Thursday, August 21, 2014

Skool Nerse time

This is Mrs. Grumpy.

School is starting soon, and, as your school nurse, I'd like to offer some tips to help make this a better year for all of us.

1. I'm happy to handle your child's medications. That's part of what I do. Please be sure to bring them in with useful instructions. DO NOT drop them off outside my office door after I've left, or hang them in a grocery bag on the school's front gate overnight. Have you people seen the kind of neighborhood Douglas C. Kenney Elementary school is in? Billy's bottle of Adderall is worth a lot of money here, and likely made some junkie very happy. Can't imagine how you explained that to your pediatrician.

2. Where it says "Allergies" on the form, writing "yes," "sometimes," or "depends" doesn't give me much useful information. Please be sure to include details, like what Sara is allergic to (unless she really is allergic to Depends).

3. Writing movies you don't want your kids seeing is not what the forms are for. Talk to the teacher. I understand, as I'm sick of the music from "Frozen," too, but I'm not the person who deals with this.

4. Some of your kids know my kids. Fine. As a result, they know my kid's cell phone numbers. That's fine, too. BUT my kids are NOT a reliable way to pass messages to me in my capacity as the school nurse. Hell, they aren't a reliable way to pass messages AT ALL. Having your kid text my kid something like "Lacey has a fever of 104 and rash, can she still come to school?" or "Please have Phil in your office at 8:15 so I can take him to the dentist" should not be relayed through my kids. Stop it. I have a direct line and emails. They're on the school's website.

5. Calling the above number is not going to get you an appointment with my husband. Depending on how badly you piss me off when trying, the opposite might occur.

6. Although I said this before, I need to emphasize it. DO NOT claim to be part of Jenny McCarthy's Army just because you're too damn lazy to get me your kids vaccination records. If as many of you were anti-vaccine as claim to be, you wouldn't be alive.

7. On the form where it asks who's allowed to pick up your kids "anyone I send" is not an acceptable answer.

8. Writing "Do not allow wasps or bees to sting Evan" will not prevent them from doing so. Please address such requests to the Apocritae. I will only show it around the office, and we will laugh at you.

9. I keep "emergency" clothes up here for accidents. This is not the charity shopping mall. Do not send your kids in to "see if there's anything good."

10. No matter what you put on the form, there is absolutely no medical reason for a 7 year old to be carrying a cigarette lighter to school. Don't argue with me.

Thank you! Everyone have a great year!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


Dr. Grumpy: "So, how are you doing with the new medication?"

Mr. Noventa: "It's awful! It isn't helping my symptoms, and hurts my stomach. It also makes me sleepy all the time, I can't concentrate, and I think it's thinning my hair."

Dr. Grumpy: "Okay, then why don't you stop it, and we'll try switching you to..."

Mr. Noventa: "I'd rather continue it, because I just bought a 90 day supply."

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Mary: "Dr. Grumpy's office, this is Mary."

Mr. Cheech: "Hi, I need to make an appointment with Dr. Grumpy."

Mary: "Okay, we can see you on..."

Mr. Cheech: "I don't have insurance. Does he accept other forms of payment?"

Mary: "Well, we take MasterCard, Visa, AMEX..."

Mr. Cheech: "No, I mean, like, in trade? I grow pot in my shed, and can give you some buds."

Mary: "No, we don't accept payment of that sort."

Mr. Cheech: "It's really high quality, organic. I don't use pesticides or any of that shit."

Monday, August 18, 2014


Dear Mrs. Patient,

I'm glad you're feeling better. It was nice of you to send me a thank you card. I actually treasure notes like yours, and keep them in (as my friend Amanda Brown calls it) the "I don't suck box." On really bad days I read stuff from it for solace, and to reassure myself that I really am doing my best, and some people appreciate that.

BUT I must admit, none of the notes I've previously received, in 15 years of doing this, came on a card with a picture quite like yours:

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Run, Run, Away

All right, gang. With only a few weeks left before the kids head back to school, it's time for the annual Grumpy family Summer vacation. So we're loading up the minivan and adding pontoons for a 5000 mile drive.

I may post infrequently over the next 2 weeks, as time allows, but will return to my regular schedule in 2 weeks.

Friday, August 1, 2014


Dr. Grumpy: "Any other major health issues?"

Mr. Durante: "I sneeze once a day, sometimes twice."

Thursday, July 31, 2014


It was the early 1970's. I don't remember the man's name. Maybe I never knew it.

My Dad didn't know it either, but he helped him.

Dad was downtown, driving home from his law practice one afternoon. I don't remember the time of year.

He was stopped at a red light while people crossed in front of his car. One was an elderly man with a cane. One of his legs was shorter than the other, and so he had a shoe with a platform bottom on that side to support him.

As he hobbled across the street, he tripped and fell, landing on his chest. The cane went flying, and he was unable to get back up. While he struggled to get to his feet the typical rush hour traffic began honking and yelling at him.

Dad got out, and helped the man up. The cane was gone, smashed by a car trying to beat the yellow light. He got the man to his feet, but without the cane he couldn't walk. So Dad put an arm around the elderly stranger, and got him to his car. He put him in the passenger seat, figuring then he'd find out where he lived and drive him home.

The man was scared, and badly shaken up. A stranger had just run out in front of traffic and yelling people to help him. And now my Dad learned he didn't speak a word of English - just Italian.

Nowadays maybe people would have left the man lying there, called police on their call phone, and driven around him. Or helped him to the edge of the curb and left him there for someone else to find. Or just not given a shit at all and continued honking at him.

But Dad brought him back to our house.

There was no cell phone. The first hint we had that anything was up was when Dad came in the carport door, supporting an elderly man I'd never seen before. He called my Mom, and as he explained what happened they got him to a chair at the kitchen table. Mom got him some water and a few band-aids for his bumps and scrapes.

Dad went to the phone. A friend of his was a doctor, whose father was an Italian immigrant. He reached him at his office as he was finishing up for the day, and the good doctor immediately called his father (who was fluent in both English and Italian) and they came to our house.

While the doctor checked him over, his father spoke to the man, and they quickly got his information. He didn't know the phone number of the building he lived at, but knew the address. It was a few miles from where he'd fallen, and he'd been on his way to the bus stop to go home when the accident happened.

The doctor's father drove the man home a short while later, though they stopped at the drugstore for a new cane.

I never saw the man again, but the memory is still there. A frail looking elderly man in a black suit, white shirt, and dark Homburg hat. The one shoe with the platform bottom. Sitting at the formica table in our yellow 70's kitchen.

I don't recall my Dad mentioning the events of that day again. I don't think I even remember him talking to me directly about it while it was going on. But I learned a lot that day that I hope I never forget.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Annie's desk

Annie: "Dr. Grumpy's office, this is Annie."

Mr. Blood: "Hi, I have a question about the labs Dr. Grumpy ordered."

Annie: "Sure, what's up?"

Mr. Blood: "It says here the labs are fasting."

Annie: "Yeah, that's standard for what he wants done."

Mr. Blood: "Okay, but am I the one who has to be fasting? Or is it the tech who draws them?"

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Glad they cleared that up

Last night I was at a meeting about an upcoming drug study, and this was one of the slides:

I wanted to ask what they consider REALLY serious.

Monday, July 28, 2014


On call yesterday I was in ER, examining a lady who'd just had a seizure. From the other side of the curtain I hear this:

Her: "Did you cover it? I don't want to catch diseases."

Him: "Yes. Now I'm going to put it in."

Her: "Please be gentle. I'm very sensitive there."

Him: "Of course."

Her: "Is it in yet?"

Him: "Just a little bit, I need to put it in further."

Her: "Ow! Don't push so hard!"

Him: "Sorry... It's in now."

Her: "I can feel it."

Him: "And... I'm done. I pulled it out. That wasn't so bad, was it?"

Her: "Only when you first put it in, but it went fast."

And it was... A male nurse checking a tympanic temperature on an elderly lady.

Friday, July 25, 2014


Mrs. Seven: "I also take Spazon-XR."

Dr. Grumpy (looking at her list): "You take that just once a week?"

Mrs. Seven: "No, it's every Saturday."

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Looking for clues

Mr. Construction: "My hands have been getting numb over the last few years."

Dr. Grumpy: "Any change in your activities in that time?"

Mr. Construction: "Nope. Same old boring job."

Dr. Grumpy: "Is there..."

Mr. Construction: "I hope you can figure this out, doc. It makes it hard to hold a jackhammer all day."

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

On the road again

(Guy walks in, stands at counter)

Mary: "Hi, can I help you?"

Mr. Distance: "I was referred to see Dr. Grumpy." (pulls out piece of paper, hands it to her)

Mary: "Okay, I can make an appointment for you. How about..."

Mr. Distance: "You mean you can't see me NOW?"

Mary: "No, today is full, but on Tuesday we have..."

Mr. Distance: "But I just drove over 200 miles to get here! You can see from the referral that I live in Waywest!"

Mary: "I'm sorry, but..."

Mr. Distance: "I saw Dr. Referral this morning, and she said that I should see Dr. Grumpy. So I decided to just come on over."

Mary: "Why didn't you call for an appointment?"

Mr. Distance: "I thought that would complicate things. Hey, can I use your bathroom?"

Monday, July 21, 2014


I'm not sure what these guys want. Can anyone out there help me? They're pretty vague.

Thank you, Nos!

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