Friday, June 17, 2016


In nearly all scenarios, I loathe the ER trolls who seem to spend all their energy just trying to demoralize me. But sometimes the rare troll comes along who I not only mind, but find hilarious. This week, that rare patient was a very elderly, demented Hispanic man. Not the normal troll flavor, trust.

He was in for the usual "history of dementia but is extra confused today" chief complaint that is so prevalent, and my first interaction with him via the translator seemed to solidify that story. He was talking nonstop but making little sense, and the only thing the translator could firmly get was that he wanted to go home. Until his daughter, who kindly translated everything for us, arrived. He then transformed into a troll in front of my very eyes.

I was pulling supplies from the cabinet when I heard him, quite clearly, call me crazy. My Spanish fluency can be qualified as nonexistent hot garbage, but there are some words I can pull the context clues from and when I heard this I whipped my head around the cabinet door to look at him. He made eye contact and just grinned, like he was testing the waters to see if I was paying attention. That bastard.

This was pretty much the face that greeted me from around the cabinet.
While I was drawing bloodwork, he very emphatically called me a vampire, and when I started laughing he told his daughter "Why's she laughing? Vampires are not funny!" I felt bad momentarily for laughing at this guy, and then caught him smirking at his daughter. She was also clearly trying to hold back sympathy laughter as she recognized exactly what was happening, but also seemed like a good sport so I decided to mess with him back. I happened to have an extra blood tube in reach, so after drawing the necessary blood I made sure he saw me draw the last extra one and not-at-all-subtly slip it into my pocket. Fortunately I didn't freak him out and he decided I was hilarious, then kept laughing and calling me a vampire the rest of the night.

I changed his pull-up before he went upstairs, and he kept telling his daughter "she's not strong enough to lift me up!" and that I would need help to roll him. Of course it was a crazy busy night so it took a few minutes to get another staff member in to help. As soon as my coworker gets ready to roll him, he starts cackling and lifts his bony ass up off the bed so I could slide the brief out. Literally it was the easiest pull-up change ever and my coworker clearly thought I was crazy for needing help with an almost totally independent old man. 

Seriously. He was a steady stream of trollery, far beyond what I've listed here. I'm a proud person but I know when to admit defeat. And defeated I was. Well done, old man. Well done.

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