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Thursday, May 19, 2011

He's The One They Call Dr. Smugass

First guys rock. Thanks for sharing and sending this week's message far and wide. I'm given to understand we started some lively discussions in a forum or two out there on "teh internets". Thank you all.

For now, it's time to get back to some humor around here. Ever have to put up with an annoying doctor? I have...and this is that story.

Dr. Smugass

I can’t stand smugass doctors. It kills me when somebody has decided Perry Cox is their personal hero and they want to practice their skill on me. Well, OK, it doesn’t kill me, it just annoys me more than a mild zombie outbreak.

Way-hay-haaaaait a minnit Sheila

It was a warm summer day, bright and shiny, and I damn near lost my thumb. I’d been trimming the hedges at the front of the house when I did something stupid, drawing the trimmer back toward me while attempting to grab a loose twig, all without letting my finger off the trigger. It was a recipe for disaster, and I got lucky that I was just in the hors d’ourves section of the fuck-up cookbook.

It was one of those moments where your brain watches as you fuck up royal, then berates you with a massive “I told you so.” Thanks, brain, got that one. I lucked out, and just opened up a nice hefty gash. A quick inspection confirmed an immediate trip to the Emergency Room was in the near future, as I could see bits within my thumb that are supposed to remain unexposed. I’d missed the nail and the bone, but stitches were needed.

Even as I clutched my thumb I was shaking my head, muttering the word “stupid” over and over like a mantra. I wrapped it up in a bundle of paper towels and told Wifefish I’d need her to drop me off at the hospital and why, and let her know I’d have the cellphone on me, and would one-thumbed texting her with updates.

I sat in the waiting room. And sat. Dust began to settle on me as my metabolism slowed to something just a hair faster than a three toed sloth, which, by the way, I had just attempted to resemble via hedgetrimmer cosmetic surgery. Anyone who doesn’t believe that time is both relative and curved need only wait to be seen by a doctor when in pain. I had brought a book along, and after a mere 163 pages, the staff called me back to be attended to.

They wanted to send me to X-ray, but I had already checked myself out pretty thoroughly and knew I’d missed the bone. I think it pissed me off when they said “your insurance will cover it”. Maybe so, jackwagon, but all I need is stitches. And we wonder why insurance is more expensive than Charlie Sheen’s bar tab.

A small hitch arose when the first numbing agent…didn’t. Stitch number 1 went into the thumb of a perfectly silent Dangerboy, slowly turning a lighter shade of pale.

“That…that kind of hurt,” I said.

“Was it bad?” the PA asked.

“It may have hurt worse than the trimmer,” I replied.

A sympathetic man, he shot my thumb with a second numbing agent. It was now full of eleventy shitload CC’s of comfortably numb, and whereas my thumb looked like a balloon, there was no sensation in it at all. The rest of the stitching went as smooth as silk; he could have tied a knot in it and I wouldn’t have felt it.

I got the idea as the stitching progressed that I was being worked on by the new guy. Three different nurses stopped by to ask how I was doing and to see the stitchwork, and they all had that veteran nurse “Mm hmm” of approval when they saw it, which is so much better to hear than “Oh fuck, get me a seamripper STAT.”

Finally, 3 hours later, I was finished. Ready to go. I got out of the bed and headed for the desk to go through check out. Along the way, a fourth person stopped me.

“Hey, can I see those stitches?”

I stopped and gave him a big thumbs up, which was all my thumb could do anyway.

He grabbed it, tapped the end of it like he was checking a microphone and said “Does this hurt?”

My Spidey sense began to tingle, even though my thumb refused to. I looked at his nametag. “Dr. Smugass”. Great.

“Is this the $300 consult? You tapping the mic? Because if it is, I want to refuse.”

“Too late!” he said, taking a seat behind the desk. Visions of letting him experience the joy of receiving stitches danced in my head. I ignored him, returning to my previous conversation with the woman handling the let-me-go-on-my-merry-fucking-way paperwork.

I actually wrote the hospital a letter, complaining about Dr. Smugass. They sent me the results of their “investigation”, telling me that the flighty physician felt we had a “good rapport” and that his tapping of my thumb was a “range of motion test.” In other words, he lied like a cheap rug when their own Kelso questioned him.

I guess it goes without saying that I’ll be avoiding this particular doctor like the plague should I ever encounter him again. Otherwise he may encounter an allergic reaction to Dangerboy.


  1. It's infuriating that medical practitioners get away with charging us / the insurance companies for $189 bandaids, mic checks and other bogus shit.

    I LOVE your phrase about the fuck-up cookbook. Positively brilliant!

  2. Yikes! Sorry about your thumb! I'm impressed you know what a seamripper is, though!

  3. Let's hope he doesn't make permanent residency in the ER. Ouch! ;)

  4. What it sounds like is you had a resident doing the stitching and the attending actually checking his work. Residents have to run everything past their attending.

    Still sucks that he was an asshat about it.

    And the x-ray... well... it's a standard of care thing. Any ER you would have gone to would have done the same thing. Its a CYA thing.

  5. LOVED all the Scrubs references in this!


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