Sunday, August 31, 2008

Respect Your Elders

Walked into a patient's room last night to do an EKG, and found an elderly-looking female smiling pleasantly back at me.  I talked with her while I set up the machine, and despite seeming the slightest bit out of it, she ably held up her end of the conversation.  Taking a look at her ID band, I had trouble finding her birthdate.  Her name was clearly there, as was her medical record number and triage date, but the only other date on the band ended in '07.  After pausing for a second, I realized that was 1907, and that I was doing an EKG on a heart that had been beating for over a century.

When I checked in on her later, I caught her in the middle of trying to rip out her IV.  I tried negotiating with her, even arm wrestled for about 30 seconds, and then rapidly came to the conclusion that living to 101 years old gave her the right to do whatever the hell she wanted.  

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