, 2013

Lady Games

The Lady on Elm St. is still alive.  I won't say she is well.  But as cockroaches will survive a nuclear holocaust, so Lady will survive all maladies real and imagined until....well...her ticket gets punched.

Lady's nonsense urgent attention-seeking issues have logged hundreds of annual calls to 911.   Dispatch has been heard to simply say "head on over to Elm St for complaint", which means Lady's apartment, for things she sees out the window like moths, meteor sightings, or a well-being check request on a neighbor who has simply gone out for lunch.  One would think Lady has a pretty full schedule with all that silliness yet she manages untold amounts of time bitching out patient services and carping about EMS to whoever will listen.  Of course her numerous outpatient visits for various maladies are certainly time consuming, and I failed to mention that she is on 25 DIFFERENT MEDICATIONS which surely takes up a good portion of her day.

But no, she still has lots of free time to call the ER pretty much daily, usually on the evening shift.

It is a pattern of ramping up the calls, either for escalation of some chronic complaint or for a new boo-boo that the average person would handle easily.  It culminates with 911 drama and the inevitable ride to the ER in the Big White Taxi with the Flashy Lights

It is our policy not to give out the names and schedules of the doctors.  It's pretty obvious when individuals are "shopping" for a doc who gives out narcotics or are looking to avoid the doc who piss tests first.  This is not the case with Lady.  She has her favorites, and those she can't stand, usually because they have had the temerity to bring up the subject of her weight, the elephant in the room; no pun intended.

When she doesn't call, or we don't identify any police response to "Elm Street, apartment X" on the scanner for a deer sighting or some such,  then we know we are probably in for an evening visit.  High drama.  No reason to be there. And we are always busy.

She is not fond of me.  I have honestly tried with her, but when your best effort gets rewarded with some bullshit complaint, well, sorry.  You get the bare minimum from me especially if I have an Actual Sick Patient to deal with.  I don't want to chat or talk about your day.  Or mine.  Partner in Crime talks to her a lot and nearly always tells her to call her doctor in the morning.  Still, Lady likes Partner in Crime.

I drew the short straw when Lady was brought in by EMS.  She rolled by on the super-duper heavy weight cart like she was the Queen of the May on her parade float, waving and smiling, surrounded by her contingent of EMS personnel as reluctant honor guards.   She was making the usual sarcastic remarks meant to be funny (they weren't) and behaving as if we were all bosom friends.

"Where is Partner in Crime?", Lady bellowed as she was wheeled in, proving that she wasn't in fact having any of the life-threatening shortness of breath which precipitated her 911 call.  "I want Partner in Crime for my nurse, she understands me".

"Sorry, she's busy with an Actual Sick Patient and you don't get to pick your nurse.  Here is a nebulizer treatment since you are speaking in full sentences, have normal skin color, have a normal oxygen saturation and your lungs are clear.  Dr. Parvati will be along shortly"

Parvati might be abrupt, lack communication skills, be blind to the fact that she is a generally a piss-poor team player but she is never unkind on purpose.  However much we might want to kill her I have to give her that.

Parvati dealt with Lady's BS complaint empathetically with the therapeutic equivalent of patting her on the shoulder and telling her she was just perfect in every way.   Which is not what Lady wants to hear generally because it would mean she would have to take up a new hobby to fill her days.  But I guess she appreciated Parvati's delivery because she was eventually happily kicked to the curb like she is 99.99% of the time.

As usual it took Lady about 15 minutes to vacate the room, and then there was the requisite lurking at the desk to engage Partner in Crime and grill her about some activity that occurred 12 visits ago.   Partner in Crime was too busy to play though, so Lady turned her attention to Parvati on her excruciatingly slow egress from the department.

She paused dramatically before heading out,  planted herself in the middle of the hallway, raised her arms like the Mayor of Munchkinland (and equally proportioned) and her dramatic announcement, "This is the best doctor of all time".  The speech was punctuated by bestowing upon  Parvati a big smelly hug before she left waddled to the waiting room.

I wish I could feel bad for Parvati but I just...don't.