It's not everyday that we have a patient come to our ER and insist on not letting any family or friends come back to the room with them. Enter Crystal.
Crystal was a very sweet, intoxicated young woman who, after a night of drinking, had slipped and fallen. Her injuries appeared to be minor. Whether it truly was a gopher hole or just the alcohol, though, we'll never know.
Soon after she arrived, we got a call from the front lobby informing us that Crystal had a gentleman caller that would like to come back to her treatment room with her. Maybe keep her company. Maybe bring her some food. Maybe hog her cable TV from her.
Crystal perked up at this news. "Nuh, uh," she exclaimed, her head bobbing left-to-right, "I don't think so! I don't want that loser coming back here with me."
Well, it was a slow night. Both the nurse and I wanted our medical note to be thorough, so we decided to pursue more of the social history. And, a juicy social history was just what we needed to light a fire under our dragging asses.
"Who's the loser, Crystal?" asked the nurse. "And are you sure," I added, "that you want to turn someone away that cares about you?"
"Hell, no," she said, snickering, "that guy out there don't care about me. He can just pack-up his sorry ass and get the hell out of here. He's only here because he wants me to give him his cell phone back." She smacked her lips as she spoke, clearing her spittle with the crook of her arm. Real anger causing her to foam at the mouth.
"Then why don't you just give it back to him?" I asked. "Yeah," added the nurse, "why not just give the poor guy his phone back?" God, did we make an awful team! Starsky and Hutch had everything on us.
"'Cause it's mine, now. If he wants to go and disrespect me like he did, then I ain't giving him his damn phone back." She pulled out a phone much more modern and shinier than my six-year old navy Nokia.
We still weren't at the source of the problem just yet. You could feel the tension, though, emanate from Crystal and swirl about our heads.
"Okay, Crystal," I said, getting the show on the road, "let's just forget it and move on with your workup. We have to check a urine pregnancy test to make sure you're not pregnant and then we need to do a few x-rays, some..."
Crystal interrupted me. "I'm not pregnant. That loser hasn't touched me in a month."
"Okay," I said, "spill it or else we need to keep moving here, Crystal." Our curiosity was beginning to bite our dragging asses, not light a fire like we had hoped.
Crystal took a deep breath, ready to spill. The nurse turned from the counter, where she had been writing her note, to listen. "Me and Johnnie," Crystal began," well, we ain't been getting along very much lately. We went out drinking tonight to try to patch things up. While we was out, he asked me to hold his phone so he could go to the bathroom." We were listening intently now. She continued. "Well, while he was in the bathroom, I started going through his phone contacts."
"Uh, oh," the nurse said, "you shouldn't have done that. But what did you find?" This tenacious nurse got an "A" for effort.
"What did I find? What did I find? Here," Crystal yelled, holding up the shiny phone and playing with its buttons, "this is what I found!"
We looked at what she pulled up on the cell phone screen. It was a pretty picture of her, smiling. Below her picture were two big letters. B. M.
The nurse and I both looked at Crystal's picture with the big initials under it. I knew Crystal didn't start with a "B," so I was curious to see where this was going.
"See how he disrespected me?" she asked both of us. "He has B.M.under my name. Now I ain't in medicine or nothing, but I ain't stupid. I know what B.M. stands for."
Just to make sure we were on the same page, I wanted to clarify this with her. "Bowel movement?"
"Yeah, bowel movement. How's that for disrespect? He thinks I'm a piece of shit, that bastard." She was so angry and upset that she started foaming at the mouth again. Who could blame her, really. I don't know if I would like being known as B.M. in my circle of friends, either.
"What did he say when you asked him about it?"
"That's just it. He says to me, 'It don't stand for bowel movement, you fool!' He says it stands for 'baby mama.' But I ain't no idiot."
"Do you have kids with him?" the nurse asked, stealing my thoughts.
"Well, yeah, one, but that ain't the point." Say what? Not the point? Boy, I lost the connection between the dots there.
"But that is the point," the nurse said. "Is he a good daddy to your kid? He treats you well?"
"Yeah, he's good to us."
"And he's not in the medical field, either?" the nurse asked, clearly heading towards fixing the situation.
"No, he's not," she said. "He always says he's smart enough to be a doctor, but that's about it."
"Then," the nurse said, "he means what he says. B.M. Baby mama--it makes sense to me. If you are willing to 'throw his ass out' over that one, then I think you are going to have regrets later."
Crystal got quiet and, eventually, her balloon of anger deflated. She spoke, quietly. "Yeah, you're right. Maybe he did just mean 'baby mama.' I guess I'll let him come back with me. But," she added, "only if he's got me some food."
The nurse patted her on the shoulder. "Sounds good. Let me go get him."
I had to leave the room before I started laughing. B.M. Baby mama? Bowel movement? Be mine? Bite me? Bloody Mary? No, I got it. Big Mac! That's my favorite. Where did it end? If Johnnie really did mean 'bowel movement', though, when he typed those initials under Crystal's picture, then I was impressed. And even more impressive, if he came up with 'baby mama' on the sly, then maybe he should become a doctor, after all! Because we're smart, you know.
I let Crystal know what her work-up would entail and then left her room. Heading back to the nurses' station to put in her orders, I passed Crystal's nurse escorting a young, confident man.
Must be Johnnie--Crystal's B.D. (baby daddy). And he was holding a bag of food from B.K. (Burger King). So I knew there wouldn't be a B.M. (bowel movement, oops, I mean Big Mac) in the bag. I could only hope that things would work out for Johnnie and his B.M. (baby mama).
P.S. I have one massive H.A. (headache) right now.
As always, thanks for reading. If you haven't done so yet, please go vote at Medgadget's Medical Weblog Awards. I would greatly appreciate your support in both categories. If you have voted already, a big thanks. Next post will be Monday, February 1. Enjoy your weekend.