Mullberry Whine

poured out before bed


“Well, I thought it was my hip…”  The little old man scratches his head with the curved handle of his cane.

“Yeah, I’m pretty sure it was his knee  – a steroid injection,” says the orthopedics PA on the phone line.  “I did put it all in the order, you know.”

I look at the printed order by the light of the computer.

“The order we received was written for a right hip and actually for an aspiration.  However, your note mentions both hip and knee steroid injections.”

An annoyed phone-sigh blasts my ear and furious typing and clicking follow.

“OK … let’s just go with the right hip injection – it’s the worst joint if I remember correctly.  I’ve just put in a new order.  Bye now.”

The electric bang transmitted when he slams the receiver down is deafening.

The new order appears within moments and the tech quickly generates a new consent form.

“Ah, I thought it was my hip,” Mr. Jones smiles widely.

We apologize profusely for the mix-up and talk through the procedure, explain the risks and benefits, answer his questions.  Mr. Jones takes the clipboard in his great arthritic hand and slowly pens his first name.  He has just begun the first loop on the ‘J’ when he suddenly stops, resting the pen to his close-shaved chin.

“You know, I am quite sure it was my left hip to be injected…”

2 comments on “Laterality

  1. azita
    July 11, 2012

    Ok, that’s kind of a scary story! 😉

    • mullberrywhine
      July 11, 2012

      Isn’t it though?  99.99% of the time, the stars align and all works out swimmingly.  It’s that 0.01% where the electronic medical record and layers of human error muddle things that gets frightening!

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From the Cellar

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House Rules

Creative Commons License
Nothing under the table.
The views expressed on "Mullberry Whine" are NOT intended to diagnose or treat disease.
The med-ed related stories described here are based on real events. Details have been changed in accordance with HIPAA de-identification guidelines to protect confidentiality.
Mullberry Whine can be enjoyed daily; there is no unsafe quantity. Real wine, though, should be enjoyed in moderation. At-Risk Drinking for males under 65 is defined as >14 alcoholic beverages per week or >4/day, with >7 drinks a week or >3/day being the cut-off for females under 65 and for anyone, male or female, who has graced this planet for 65 years for more. Drink Mullberry Whine like there are no consequences. But drink alcohol responsibly. Your friends, your family, your health-care provider, and your liver - heck, ALL of the organs in your body - will thank you.
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