Monday, April 06, 2009

Attitudes and Altitudes

I was talking to a patient who used to work at the Stock Market, "your white count is 0.5 today"

"And what was it yesterday doc?"
"It was 1.0"
"So it's much lower!"
"Well it's not a big difference from yesterday"
Once I said that, he went ape shit on me, screaming for ten minutes, "How come you're saying it's not different, it's half the number, it was 1.0 yesterday and today it's 0.5, it dropped by 50%, it's much worse, I know there's something wrong with me". If it wasn't for the IVs he was hooked to, I felt he was going to get up and rip my face off.

I told him, "I know you're sick, what I meant to say, is that even though your white cell count is much lower than yesterday that doesn't change things because it was very low to start with. You were sick from the start, 1.0 is a pretty low number, so even if it dropped by half, it's still pretty low"

He calmed down a little bit, and I went on, "It's like falling down from 20,000 feet. Yesterday you falling from 20,000 feet. Today you're falling from 40,000 feet. It's just as bad even if the number is doubled. "

His face turned red, not sure why.

I really hate it when my patient scream at me in the ICU.

(P.S. he's doing fine now, that damn HCTZ killed all of his white cells)

5 comments:

asoom said...

"I really hate it when my patient scream at me in the ICU."

LOOOOOOOOOOL, I don't know why that sentence cracked me up. Is that something that occurs often?

good analogy btw.

Hareega said...

Not that often, only the ones not on a ventilator and able to speak are the ones who scream at me

maroo said...

ALLA y3eenak 3lehom :)

Hala said...

LOL poor thing! So what is the normal count?

Anonymous said...

Hala,
Normal Range is generally between 4,300 and 10,800 cells per cubic millimeter (cmm). This can also be referred to as the leukocyte count and can be expressed in international units as 4.3 to 10.8 x 109 cells per liter.