Monday, September 20, 2010

To and Fro the Government

Case 1: To the Government

A 57 year old female came to the ED with COPD exacerbation. She didn't even require home oxygen yet, but stated that she just started receiving medicare and disability for her COPD! After she told me this, I asked her if she still smokes. Of course the answer was yes. I then replied something smart ass'ish like "Wow it sure is nice of the government to pay for your cigarettes and your medical problems that you caused for yourself." She didn't appreciate that. Oh well.

Case 2: From the Government

A 19 year old female came in for "nausea." When it came down to it, she had a + pregnancy test yesterday and wanted confirmation that she was pregnant. Why did she need confirmation??? Well she asked that I fax her records to her Army recruiter. She was supposed to report to boot camp the following day. She was very happy she was pregnant and didn't have to go to boot camp. My suspicion is that she got pregnant on purpose b/c she changed her mind about the army.

-ER Doc


Anonymous said...

I know of someone like patient 2, but she'd already gone through boot camp and was about to be sent to Iraq, not long after she'd gotten married.
I don't blame her, I'd want to avoid being sent to a country at a time where I'd have a good chance of not coming home. (I myself cannot serve due to several preexisting medical conditions)

Penelope said...

I wouldn't blame anyone for wanting to avoid being sent to war. Sometimes sober second thought is a good thing. This pregnancy might be what keeps her alive.

Ninjamedic said...

I've been a military spouse for 18 years, and I've seen scenarios akin to # 2 time and again - usually right before a deployment rotation. Some girls use the pregnancy as a route to discharge/separation from service, but others just use it to get out of deploying. One girl I knew pulled the 'get pregnant so I won't have to deploy' stunt 3 times before her chain of command found a way to discharge her from service. It's frustrating because every time it happens, someone else (like my husband) has to pick up their slack and deploy in their place. It's not as if there's a draft, they enlisted voluntarily (and the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan aren't exactly secret, either) - so I don't have a whole lot of sympathy for women who play that particular game.