and why one day I will live on South Whidby Island, away from all the crazies.

This happened this morning at approximitely 5 a.m.

Neighbor: Ms. (insert Kim’s last name). Loud banging on apartment door.

Me: Thinking: I am so not getting up.

Neighbor: Please Miss, my husband is bleeding everywhere.

Me: Oh god, what the fuck, what time is it?

I stumble around, pull on some appropriate leaving the apartment clothes and wander to the door, and peek out.  The woman, to her credit, is obviously distressed.  I open the door.

Me: I’m sorry, what?

Neighbor: My husband, he hurt hisself, he’s bleeding everywhere.  I saw you walking the other day in scrubs (at this point I am cursing wearing scrubs to work, next week, business casual), he needs help.

Me: Hold on.

I slip on some flip flops and follow her next door where I see a man sitting on a chair holding a wadded paper towel to his lip, blood is on his shirt and although he looks worried, he seems otherwise fine.

Neighbor: help him!

(It’s five a.m. I am standing in my neighbors apartment in ducky pajama bottoms and SFSU t-shirt, I can’t see because, well I didn’t have my glasses on, and demanding me to help someone does not make me happy.)

My neighbor proceeds to tell me that her husband was licking envelops for bills and cut his lip and it wouldn’t stop bleeding for nearly ten minutes.  I’ve cut my lip before, they bleed, a lot sometimes, but usually require more trauma then a papercut to really make a big deal about it and wake a neighbor at five a.m.  I don’t have any gloves on me, so I grab some paper towels and look at his lip, I’ve seen worse on nephews and neices and head-ons with end tables and basically tell him to hold pressure and whatever, I am just a student nurse so you know, I should be sleeping or something.

The woman seems annoyed and tells me he takes baby aspirin everyday, okay, great, but it’s not like we just gave him 10,000 units of heparin and he doesn’t clot.  (I asked if he had clotting issues, she didn’t think so, doc just said one baby aspirin every morning).

At this point I just want to wash my hands and go back to bed, it was so very warm in my bed.  The man still has the paper towel to his lip and looks at me expectantly.

“I think you’ll be fine.”  I say, thinking that it probably hurts a little but he’ll live, but what do I know I am just a student nurse.

So I leave, disinfect my hands and go back to bed only to be awakened a half hour later the woo woos of an ambulance and paramedics walking up the three flights of stairs.

Yes, she called 911 for a papercut on a lip, I even heard one medic say, “Ma’am that isn’t a head wound, he just has a papercut.”


I am pretty sure they didn’t transport him because she was a mad little hornet a an hour later ranting and raving about the medical system in the United States.

Can I just say that yes, by golly it’s f’ed up, because sometimes people with papercuts end up in the ED and take up valuable space while the lil old lady with a broken hip lays on her kitchen floor fearing her cats will eat her for breakfast.

End rant.


~ by Kim on October 26, 2008.

9 Responses to “Neighbors…”

  1. Oh wow, that’s just ridiculous!

    I’ve also seen some daft things, I work as a Health Care Assistant in a GP surgery and it never ceases to amaze me what people come running to the Dr with!

    I did a post sometime ago about some funny things people came in with

  2. Wow. That poor man. I imagine his marriage has been hell with a wife like that. I bet she DOMINATES him.

  3. o.O oh my gosh!

  4. And patient’s like THAT are why healthcare costs so darn much, system misuse and abuse. Running an ambulance crew to her house then wanting transport to the ER–it really pisses me off just to think about it.

  5. What’s even more insane is that if this took place where I live, we couldn’t turn him down. If he wants an ambulance ride to the ER/ED/EC, we have to take him.

    Even for a papercut.

  6. Same thing here although I am pretty sure the convinced him he would survive the papercut, I am assuming they would have said “tis about a 12 hour wait at local ED sir, papercut would probably be half healed by then.”

  7. LOL! OMG! I laughed so hard that I swallowed my cereal the wrong way. Could you call the ambulance for me, & come with me to?

    You will not lack stories to tell the grand kids!

    “I am standing in my neighbors apartment in ducky pajama bottoms and SFSU t-shirt.” LOL!

  8. OK. I’m speechless and equally angered by that. It still amazes me how someone will ask you for your help, and then when you don’t give them the help they desire… or they don’t get what they want out of it… they get upset at YOU?
    As if it was your fault?
    by the way.. love the pajamas.

  9. This is just a response to the entitlement society we have created. Everything is about me, me, me…now, now, now. And unfortunately, it’s spilled over to medical care. I’m one of those people who waits to the absolute last moment to go to the ER. Everything takes forever and a day because there is a bunch of goons there for a sniffle or a cough. That is not an emergency! Urine the color of mocha coffee…that’s an emergency!

    Is there any way to split up American ER’s into two parts: Real Emergencies & You’re Neuortic?

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