Another exciting school year will be starting soon, and somehow I got sucked into becoming a band booster. This thrilling job involves me handling questions from other parents about band, upcoming band camp, musical instrument rentals, over-the-counter medications, do you know a good plumber, next week's weather forecast, and why are you calling me because the judge said it's my ex who has to pay for this stuff.
In a week of calls, this one was my favorite:
My iPhone rings.
Nurse Grumpy: "Hello, this is band booster Grumpy."
Mrs. Clueless: "I just found out my daughter, Marsha, has to bring her musical instrument to band camp?"
Nurse Grumpy: "Uh, that's correct."
Mrs. Clueless: "Why didn't anyone tell me this? You need to make these things clear!"
Nurse Grumpy: "Well, it is band camp."
Mrs. Clueless: "On that whole list of things to bring to camp, no where did it say 'musical instrument.' "
Nurse Grumpy: "She does need to bring it."
Mrs. Clueless: "What kind of instrument should she bring, anyway?"
Nurse Grumpy: "Um, whatever she plays. What does she play?"
Mrs. Clueless: "YOU'RE THE BAND BOOSTER! Isn't it your job to know that?"
Nurse Grumpy: "Okay... so you don't know what Marsha plays?"
Mrs. Clueless: "It's something she blows in. Where can I get one of those?"
Nurse Grumpy: "That covers a lot... What does it look like?"
Mrs. Clueless: "I don't know. It makes a lot of noise, so she has to practice with her door closed. I've never seen it. Can I rent one?"
Nurse Grumpy: "You don't have one?"
Mrs. Clueless: "Well, she has the screechy thing in her room. You mean I have get another one for her to take to band camp?"
Nurse Grumpy: "No. She can take the one she already has."
Mrs. Clueless: "Doesn't make that clear, either. This info sheet is useless."
Nurse Grumpy: "Just have her bring the instrument, whatever it is, that she has at home, to band camp."
Mrs. Clueless: "You people are really disorganized and unhelpful."
He drove himself to the first appointment with a friend's car, because his was in the shop. After the appointment he didn't remember that he had someone elses car, and walked all over the parking lot looking for his. He finally gave up, assumed his car had been stolen, and came back to my building for help.
He went to the cardiologist down the hall and told the receptionist his story. She called the police to report a stolen car. After interviewing Mr. Ford, the officer had him call a friend to come get him, but the one he called couldn't do so because Mr. Ford had his car, and couldn't make Mr. Ford understand that.
So the friend came in a cab to get my patient (who'd by now wandered back to my office). As they walked out to the friend's car, Mr. Ford said, "You know, I saw your car out there when I was looking for mine. I didn't know you had a doctor's appointment today, too.”
On Wednesday he called Mary to cancel an appointment for that day (which he didn’t have). He said he couldn’t come in because someone had stolen his car while he was at the doctor's 2 days ago. He later called in to see if he could get the appointment back, because the car had been “found” at a local repair shop (whose owner couldn’t figure out why it hadn’t been picked up for 5 days).
For the next 2 weeks we continued to get calls from Mr. Ford, asking if he could make an appointment now that he had his car back. He was politely reassured each time that he’d already been here.
I called and discussed things with his adult son, who took the car away while I notified the state about revoking his license. This only led to further (continuing to date) calls that someone has stolen his car. The local police aren't happy about this, either, and are now telling him to call me when he calls about the stolen car.
Ms. Dyspnea: "I don't like this oxygen mask. It hurts."
Dr. Grumpy: "Well, you need it to breathe. The other only other option would be to intubate you and have a machine do the breathing."
Ms. Dyspnea: "That's what the idiot nurse told me!"
Dr. Grumpy: "It's the truth. You need oxygen to keep going."
Ms. Dyspnea: "Bullshit. I asked the nurse if I could just get the oxygen in my IV, and she said she couldn't do that. We all know she could just take off this stupid mask and plug it into my IV instead."
This blog is entirely for entertainment purposes. All posts about patients may be fictional, or be my experience, or were submitted by a reader, or any combination of the above. Factual statements may or may not be accurate.
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Cast of Characters:
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Note: I do not answer medical questions. If you are having a medical issue, see your own doctor. For all you know I'm really a Mongolian yak herder and have no medical training at all except in issues regarding the care and feeding of Mongolian yaks.