Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Things That I Say Almost Every Day (Work Edition)**

One thing that I love about my job is that it is ever-changing, and there are no two days that are exactly the same. That being said, I have my own daily script that I find myself reciting as I move through the more routine parts of my days in the office and on labor and delivery. My nurse could probably come up with a million more things (since she gets to listen to my spiel 30+ times a day), but these were the first off of the top of my head:

1. That's normal.

2. You're going to feel a little pressure.

3. Are you feeling any pressure?

4. Do you have any questions?

5. In a normal cycle, you have a rise of estrogen, then ovulation, then a rise of progesterone. If you don't become pregnant, then your progesterone level will fall and *then* you will have a period.

6. That's normal.

7. Take a deep breath.

8. Now, wiggle your toes.

9. No one will know your breasts better than you.

10. Tell me about what has been bothering you.

11. Is that interfering in your daily life? How?

12. The definition of menopause is no periods for one year.

13. It takes two 16 oz packages of cottage cheese to equal the Calcium in one 8 oz glass of milk.

14. You can do this.

15. Congratulations!

16. There are risks, benefits, side effects, and alternatives...

17. I'm sorry for your loss.

18. That can be normal.

19. I know it is counter intuitive to "relax" but try to make your muscles as loose as possible.

20. Do you understand?

21. Tell me what you know about birth control, then tell me what you would like to know.

22. That is a normal physiologic change of pregnancy.

23. I promise that you won't be pregnant forever (usually after discussing our elective induction policy of no earlier than 41 weeks gestation.)

24. How can I help you today?

25. I know this is scary, but I am going to talk you through it.

**Cross-posted at Ob/Gyn Kenobi**


  1. Some of those are universal OB/GYN speak, because I've defintely heard them from my own doctor!

  2. This is fabulous, Dr. Whoo! I forgot the definition of menopause. I love envisioning the scenarios behind your daily script - makes me want to copy and come up with some of my own.

    Imitation is the best form of flattery.

    I don't know if they would be nearly as entertaining, me being a pathologist and all, so don't get your hopes up. I'll have to see.

  3. let's see
    1. Doing the dishes is a euphamism for cleaning the kitchen. When I say do the dishes, I *mean* clean the kitchen! (yes, this is an almost daily conversation with my OCD 20 year old who, when I say "do the dishes" only does the dishes.Not the pots and pans or wiping down counters because they're not dishes! ARGH!)

    2. Take out the trash
    3. Take out the trash NOW
    4. I said TAKE OUT THE TRASH!
    5. Sweep the floor.

    6. Will this be on the test?
    7. Do we need a scantron for the test?
    8. Do you want the essay in APA or MLA?
    9. Are the pages asked for on the essay hard or suggestions? (as in, around 4 pages rather than JUST 4 pages or AT LEAST 4 pages)

  4. 1. It is not the right weather for...
    2. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day
    3. Questions will be answered after you are dressed
    4.Mommy loves you
    5. Yes you will lose your hair and yes it will come back
    6 No stoicism--if I don't know about it I cannot fix it.
    7.Take the anti emetic when you're queasy not when you are vomiting
    8. We may not pick our problems but we can choose how we face them.
    9 stop smoking for you and for me

  5. This is so going to inspire me to write my version of this post.

  6. Love this!!
    1. Are you injured? Because I don't expect that type of screaming unless I am going to see blood.
    2. We always give a shot of a bloodthinner when folks are in the hospital because they don't move around enough.
    3. Anytime we give a medication, do a procedure, give you blood, there is a risk. I need to explain those risks to you, even if they are unlikely to happen.
    4. Let's cut down the chit chat for a few minutes until you've finished: brushing your teeth, getting dressed, etc.
    5. Read another book, sure!!
    6. I'd like to discuss your wishes, if you get really sick (I am not expecting this to happen) while you are in the hospital. I need to understand what you would want me to do.
    7. Yes, you can wear your snow white costume and we can listen to "Doe, a deer" again
    8. Did you ever talk to your mother/father/wife/husband about his/her wishes if s/he became very ill?
    9. That really hurts my ears.
    10. I am unable to understand your request. You must speak English or Spanish, I cannot translate whiny talk.
    11. I love you THIS much!
    12. Before you see your doctor, please make sure they have all your hospital records.
    13. Most of the people who ultimately sucessfully quit smoking, tried and failed to quit many times. If you are ready, we can help you.
    14. Go outside and run around please!

    See if you can figure out which ones are said to patients, which ones to the kids!

    What an interesting life the physician-mother has!

  7. What you say to patients vs what you say to kids...sometimes it's the same stuff. Or needs to be.

  8. Love this. My daily at-work phrases (guess my specialty, hah!):

    1. Can you start from the beginning?
    2. So why did you choose to come into the ER for this *tonight*?
    3. I'm sorry for the wait.
    4. I am so sorry, but [test x/y/z] is not something that we can do here.
    5. I am so sorry, but it's going to take a little longer to get the results of your tests.
    6. If you're allergic to Tylenol, Motrin, and Vicodin, what pain meds can you take?
    7. I will do my best to help you.
    8. If you were my mother/brother/aunt I would recommend...
    9. I might not be able to give you an answer, but I'll at least be able to tell you that it's nothing dangerous today,
    10. If you don't feel better in 24 hours, please come back or see your regular doctor!
    11. It was a pleasure to meet you tonight. I hope not to see you here again, though!

  9. 1. how's your pain?
    2. are you passing any gas yet?
    3. pulling off the tape is the worst part
    4. just take a deep breath
    5. that's completely normal
    6. you're doing great
    7. your only job for today is to get out of bed
    8. you should feel a little better every day. If you feel worse, call us.
    9. the scar will continue getting flatter and lighter
    10. don't worry- we have ways of making you poop

  10. My own list:

    I have every hope and intention of curing you (my early-stage cancer pts).

    It is helpful to think of this as a chronic illness than a terminal illness (my metastatic cancer patients).

    Is the treatment worse than the disease? In your case, it might be.

    There is no such thing as a "safe" cancer drug.

    What would I, Dr. Tempeh, do in your situation? Or what would I, Mom Tempeh, do in your situation?

    You may very well die WITH this cancer, rather than OF this cancer.

    I'm sorry, I know my hands are freezing.

    Never again google breast cancer. When I google breast cancer, it scares me to death. And I know better.

    No, [pectin capsules, Essiac tea, Noni juice, goji berries] will not cure your cancer. Yes, I know it says they will on the internet. No, [pectin capsules, Essiac tea, Noni juice, goji berries] will not cure your cancer.

    Just because it's natural doesn't mean it's safe. Just because it's natural doesn't mean it doesn't work. Did you know that some of our most potent chemo is derived from the yew tree and the vinca vine?

    You haven't taken up too much of my time.

  11. This comment is why I love pediatrics more than anything:

    "Your kid is doing great. Everything is going to be fine"


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