Friday, June 06, 2008

Seriously, people

Do not page your doctor on a Friday night because you are pregnant and notice a mucous-y, creamy discharge (not bleeding or pain) after sex. It is semen, you rocket scientist, and we really, really did not need to know that. Also, it is not an emergency, like the message says when it provides the number to have the doctor paged...at their home...taking care of their family...who has to take time away from that family to hear about the effluent from your nether regions after your feelgood Friday night. Seriously, think before you page, and have a heart. Doctors are *people*, not 24 hour information hot lines. Dr. Google is open 24 hours a day for "emergencies" such as this. Thanks so much. Heart, your overworked, cranky doctor.

33 comments:

RNRochelle said...

EW. And to interrupt your evening with that . . .

When I taught childbirth classes, I always told the couples that if they had questions in the evening or during the night, they should call the OB floor, b/c those nurses were awake anyway and could then call the doctor if they needed to.

Again, EW.

noble pig said...

Yeah I hear ya! I am not doc but live with an OB and it's just unreal the calls you guys get.

My favorite is the 3 AM hit and run call where a patient who has been bleeding for at least three weeks decides right then at 3AM that it's an emergency...not when the office opens in 4 hours. I don;t get it.

If doc's started charging like attorneys for every call in 10 minute increments...this would all come to giant halt wouldn't it?

Anonymous said...

Oh, man, what a drag! Where are these people's brains? In between their legs - leaking out, as a possible concern for the health and well-being of their baby? God help them! How do you keep a straight face and a pleasant, professional demeanor? I wouldn't blame you if you didn't!

Anonymous said...

I have to be honest with you, I've been reading this blog for a while and it's starting to sound like you're in the wrong line of work. I can understand how frustrating these types of calls are, especially on a Friday night, but pregnancy is a time when people are vulnerable and unsure about the changes happening in their body. Their doctor is the one person who knows what's going on.

Reading your blog, I don't hear any joy about what you do. The content is mainly complaining about how overworked and unhappy you are.

Amanda said...

the nerve & stupidity of some people.

Midwife with a Knife said...

Hahahahah!

dr. whoo? said...

RNRochelle~ That was nice of you! The L&D nurses have a notebook full of funny calls that they get ( we just had sex, how do we know if she got pregnant?) I truly don't care to answer emergent questions after hours, but this was just ridiculous, and gross.

noble pig~ It is unreal! I once got a call at midnight to inform me that onr of my postpartum pts. started her period....mmmmkkkkk, thanks for the heads up??

I know there is a way to charge for after hours phone calls, I may have to seriously look into it! Emergency calls for free, non-emergent? Five bucks per call oughta do it.

anon11:50pm~ I am always calm and matter of fact on the phone. It isn't worth it to get pissy with the patient. Afterwards, though, the fuming starts!

anon8:21~ Well thanks for being so honest with me! I guess I'll just alter my life and career path, now. Thanks for the pseudo-concern, though.

What you read on this blog is not all of me. In fact, if you've read the entire blog you would know this is an outlet for venting frustration. Better here than on the poor helpless, vulnerable patients, right?

There is no other profession that is repeatedly expected to provide high level, kindly, immediate service, no matter the effect on their families or themselves, to people that neither value nor respect them, than medicine. I wouldn't put up with the bullshit if I didn't love what I do.

Tell me, do you never blow off steam sbout your job or family? Then why can't I without being labled a "bad doctor?" Give me a break.

Amanda and MWWAK~ I know! Gah!

Anonymous said...

Oh, for sweet pity's sale! Once somebody called me at 2:00 am because their teenaged daughter was constipated. When I asked what they had tried before calling they said, "We don't know, we were asleep." My reply, an icy "Asleep? Do tell," failed to discourage them. But seriously, this call (as the one I tell about) just proves the point that stupid people shouldn't reproduce.

Anonymous said...

Holy cow people!

If there is discharge, can they not ask a friend or as you say, google? I bet a nurse told them not to bother you but they insisted!

Blessings!
Dawn

Anonymous said...

In my experience, if you call afterhours, you are forwarded to a nurse line. They will answer your questions and determine if calling your doctor is warranted. This is the case with my OB, PCP, and my kid's pediatrician.

I suppose on the bright side, at least these folks aren't clogging up an ER with these concerns, right?

ER's Mom said...

I so feel your pain. ;)

Natalie said...

I must confide that I find your blog so true and I really wish we had someway so that EVERY patient of EVERY doctor must read it. My fiance is a family physician, so while I don't first-hand totally understand it, I can relate to you in some way-I HATE when he gets random phone calls about something as trivial as in your post, I think patients must sometimes think doctors have nothing better to do in their time off but sit around for pointless phone calls!
I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog...you are quite the comedian! I think you and my fiance would be fsst friends, as he thinks much like you do!

mom2twins+1 said...

I've just come across your blog trying to find ideas on how to thank your OB.
Anyways...I love your blog! Just having a baby 1 month ago I find it super interesting how much you go through in a day, and all the crap you have to put up with. I'd never call my OB in the middle of the night for something so dumb! There are some real inconsiderate people in this wonderful world we live in. Keep up the good work, and keep on blogging!! =)

3carnations said...

Awesome. I would say maybe it was her "first time"...but she is pregnant, after all. Sorry for the interruption!

Jen said...

AMEN! If I have to rule out rupture of membranes for another patient with white discharge after sex....at 3am right when I hit the call room, I just may go nuts!

insane mama said...

Oh, sorry aboout that? you mean I interrupted your family time? It was white and creamy and not very dreamy i'm sorry, so sorry

Anonymous said...

Your blog makes me laugh...as an L&D nurse I can totally feel your pain. I had to make the decision years ago not to go back to medical school and to pursue my dream of being a OB/Gyn. I am a mother of three and work two nights during the weekend so that I can be there for my kids during the week. I admire what you do, being a mom and a doctor. I love my job now and really love the interaction I have between the patients. Keep the funny stories coming...I love hearing a doctor side of it. It makes you guys seem real to us. I am really close to some of the MDs I work with and I have to think about how they are real people and mothers. I love the way they treat us-like we are real people who know what we are doing and do a great job making their jobs easier.

Dragonfly said...

Oh dear....

Lara said...

Oh my gosh, this is hilarious, my friend.

Also - ROCK ON with your response to "anonymous 8:21". UGH.

PE Mommy said...

Oh my. I felt bad paging my ob last Friday afternoon evening. However, my pcp told me to page him because I was so upset. Miscarried at 13 1/2 weeks on 2/21/08. Chemical Pregnancy 4/30/08. Now, thankfully pregnant again. Because of the MCs, my ob tested my hcg levels and progesterone. 11/12 dpo - 35 (6/10), 13/14 dpo - 65 (6/12), and 17/18 dpo - 284 (6/16). Increasing appropriately. HOWEVER, my progesterone was only 6.8. Very low. I TRIED talking with the nurse about supplementation and she cut me off and said my ob did not believe in it and she was NOT going to argue with him. I became so upset at the thought of possibly losing another baby (was on progesterone for 2 years before I stopped when I got pregnant with the 13 1/2 week mc). I was hysterical. Tried to catch my ob at the end of the day when I picked up the HCG lab slip, only to find the office had closed early.

Called my pcp hysterical and BEGGED her to prescribe it. She wouldn't because she didn't want to step on toes and he just delivered her baby. But they said it sounded like the nurse didn't even discuss it with him. For me to page him because I was so upset. So I did.

He said 50% of ob docs believe in it, 50% don't. He thinks it is garbage. I said I don't care, I want on it and my baby deserves a chance. He immediately ordered it and even found a pharmacy to make it for me on a Friday night (compounded prometrium suppository). He agreed to retest my levels and increase if needed.

Talked with nurse who knows my history to get my numbers on Tuesday and mentioned the progesterone getting tested again. She said that I should have called the office so that it could have been charted (nothing in chart about me on progesterone now, but ob has been off). I told her I did and explained what happened! She said they order it all the time for ob patients with low progesterone and why test if you are not treating it. She demanded to know who was the nurse that told me no to supplementation. I told her. So hopefully that won't happen again. The only reason I didn't wait till the next business day was because it would have been today before he saw it. I wanted on it THAT NIGHT.

I will say that I hated paging him and felt really bad. However, he has never seen/heard me hysterical like that before. I must have said something because it took him half an hour to hunt down a pharmacy (not sure why he didn't order oral prometrium to be used vaginally). He didn't sound mad at all when he called me back to tell me where he ordered it and said for me to please take it easy and it was ok.

Oh and when I was pregnant with my daughter and had severe PIH, I wouldn't call him at home either. He said ummm, YOU are one of the ones I want to hear from. You are not calling me about something stupid. I have had him paged a total of 3 or 4 times in 4 1/2 years. That was 1 pregnancy with my daughter and this one.

All of this could have been avoided if the nurse had told him I was insistent on being on it instead of blowing me off.

Do you guys ever say anything to the patient when they come into the office about appropriate phone usage when they abuse it???

Kristina said...

Gah. I often tell my doula clients that when membranes rupture, it smells a bit like semen (compared to pee, which smells like ammonia). I'm hoping it brings in less moms to L&D who just wet their pants. But now this story has me wondering if I'm sending them in after sex instead...oy.

PE Mommy said...

Just an update, HCG at 23 dpo was 3409. Progesterone went up from 6.8 to 15.2 with supplementation. :)

mn cnm said...

Oh boy. Last weekend my midwife colleague got paged at 2 am from a (non-pregnant) patient: "Drinking beer and stomach hurts. Call ASAP" She did not reply, as she was too tempted to advise switching to vodka...

Carrie Ann said...

Hey Dr. Whoo-
I stumbled across your blog a few days ago and I have enjoyed reading it. As a young female adult who desires to be a working mom someday, I really enjoy hearing how different women in different professions handle that challenge. I wish you many blessings.

PE Mommy said...

Just to let you know. Progesterone went from 6.8 to 15.2 in 8 days. Hcg levels went from 35 12dpo, 65 `14 dpo, 284 18 dpo, 3409 23 dpo,and 29300 31 dpo. Baby has a beautiful heartbeat.

*Becky* said...

I just wanted to say I loved reading every single entry of your blog for hours on end last night and just finished this morning so don't flip out by seeing a Colorado IP address over and over again.

I can't even recall how I ended up on your blog but it wasn't through a google search as I am not in the medical field looking to spy on you in any way.:) My oldest is at work and my husband and the others are away for the weekend so I am uncharacteristically alone?! I was blogroll surfing on some of my friends blogs and more than likely I clicked on link after link after link. (The reason I am giving the tirelessly long diatribe of how I got here is I just didn't want you to panick about HIPPAA etc..I read all those entries HA HA!!)

My calling IS your job. Alas... not in this life time. I am 34, with an almost 14 yr old daughter and a 7 yr old autistic son so life had different plans for me.

I just wanted to say YOU GO GIRL! Love your blog, love your work, loved the look into your world.

I mean that in the most nonstalker'ish way possible.

Becky

artillerywifecq said...

HA, love it! I am still amazed and how dumb people can be. I am a huge advocate of the conception chip that limits who can populate the planet. (Huge ethical problem, I know, but on my planet it exists!)

Chelsea said...

AHAHAHAHA

bleeding espresso said...

That is hilarious. For blog fodder, I mean. In real life? Grrr......

Came here via Red Red Whine, btw. Will be baaaahk ;)

The Delivery Nurse said...

yes - these people do show up in the ER!!!!!

Mucus Emergencies!!!!

Teresa said...

"Do not page your doctor on a Friday night because you are pregnant and notice a mucous-y, creamy discharge (not bleeding or pain) after sex. It is semen, you rocket scientist."

This is the most quoteable quote of the week, indeed.

zac said...

Hysterical! Just came across your blog, it'll be a new read for me!

Anonymous said...

I am attending nursing schools in hopes of becoming a L&D nurse, just wanted to let you know that your blog is awwwwwwsome!!!!!!