Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Pictures from the road

Because when you hit a bump on the freeway at 75 mph, nothing holds your overloaded trunk closed better than a few strips of tape.

"That looks safe, Ed. Now use some to re-attach the differential."

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Heading out

Okay, folks. The bags are packed. Kids in the trunk rear seats of the minivan, and we are ready to head out for 2 weeks.

As they did last year, my family has forbidden me from writing regularly on this trip. Something about family time and other stuff.

So I'll be posting stuff here and there and as allowed by my superiors, but not daily.

Regular posting will resume on Monday, August 12th.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Traffic jam

Actual broadcast of a road construction news story in Saginaw this week.

Friday, July 26, 2013

I feel incontinent. Let's go for a drive!

Actual manufacturer's info for Botox:

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Fool me once...

Wednesday, July 17

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

Miss Luthor: "Hi, I'm so sorry, I have an appointment in 1 hour, and I have to cancel it. I'm really sick today."

Mary: "I'm sorry. Would you like to reschedule?"

Miss Luthor: "Yes. Can I come in next Wednesday, at the same time?"

Mary: "Okay... Wednesday, July 24... Looks good! We'll see you then, and I hope you feel better."

Miss Luthor: "Thank you!"

Wednesday, July  24

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

Miss Luthor: "Hi, I'm so sorry, I have an appointment in 30 minutes and I have to cancel it. I can't get a ride today."

Mary: "Okay..."

Miss Luthor: "I'd like to reschedule to..."

Mary: "I'm sorry, but our office policy is that we don't allow 2 last-minute cancellations."

Miss Luthor: "But I really need to see the doctor! I've heard such good things about him!"

Mary: "I'm sorry, but that's our policy."

Miss Luthor: "Can't you make an exception? I told you! I'm really sick today!"

Mary: "I thought you couldn't get a ride today? You said you were sick last week."

Miss Luthor: "Okay, yes, you're right, I can't get a ride today. And I'm sick too! It's both!"

Mary: "Have a nice day." (hangs up)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

We're talking A.D., right?

I was doing a survey recently, and this question came up:

1930? WTF?

I mean, let's do the math here. Realistically (unless you're Dougie Houser) if I qualified in neurology in 1930, it means I'd be 109 now. I'm not saying it's impossible, but pretty damn unlikely.

Of course, there are exceptions.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Patient quote of the day

"All my memories, without exception, are of things that happened in the past. I don't have any other kinds of memories, and I'm really worried about this."

Monday, July 22, 2013


Dr. Grumpy: "I don't like the sound of this... I want to admit you directly to the hospital. Let me make some calls."

Miss Felid: "Okay... But what about Mr. Fluffles?"

Dr. Grumpy: "Uh, what about him?"

Miss Felid: "Will you take care of him?"

Dr. Grumpy: "Can't your daughter go over to your house?"

Miss Felid: "But he's not there!"

She sets her large purse on the desk, and Mr. Fluffles looks out to see what's going on.

Dr. Grumpy: "Oh! I had no idea you had him here."

Miss Felid: "So can you take care of him?"

Dr. Grumpy: "Why don't I call your daughter?"

Miss Felid: "You've really hurt his feelings."

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Random weekend pictures

 Time to hit the mailbag.

The first item is this gadget. In all honesty, I had no idea there was a market (especially in "scenic region") for an explosion-proof telephone

Next is this game, which was seen recently at the store. If your "favourite childhood memories" are from the late 1800's, the odds are your kids won't be impressed with it at this point in their lives.

Here we have a gift bag from a child's sports-themed birthday party. They probably should have folded the left margin a little more carefully.

Here's a product that I had no idea existed. I guess it can be used for cooking, for edible jet engines, and, uh, other practices.

And, lastly is this device. Which sounds like a bad pick-up line.

"Light & easy to handle." Snicker.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Great patient quotes

Dr. Grumpy: "Have you had anything stressful going on?"

Mr. Golf: "No. Look, doc, I'm retired. REALLY retired. If I tried to relax any more I'd be comatose."

Thursday, July 18, 2013

He's dead, Jim

This question came up on a survey last night (PD = Parkinson's Disease):

I really love the 5th answer. In all honesty, I can't recall ever having received a patient referral from a pathologist.

Which is probably good.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Department of the Obvious

Actual headline this afternoon in USA Today:

Thank you, SMOD!

Tuesday afternoon

Mary: "I can't believe it's this empty."

Dr. Grumpy: "Maybe because it's summer."

Mary: "The phone is barely ringing this afternoon."

Dr. Grumpy: "You should start calling people."

Mary: "Who should I call?"

Dr. Grumpy: "I don't know. Just get out an old phone directory, and start randomly calling people. Tell them they have an appointment tomorrow."

Mary: "Yeah, right. Who's going to believe that?"

Dr. Grumpy: "When they say you have a wrong number, tell them they were referred for memory loss."

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Dr. Grumpy: "What can I do for you, sir?"

Mr. Wheelchair: "My legs are completely paralyzed! I can't walk!"

Dr. Grumpy: "How long has this been going on?"

Mr. Wheelchair: "2 months, and no one can find a cause for it."

Dr. Grumpy: "Do you..."

(patient's cell phone rings, and he looks at it)

Mr. Wheelchair: "Hang on, doc, I have to take this. Let me step out."

(Gets out of wheelchair, walks out to lobby, mumbles into phone for a minute, hangs up, comes back and sits in wheelchair)

Mr. Wheelchair: "Anyway, they tell me there's nothing wrong with me, and that my tests are normal. It's very frustrating, because I can't move my legs at all, and..."

Monday, July 15, 2013

Thank you for this interesting consult

Actual chart note I saw on Friday:

"Patient has history of Alzheimer's disease. Currently has obvious memory deficits. Will consult neurology to see if they can find a cause for his memory loss."

Friday, July 12, 2013

Broadcast journalism

Yes, folks, this actually aired today on California TV station KTVU.

They've since apologized, and both they and the NTSB are blaming the error on an unidentified "summer intern."

Patient quote of the day

From a retired surgeon:

"I had surgery for osteomyelitis as a kid. We didn't have all that fancy antibiotic shit they do now."

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Fun with Mary

Sometimes an annoying patient won't take no for an answer.

Mr. Pest: "So, Mary, can we get together this Saturday?"

Mary: "No, thank you. I have plans."

Mr. Pest: "Come on... we'll have fun."

Mary: "I'm not interested, sir. I have a boyfriend."

Mr. Pest: "You could still go out with me."

Mary: "Okay, how about you and I take a drive over to Southtown this weekend? Could you pick me up?"

Mr. Pest: "Sure, but Southtown? By the prison? That's a terrible area. Why do you want to go there?"

Mary: "My boyfriend needs a ride home. He's being released on parole."

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Mrs. Grumpy agrees

Dr. Grumpy: "This is Dr. Grumpy, returning a page."

Nurse Newbie: "Hi, I'm the nurse taking care of Mr. Harry Plegia, in room 842."

Dr. Grumpy: "What can I do for you?"

Nurse Newbie: "Well, there was a consult written for you to see the patient 3 days ago, and we never heard back from you. I was wondering if you'd even gotten it, and when you'd be by to see him?"

Dr. Grumpy: "Um... I did the consult 3 days ago. And I've been following him daily since then."

Nurse Newbie: "Really? Because there was a family member here about 2 hours ago, who was looking through the chart, and told me he wanted to get another MRI. I don't know how he got the chart. Anyway, I called the hospitalist, and he told me to run it by you."

Dr. Grumpy: "Two hours ago? That was me! I came over and told you I wanted to do another MRI, but the computer ordering system was down when I tried to put it in."

Nurse Newbie: "That was you? Not a family member?"

Dr. Grumpy: "Yes!"


Nurse Newbie: "Doctor, you really should dress better."

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Miss Print: "Hello, Throwaway Rags, can I help you?"

Dr. Grumpy: "This is Dr. Ibee Grumpy. You guys shipped me a huge box of magazines for my lobby."

Miss Print: "Let me see. Yes, you're on our list to receive 50 copies a month."

Dr. Grumpy: "I didn't order them, and I don't want them. Please take me off the list."

Miss Print: "Have you looked through our magazine?"

Dr. Grumpy: "Yes. It's 90% paid advertising, extolling the virtues of Wirth-Liss Pharmaceuticals overpriced medications."

Miss Print: "Well, Wirth-Liss Pharmaceuticals is paying for every neurologist to receive 50 free copies to share with your patients. Education is important. You can place them in your lobby."

Dr. Grumpy: "I don't want them in my lobby. I put them in the recycling. And I don't want to get anymore."

Miss Print: "You're depriving your patients of an opportunity to learn about their treatment options."

Dr. Grumpy: "I'm not going to argue with you. Either cancel my subscription, or let me talk to your supervisor."

Miss Print: "I'll cancel it. But you're really doing a disservice to your patients. They deserve better."

Monday, July 8, 2013


In the mid-2000's there were several government hearings concerning the safety of the COX-2 family of drugs (Vioxx, Bextra, and Celebrex).

A colleague of mine was working for the FDA at the time, and had to sit through hours of testimony on them. He sent me this remarkable e-mail after one:

"Today we had a military doc testify. He told us that the drugs are important in military use, because they can get injured soldiers back into battle sooner.

"He finished his speech by declaring 'Soldiers need COX-2!'

"And that just doesn't sound good when spoken."

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Great copywriting moments

"Maybe an orthopedist would be better?"

Source: Here.

Thank you, M!

Friday, July 5, 2013


I'm not sure what to make of this.

This fan-shaped area of flattened grass wasn't there when we left yesterday morning, but it was definitely there when we got home late afternoon. It looks like a giant footprint:

Mello investigates

Anyway, if your pet therapod has escaped somewhere in Grumpyville, I think it was in my backyard today. Hope that helps.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Thank you for sharing

Mary: "Okay, I'll let Dr. Grumpy know you're here, and he'll take you back in just a minute."

Mrs. Knickers: "Do you have a bathroom I can use first?"

Mary: "Sure, it's that door to your left."

Mrs. Knickers: "I need to change my underwear. You wouldn't believe the drive I had here."

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Fiat lux

Dr. Grumpy: "Let's go to my exam room..." (walks into exam room, flips on lights)


Dr. Grumpy: "Uh, I think so, when I turned them on. They're fluorescent."


Dr. Grumpy: "Everything is fine, ma'am. It only means they're on. Have a seat over there, and let me take your blood pressure.."

Mrs. Photic: "They're not going to flicker again, are they?"

Dr. Grumpy: "I don't think so, but they're old fixtures."

Mrs. Photic: "If they do, I'm leaving. For all I know you're one of them."

Monday, July 1, 2013

Um, okay, you can call it that

Frank & Craig were at sailing camp on Lake Grumpy yesterday.

This picture was in the "Sailing Instructions" pamphlet they were given.

Immature? Why yes, I am!
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