Charlie Sheen Visits Dr. Lori

Physician-patient confidentiality prevents me from identifying the patients I write about. But the patient I’m writing about today is no ordinary patient. Rules don’t apply to him. He’s a bitchin’ rock star from Mars. He’s…

CHARLIE SHEEN!

Even though Charlie’s been super busy doing drugs television interviews, radio interviews and hanging out with his goddesses at his Sober Valley Lodge, he still found time to visit me at my office.

Dr. Lori (knocks, enters exam room): Good morning Charlie.

Charlie Sheen: Morning Doc!

Dr. Lori: Charlie, why are you sitting on the exam table completely naked?

CS: I’m ready for my hernia exam.  

Dr. Lori: Ah yes, the hernia heard around the world. But Charlie, you have a hiatal hernia

CS: Yes, I know. What’s the problem?

Dr. Lori: Your balls are the problem. PUT YOUR PANTS ON!  

CS: (puts his pants on): Whatever you say, Doc.

Dr. Lori: So, how are you doing Charlie?

CS: Slap my ass and call me Tony the Tiger because I’m GRRRRREAT! I have tiger’s blood and I’m not talking about Tiger Woods. I am tiger, hear me roar! RRROOOAAARRR!!

Dr. Lori: Would you like me to refer you to a veterinarian?

CS: No, no. I’m an F-18. A G6. A 34DD. A B1, I18, N32, G54, O75. B-I-N-G-O. And Bingo was his name- O!

Dr. Lori: What the hell was that? Be honest with me, what drugs are you on right now?

CS: I’m on a drug. It’s called Charlie Sheen. 

Dr. Lori: Sorry Charlie, that drug has been recalled by the FDA because it leads to projectile vomiting and anal leakage.

CS: Huh. So that explains the anal leakage.

Dr. Lori: Hey, what happened to the bottle of Purell I had on my desk? (sniffs Charlie’s breath) Good lord, did you drink the Purell?

CS: Well, duh! Who wouldn’t drink the stuff? It says it cures 99.99% of germs.

Dr. Lori: Soooo, it had absolutely nothing to do with the 62% alcohol content?

CS: Alcohol and drugs are no longer a problem. I have cured myself of my addictions. I cured myself with my mind.

Dr. Lori: Your mind? No AA. No rehab. You cured yourself with your mind. That’s hard to believe.

CS: Yes, an unevolved mind cannot process it. I can cure addictions, illness and injuries with my mind. But we must keep it a secret from the government. If they find out, they’ll capture me and run all kinds of scientific studies on me. Like they did to E.T.

Dr. Lori: OK. My lips are sealed.

CS: You see, if I had a hammer, I could use it to repeatedly smash my hand and then I would cure the broken flesh and bones with my mind.  (gets up and starts dancing) If I had a hammer, I’d hammer in the morning. I’d hammer in the evening. All over this land…

Dr. Lori: I have a hammer. I can’t wait to see this. (hands hammer to Charlie)

CS:  (takes hammer) Je vous remercie. Je suis une douche bag géant. Holy crap, I can speak French! Who knew? OK, 1-2-3 (smashes hand with hammer) YEOWWWW!!!! PAIN! PAIN! MOTHERFUCKING PAIN!

Dr. Lori: Pain? Can’t you cure the pain with your mind?

CS: Sometimes, ow, it takes, ow, a little longer, ow, for my mind, ow, to completely, ow, cure, ow, the, ow, pain, ow.

Dr. Lori: Shall I send you to x-ray now?

CS: No, no. I’ll be fine because I’m special and I will never be like one of you. I’m tired of pretending I’m not special. I’m special. Barney told me so.

Dr. Lori: Barney?

CS: Yeah, Barney the big purple dinosaur. That dino is deep, man.  Hey, maybe I could get Barney to come live with me and the goddesses at Sober Valley Lodge. That would be bitchin’ awesome!

Dr. Lori: Charlie, I’m going give you a prescription for a life-preserver.

CS: Why do I need a life-preserver?

Dr. Lori: BECAUSE YOU’VE GONE OFF THE DEEP END! You’ve lost it. You’re loco. Cuckoo. Whackadoodle.

CS: I’m not whackadoodle.  I’m WHACKADOODLE-DANDY!

Dr. Lori: Seriously Charlie, you need help. You have some serious psychiatric and addiction issues. You may be bipolar.

CS: I’m not bipolar. I’m bi-winning!

Dr. Lori: That makes absolutely no sense. You need help. I’m going to refer you to addiction specialist, Dr. Drew Pinsky.

CS: Dr. Drew? DR. DREW? I like to call him, Dr. Poo. It’s funny because Drew and poo rhyme.

Dr. Lori: I’m sorry, my normal brain can’t process that. If you refuse to see Dr. Drew, you leave me no choice. (picks up phone) Nurse, please send him in.

(Door opens. Tom Cruise walks in)

CS: Tom Cruise? What are you doing here?

Tom Cruise: Hi Charlie. I’m here to help you. Several years ago, people thought I was crazy. But I’m not gay

CS: You mean, you’re not crazy.

TC:  That’s what I said. I’m not crazy. And definitely not gay. It was Scientology that helped me through those troubled times and it can help you too. I’d like to sing you a song I wrote just for you:

(to the tune of Row, Row, Row Your Boat)

I’m drunk. I’m addicted to drugs. I’m nuts. 

I’ve lost it. Please help me.  

Don’t take medications (they’re bad).

Try Scientology!

CS: No thanks, Tom. Scientology isn’t for me. You see, I’m special.

TC: Yes Charlie, you are special. I’m special. You’re special. All Scientologists are special. (puts arm around Charlie and leads him out of the exam room). Come with me and join our cult…I mean church.

CS: NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! I’ll go to rehab, a inpatient psych unit…anything! NOT SCIENTOLOGY!!!!

TC: Stop resisting Charlie. You are one of us now.

CS: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

Dr. Lori: Good luck Charlie!

Candy 101: Unwrap Before Eating

The worst part about being a doctor is taking call. Or maybe it’s having to stick your finger in people’s orifices. OK, they’re both pretty bad.  But today’s post is not about sticking fingers in people’s nether regions, it’s about being on call.

Last week I was on call. I was sound asleep dreaming about fudge covered peanut butter filled Oreos (they don’t actually exist but, dammit, they should), when my delicious dream was rudely interrupted by this:

BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!  

It was the horrible sound of my beeper.

Do beepers still exist?
Yes, beepers still exist.
Did someone fire up the DeLorean and send us back to 1990?
No, it’s not 1990. It’s 2010 and I still have a beeper. Please control your jealousy.

So my stupid beeper woke me up. I looked at the clock…12:30 AM.

Ugh!  Any patient calling at fucking 12:30 in the  morning better have a damn good reason. Like chest pain, shortness of breath, or right lower quadrant pain.  This patient better have an acute medical emergency.

Still half asleep, I phoned the patient. The reason for his call…his fucking 12:30 in the morning call was not for chest pain, shortness of breath, or right lower quadrant pain.

He had swallowed a candy wrapper.

He had swallowed a candy wrapper 20 hours ago.

According to the patient, 20 hours ago, he ate a Starburst and apparently some of the Starburst wrapper as well. Since then, 20 hours ago, it felt like the wrapper was stuck in his throat. But he could eat, drink, talk and breath without difficulty. For the past 20 hours.

OK, what’s wrong with this picture? Well…

1. I was called because a grown man ate a candy wrapper.  

2. I was called because a grown man ate a candy wrapper 20 HOURS AGO.

3. I was called because a grown man ate a candy wrapper 20 HOURS AGO and he decided to call me at FUCKING 12:30 IN THE MORNING!

There wasn’t much I could do to help this patient from my house at FUCKING 12:30 IN THE MORNING.  I told him to call the office in eight hours, schedule an appointment with me and I would be more than happy to shove my hand down his throat and pull out the candy wrapper. Or maybe I didn’t say that. Like I said, I was still half-asleep. The patient seemed satisfied with my words of wisdom, so I hung up the phone and went back to sleep. Or I should say, I tried to go back to sleep. For some annoying reason, I was now wide awake. And not the bright-eyed, bushy-tailed kind of wide awake. More like the evil-eyed, pissed off kind of wide awake.  I tossed and turned, turned and tossed, shared my discontent on Twitter, tossed and turned some more and eventually went back to sleep.

Eight hours later, I was in the office and I was tired. Very tired. I checked my schedule – Candy Wrapper Boy wasn’t on it.  How dare he not follow my somewhat coherent FUCKING 12:30 IN THE MORNING advice! I had my nurse call him to check on his condition.

Guess what? 

His symptoms had completely resolved and he was feeling great. 

Of course he was. 

The next time this patient eats a Starburst, I hope he removes the entire wrapper first. And if he doesn’t, I really, really hope that I’m not the doctor on call.

A Few More Patient Stories

Several months ago I shared some of my favorite patient stories. I received a lot of positive feedback from that post and thousands of a few readers wanted me to share more patient stories. I hate to disappoint my readers, but most of my patients haven’t done anything absurd interesting recently. Hard to believe, but true. How am I supposed to share more patient stories when most of my patients aren’t doing anything foolish interesting to share?  Well, luckily for my fan club members, most…

Why yes, I do have a fan club. Like David Hasselhoff, I’m huge in Germany.  And like David Hasselhoff, I’m drunk right now.

As I was saying, fortunately for my fans, most of my patients have used their common sense, but not all of them. 

No common sense = a few more stories to share.

Once again, in the interest of humor privacy, patient names have been changed.

Story #1
Me:  I see you’re here for a head injury. When did your injury occur?
Lance Armstrong: Two days ago.
Me: Two days ago? And you’re just coming to see me now? OK. Tell me what happened.
Lance Armstrong: I fell off my bicycle and hit my head. When I got up I was disoriented, dizzy, nauseous and wanted to vomit.
Me: Did you seek medical attention right after this happened?
Lance Armstrong: No.
Me: No? You hit your head, you were disoriented, dizzy and nauseous, and you didn’t seek medical attention?
Lance Armstrong: No, I just got back on my bicycle, rode 25 miles and then ran 6 miles. I had to finish my triathlon, you know.

Story #2
My schedule said Britney Spears was here for a refill of her medication.
My nurse’s note said Britney Spears was here for a refill of her medication. 
Me: So, tell me why you’re here today.
Britney Spears: I’m here for a refill of my medication.
Me: What medication do you need refilled?
Britney Spears: Oh, I don’t remember the name of it.

Story #3
Michelle Duggar calls the office and speaks to my nurse.
Michelle Duggar: Can you do a blood pregnancy test in the office?
Nurse: If the doctor thinks it’s necessary we can.
Michelle Duggar: My boyfriend wants me to get a blood test to make sure I’m pregnant.
Nurse: Did you take a home pregnancy test?
Michelle Duggar: Yes. I took six of them.
Nurse: Six?
Michelle Duggar: Yes. They were all positive. I think I might be pregnant.

Dr. Lori’s Patient Stories

I’m an internist, not a psychiatrist, but that doesn’t stop crazy patients from coming to see me. That’s right, crazy. Nutty. Bonkers. Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.

Yeah, yeah, I’m sure you’re aghast at this description. You’re probably saying to yourself, I am aghast at this description. Dr. Lori, how can you talk about patients that way? Didn’t you take the Hippocratic Oath? You must be the worst doctor in the world! 

Well, you raise some interesting questions. I shall now present my rebuttal. (Heh, heh…I said reBUTTal.)

  1. Talking about patients this way? Oh, it’s super easy, you should try it. Dr. House does it and everybody loves Dr. House.
  2. Nowhere in the Hippocratic Oath does it say I can’t refer to my patients as goofy goobers. And technically I didn’t take the oath. When my medical school class was reciting the oath, I was actually mouthing the lyrics to Styx’s Mr. Roboto.
  3. Worst doctor in the world? I’ve got three words for you – Dr. Conrad Murray.

Still don’t believe that some of my patients are un poco loco? Let me share some of my favorite patient stories and you be the judge. 

The patient stories you are about to read are true stories. Even famous doctor/author Michael Crichton couldn’t make these stories up…because he’s dead. But even when he was alive, he couldn’t make this stuff up.

Patient names have been changed to protect their stupidity their privacy.

Homer Simpson came to see me because that morning he got dandruff shampoo in his eyes and now was afraid he was going to go blind. Yes, a grown man came to the doctor because he got dandruff shampoo in his eyes. I reassured him that dandruff shampoo does not cause blindness…but too much masturbation does. (OK, I made up the masturbation comment, but the rest of the story – 100% true.)

Ryan Seacrest came to see me because he had a nosebleed. But he didn’t actually have a nosebleed when he saw me. His nosebleed was at 9:00 that morning and only lasted 5 minutes. His appointment with me was at 4:00 PM. So he came to see a doctor for a nosebleed that stopped bleeding 7 HOURS AGO!  Since I didn’t have a hot tub time machine to travel back to when he had the nosebleed, all I could do was look in his nose and say, “Yep, you don’t have a nosebleed right now.”

Tom Cruise was having trouble hearing so he scheduled an appointment with me.  He told me he often has trouble hearing when he has wax in his ears but usually he can clean out the wax and his hearing improves. I told him that he shouldn’t use Q-tips to clean his ears because Q-tips can push wax deeper or even perforate his eardrum. Tom assured me that he never used Q-tips to clean his ears….he used BOBBY PINS!  He said his whole family used bobby pins to clean their ears – it was a family tradition in their household. They’d all sit around the Christmas tree and instead of opening gifts, they’d clean their ears with bobby pins. (OK, I made up the part about the Christmas tree, but the part about bobby pins – 100% true )

In December 2009, I called Tiger Woods to discuss his test results. After we talked about the results, the topic of condom use came up. Tiger told me his new year’s resolution for 2010 was to use a condom every time he had sex. Too bad it wasn’t his resolution for 2009… I had just diagnosed him with herpes.

David Hasselhoff complained of allergy symptoms. He tried some over the counter allergy medications but they did not relieve his symptoms. So David tried to cure himself. He collected some pollen, put it in a shot glass, added vodka and then drank the pollen-flavored vodka. I think he misunderstood what allergy shots are. BA-DUM-BUM!  (OK, it wasn’t really a shot glass, but he did collect pollen in a jar, add vodka and then he drank it thinking it would cure his allergy symptoms. It didn’t.)

Lady Gaga came to see me because she had vaginal itching and discharge. As a female physician, I see many female patients for girlie issues like yeast infections, so this complaint wasn’t that unusual. But the next piece of information Lady Gaga shared with me was the grossest piece of information ever unusual.
She told me, “I don’t know why I did it, but I tasted the vaginal discharge.”

Did you throw up in your mouth a little? Yeah, me too. But it would’ve been very rude and unprofessional for me to vomit in front of the patient, so all I could do was nod and say, “Oh…OK.” 

What I wanted to say was…

EEEEEEWWWWW!  EEEEEEWWWWW!  EEEEEEWWWWW!

(A public service announcement for my readers – you don’t diagnose a yeast infection by tasting the discharge.  Textbooks may say the vaginal discharge looks like cottage cheese, but that doesn’t mean you should eat it.)

Yes, sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

 

It’s Not A Tumah!

If you’re confused about the title of this post, you probably haven’t seen the movie Kindergarten Cop. Kindergarten Cop is a comedy starring bodybuilder-turned-actor-turned-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. In the movie a character states, “It might be a tumor” to which Ah-nuld replies, “It’s not a tumah!”  Another memorable movie line comes from Forrest Gump: “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”  Personally I like to stick a toothpick in my chocolates, that way I always know what I’m going to get. But I digress.  Sometimes I feel like my job as an internist is like a box of chocolates, I never know what I’m going to get. Patients come to see me with all sorts of illnesses, injuries and complaints. I might see a patient with a headache followed by a patient with hemorrhoids followed by a patient with herpes. I never know what’s going to walk through my office door. Like this 20-something female patient…..

Patient: I was feeling around, you know, in there and I felt some kind of bump. 

Me: A bump?

Patient: Yes a bump. Or maybe a growth. Or a tumor.

Just so you’re perfectly clear, when the patient said she was feeling around “in there”, she was referring to her vagina. Why were her fingers in her vagina? Maybe she had an itch that needed scratching. Maybe she was looking for her tampon. Maybe she was bored. I don’t know, I didn’t ask. But she felt something in her vagina and thoughts of vaginal cancer were now flooding her brain. Vaginal cancer is not very common so it was not likely that her vaginal bump was a tumor. Possible, but unlikely. It was my job to figure out what this vaginal bump was. As I examined the patient, I felt the patient’s vaginal bump and determined its cause.

Me: Did you feel this bump at the back of the vagina?

Patient: Yes.

Me: Did it feel smooth and round?

Patient: Yes it did.

Me: Did you feel a small hole or dimple in the center of it?

Patient: Yes.

Me: That’s not a tumor. That’s your cervix.

Yes, life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get. Like a tumor. Or just a cervix.

Dr. Lori & The Mystery Of The Lost Tampon

The human body contains several cavities. No, I’m not talking about the dental kind, I’m talking about, um, orifices. Sometimes when human beings are curious, bored or just plain old stupid, they put various objects in these various body cavities.  And sometimes what goes in doesn’t necessarily come out. When this happens, it’s often up to a doctor to fish out the random (and many times unusual) object. Fortunately, for me the internist, pediatricians and emergency room doctors see the majority of this “retained foreign body” type of patient.  But there is one object that I am frequently called upon to find – the lost tampon.

(Scene: An ordinary day at Dr. Lori’s office)

Me: What brings you here today?

Patient: A car.

Me: Oh, aren’t you the little comedian? Listen missy, there’s only room in this office for one smartass and that’s me!  Now tell me why you’re here today and I expect a serious answer.

Patient: I lost my tampon.

Me: Surely you can’t be serious.

Patient: I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley. I lost my tampon.

Me: You lost your tampon?

Patient: Yes, I lost my tampon. I remember putting in the tampon yesterday but when I went to take it out, it wasn’t there. I don’t remember taking it out.  My tampon is lost.

Me: A lost tampon. Hmm, this is quite a conundrum. We better get to the police station right away.

Patient: The police station? Why?

Me: Why to file a missing tampon report of course.

(Scene: Local police station)

Police: So where did you last see the missing tampon?

Patient: In my vagina.

Police: Did your tampon have any enemies?

Patient: No, everyone loved my tampon. Wait, now that you mention it, my boyfriend’s penis was always very unhappy when my tampon was around.

Police: OK, we’ll bring in the penis for questioning and put out an APB for the tampon.

(Scene: Back at Dr. Lori’s office)

Patient: My tampon is still lost. Now what?

Me: Where do we turn in order to solve most of our problems?

Patient: Alcohol? Scientology? Entenmann’s Devils Food Crumb Donuts?

Me: No, no and yes, Entenmann’s Devils Food Crumb Donuts do solve most problems but they won’t find your tampon. No, I’m talking about television. Television gives us the answer to so many of life’s difficult questions. Maybe we can solve the mystery of the lost tampon by watching ABC’s popular show Lost.

(Dr. Lori turns on the latest episode of Lost)

Lost dude: What’s that rustling behind the bushes? Who’s there?

(3 tampons emerge from behind the bushes)

Regular: Hello. We’re the Tampax family. I’m Regular.

Slim: I’m Slim.

Super: And I’m Super. Nothing gets past me!

Slim: What about Toxic Shock Syndrome?

Super: Shut up skinny bitch!

Regular: Will you two stop it! See what I have to put up with. Damn Tampax variety pack! We’re a little lost. Could you point us in the direction of the nearest vagina?

Lost dude: Sure. Just head toward the beach, take a right at the airplane wreckage, walk through the forest and you should find your vagina there.

Regular: Thank you so much. Have a happy period!

OK, I confess, none of that really happened. It was all my warped sense of humor imagination, like what you’d see on Scrubs.  Like the doctors on Scrubs, real life doctors spend a large part of their day daydreaming.  And spontaneously bursting into song.  But seriously, I do get many patients who come to see me because of a lost tampon.  The patient above may have been imaginary but she is a good representation of my typical “lost tampon” patient – she remembers putting a tampon in but when she tries to remove it, it’s not there (and she swears she hadn’t taken it out before).  When the tampon can’t be found, she panics and really truly believes that the tampon is lost inside her, floating aimlessly throughout her body.  And then she ends up on my exam table because, even though she thinks her tampon is swimming circles around her kidneys, she also thinks that I will be able to retrieve this lost tampon.

Excuse me one moment while I shout this from the rooftops: 

 A TAMPON CANNOT BECOME LOST IN YOUR BODY!!!

I repeat, a tampon cannot become lost in your body.  The vagina is a closed canal.  It’s not a black hole into which your tampon vanishes. It’s also not like your clothes dryer where your socks disappear, never to be seen again. A vagina is like a dead-end street, once you hit the end of the street, there’s no where else to go. So when you’re cruising down Vagina Street and you hit the cervix, that’s it, that’s the end of the road.  Nothing is getting past that cervix…well, nothing except for your husband’s/boyfriend’s/one night stand’s little swimmers but only if that little sperm is an elite swimmer, the Michael Phelps of the sperm world. But there is no way for a tampon to travel beyond the cervix. The idea that a tampon could leave the vagina and become lost within the human body is absurd. It’s ridiculous. It’s positively preposterous.  A tampon cannot be lost. 

If a tampon cannot be lost, where’s the tampon? When I examine these patients, 9 times out of 10 the tampon is not in the vagina. If it’s not in the vagina where is it?  

It’s gone.

It’s been flushed.

It’s taking a scenic trip through the local sewer.

How can this be if the patient can’t remember removing the tampon?  Oh, she may not remember taking it out, but she did. After using tampons month after month for years and years, removing tampons becomes routine for women. Women do without even thinking about it.  It becomes automatic.  What’s another reason women forget they took out their tampon? Alcohol!  The classic story is my patient goes out at night, has too much to drink, comes home, removes her tampon and then is hung over wakes up the next morning and discovers her tampon is no longer in her vagina. The tampon is no longer there because she took it out!  But since she can’t remember removing it, she assumes that the tampon must be lost inside her, thus, she schedules an appointment with Dr. Lori, finder of lost tampons.

As I mentioned before, when patients come in complaining of a lost tampon and I examine them, most of the time the tampon is not there. Most of the time.  If a woman has a long vaginal canal and a very short finger, sometimes that short finger can’t quite reach the tampon.  The tampon isn’t lost, it’s just hiding.  So it’s my job to play a little hide and seek with the tampon. Let me tell you, when that tampon has been hiding for a week, it’s not something I really want to find. And also let me tell you, the stench of a week old tampon is something you never ever want to experience. Never. Ever. Trust me.

 So the next time you can’t find your tampon, please remember, your tampon is not floating around having tequila shots with your liver. You were likely the one having the tequila shots.  And with that, Dr. Lori and the mystery of the lost tampon has been solved.