Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Sleep deprivation

I couldn't sleep, so finally gave up and went to the hospital to see a consult that had come in during the night.

I sat at the nurses station and called up the CT scan on a computer. It looked like a stroke, but the dictation wasn't transcribed yet. So I dialed the radiologist covering nights.

Dr. Radar: "This is Dr. Radar."

Dr. Grumpy: "Hi, Mike. Can you look at the scan on Mrs. Platelet? It looks like she has a right frontal stroke."

Dr. Radar: "Hang on... No, that's not a stroke. That's volume averaging artifact."

Dr. Grumpy: "Really? It looks like a stroke."

Dr. Radar: "No, definitely volume averaging."

Dr. Grumpy: "Okay, thanks."

I hung up and was a bit surprised. I began writing a note, when a nurse came over to tell me Dr. Radar had just called back looking for me.

Dr. Grumpy: "This is Dr. Grumpy."

Dr. Radar: "Yeah, it's me again. Did you say right or left?"

Dr. Grumpy: "Right."

Dr. Radar: "Oh, sorry. The left is artifact. On the right, that's a stroke. Big one, too."

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Remind us where you practice again so we can be sure to never be admitted through ER!

Mr Mobius said...

We all have those kinda mornings after night shifts. To be honest, I was just about able to find the dexterity to put in IV access an hour before my shift ended this morning.

bunkywise said...

Stepdaughter is over 40 and still has to make an L out of her thumb and forefinger to identify right from left when given a pop quiz.

Packer said...

Better than 10% of women can not identify right from left. Better than 10% of men don't have a clue. Look it up,you non believers, I don't make this stuff up. You first learn this little factoid when you start teaching your daughter to drive, with your wife in the car. Go that way is left, go this way is right. That is daughter driving lesson 101. Son driving lesson 101 is SLOW DOWN delivered at 120 decibels.

Sandra said...

At least he called you back with the correct information.

Stacey Gordon said...

Most lefties have the same trouble and are approx the same percentage of the population.
I have a friend that can't tell which lane is ending even when there is a road sign with a picture....

awesomesauciness said...

For my kids it went something like this when they were learning left and right:

Me: Raise your left hand.

*they'd raise their right hand.every.time.*

Me: *sigh* Okay, raise your other left hand.

*they'd raise their left hand*

Hence the confusion when they got to school and instead of 'right', 'left' they identified it as 'left' 'other left'.

In retrospect, that was probably one of (many) bad decisions I made as a mama.

kdoglady said...

Maybe he was listening with the wrong ear...

Lori said...

Favorite radiology joke:

Q - What's the most commonly missed finding on a radiograph?

A - The second one

Anonymous said...

Left and right is still a problem, yet when I knew where I was in relationshipt to the ocean (south) or Denali (north), I knew north and south.

I have to still use west coast, east coast to think about right or left, and of course finding the direction of an electric current requires me to stand on my head.

Levorotatory and dextrorotorary, I have to trust crystallographers are correct about that.

When I was a kid, since I finished the time-test for fractions first, I got to call 3-minutes while teacher went for a quick bathroom break. After the first minute, the clock hands started going another way. I had to physically keep my eye on the hand and use my head motion to keep track of time. I don't think the teacher ever found out that sometimes time-test was up in 3 minutes or 4 minutes.

Us disorganized people prefer to live out in the middle of everything!

Anonymous said...

When I was learning to drive, my mom and I had to agree that she would say "correct" instead of "right" when she was agreeing with the direction I wanted to go. We would frequently have the following exchange:

Me: So I turn left here?
Mom: Right.
Me: *makes a right turn*
Mom: What are you doing? You asked if you needed to go left, and I said right...oh.

Mary said...

Nights are a killer and I bet he isn't on straight nights. Everyone is human and makes errors occasionally.

As for women learning left and right, in my family it is difficult for all of the boys because of dyslexia. I am female and driving was the point at which I learned. Up to that point I had to mentally pick up a fork to know l/r. The entire "L" with your hand never made sense to me. I can't tell when way is correct if it isn't in context.

ama said...

In college I worked at a veterinary clinic. A dog had been admitted the night before after being hit by a car. His right rear leg suffered multiple fractures and the decision was made to amputate. I prepared the dog and limb (a lengthy process) and then went to chart what I had done while the Dr. started the surgery. I panicked when I read the Dr's notes that the LEFT leg was injured. My initial reaction was that I had somehow prepped the wrong leg and I had to stop the surgery immediately! Fortunately as quickly as that thought went through my brain the rational observer reminded me of what I had seen and felt. Instead I just chided the good Dr. for giving me such a panic.

Anonymous said...

When I was learning right and left as a kid, I would move both hands at the same time to see which one moved faster, and I'd know that the fast hand was the right since I was right-handed. As an adult, I still find myself twitching my hands when someone asks a right-or-left question.

 
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