Sick-as-a-dog middle-aged inpatient? Check.
Said patient actively experiencing delirium tremens requiring large doses of Ativan? Check.
Same patient also diagnosed with COPD after years of smoking like a chimney? Check and check.
Now, wrap this lovely lady in an ill-fitting hospital gown, add a hospitalist who orders everything and a complementary kitchen sink on every patient, and schedule a nuclear stress test on my call weekend.
The scene: One of the many cardiac testing room in Humble Hospital, with everyone’s favorite hobbit-sized medic in the middle of explaining the stress test.
“Now, as I mentioned before, the nurse injects the medication, which will be followed by a second dose of the radioactive tracer-”
“Yes…the nuclear medicine tech injected you with it yesterday when he did your resting pictures…”
“How much radiation am I getting then?”
“I’m not sure about that, but I’m sure the nuclear medicine tech will be able to answer that question when he gets here.”
“Oh…okay. I’m just worried about what damage the radiation will do to my body.”
Lady, with all due respect, the cigarrettes and drinking like a fish for years did far more damage to you than the technetium might possibly do at this point…