Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tootles Courtney or Why You Should Watch Your Mouth on Social Media

[Says the authorette, and sufferer of intermittent and persistent diarrhea of the mouth/keyboard, with self deprecating laugh.]

Today we are going to talk about how Courtney is going to be unfriended on the facebook later today, something I almost never do. I'll happily wage day long comment wars with people who post quotes from Elizabeth Warren (which sometimes lead to me being unfriended) and will read with dismay and amazement when a friend from high school bemoans the clearing out of Zuccotti Park (I wasn't even going to touch that insane comment stream) but I very rarely take any of it personally.

But then we have today's post from Courtney. She is a 20-something gal who used to babysit for us. She had her own baby so we don't have any business transactions these days but seeing as I had no beef with her, she remained my facebook friend. Until this gem popped up today: [Disclaimer - all posts are sic so grammar and punctuation totally not mine but the comments in brackets are!]

Courtney: back in the er with grandma, she's in severe pain again and really sick, praying that the drs actually do something this time around

[As she is taking aim at Tim and his ER doc co-workers, you know my hackles are up.]

Now we'll get into the comment stream.....

Friend 1: did they do a cat scan on her
Courtney: Yeah, back on Friday

[Note: doctors did do something on last visit.]

Friend 1: did they put her on meds or are they waiting to see if it passes
Courtney: They did that and still nothing! I swear I'm going crazy, that stone is 5 mils
Friend 2: They need to help her and do it right this time. And not send her home in pain
Courtney: Yeah that's all they [know] how to do is send people home in pain

[An aside here. ER docs CANNOT FIX KIDNEY STONES. Sorry for yelling but all the ER can do is try to ease pain. If you want this problem fixed, you need to see a Urologist. A second trip to the ER does not change what the doctors there can do. Just saying. Now back to the story.]

Friend 2: That they Do need new Drs in there how is she now
Courtney: The whole hospital needs new drs! Lol!
Friend 2: Amen the one here does to [(sic) nice grammar sweetie]

You know, I am aware that I am, as the wife of an ER doctor, exceptionally biased here. That being said, I am not a honk for the ER. Seriously, it is a miserable place. The doctors, nurses and staff there are doing the best they can, even if their efforts are not apparent to the outside world. Tim will tell me stories of the bureaucratic and administrative hoops he has to go through in order to treat his patients and it sounds positively maddening.

But back on point, we have in Courtney, a perfect illustration of what is wrong with the modern medical machine. Her grandmother shows up in the ER. She has a problem that HAS to be fixed by a specialist. The ER doc does his/her best to verify that she has a kidney stone and gives her pain medication. S/he can't do anything else. Grandma needs a specialist. But rather than see one, she shows back up at the ER four days later, where they still can't fix her problem but they are open and you don't need an appointment.

And her granddaughter sets out to slam the medical community on facebook.

The doctors in the ER are not magicians, they are doctors. And, in general, the ones in the ER are trained to keep you from dying. They are really good at keeping people alive. But if you show up with something requiring the care of a specialist that, while painful and awful, will not kill you, there might not be anything they can do, other than treat pain.

So Courtney, we are through.

One of these days, when you are done with school and are a Pharmacy Tech, you'll have some one in your place of work, angry about something beyond your control, that you couldn't fix if you wanted to. You'll do everything you can to help them but they will still leave angry, go home and slam you on social media. Maybe then you will understand.

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