Misha has kindly given me a set of keys to the place. I used to write a blog on medical issues and this was the first post I wrote and the first one linked by Misha.  He was a real patient. Some people are born to be examples. Others are born to be warnings.  You decide.

I stood staring and amazed. The patient, between howls of pain and moans of agony, had produced a paper from his briefcase and handed it to me. His shaky diaphoretic hand held a fist-full of these documents. Some of them fell from his grasp and flitted harmlessly to the floor. He strained against an agony I hope I never experience and repeated to me, “I’ll SUE You.” I didn’t understand. He had come to us for help but the first words out of his mouth in triage were “You have to see me right now, or I’ll SUE you.”

He kept repeating this over and over to each new person who entered his room. He handed each new person to enter the room a one-page document on which he had typed his demands of patient care and signed, presumably in his own hand. I’m a lawyer goddamnit and you have to do what I say; Or I’ll SUE you! Judging from his appearance he had probably already been damned by God. The pale greasy little man lie writhing on the gurney, the sheet soaked in sweat and smelling of greed and despair. With each spasm of pain he jerked and thrashed almost throwing himself to the floor. He dropped the fistful of papers half on the gurney and the rest on the floor in his latest fit of pain. They’re trying to saw me in half, he kept repeating. Grabbing his stomach with both hands he sat straight up and vomited on himself. You have to clean me up goddamnit; Or I’ll SUE you! I started to walk from the room and glanced at the paper. That’s right, read it you pansy fuck, he yelled after me. You have to clean me up goddamn you, you can’t leave; I’ll SUE you! I read the paper as I left the room. Here is a sampling of what he had written.

I have to have fresh bottled water every hour. Or I’ll SUE you!

I have to have clean sheets every day. Or I’ll SUE you!

You have to give me all the pain medicine I want. Or I’ll SUE you!

I have to have a clean toothbrush everyday. Or I’ll SUE you!

If I want another doctor, you have to get him for me. Or I’ll Sue you!

I have to have breakfast at precisely 7:05 AM. Or I’ll SUE you!

I have to have lunch at precisely 12:15 PM. Or I’ll SUE you!

I have to have dinner at precisely 4:35 PM. Or I’ll SUE you!

Only female nurses can give me a bath. Or I’ll SUE you!

I have to approve every lab test. Or I’ll SUE you!

I have to approve every x-ray. Or I’ll SUE you!

I refuse to use a bedpan. Or I’ll SUE you!

I refuse to have a Foley catheter. Or I’ll SUE you!

I refuse to eat okra, pumpkin pie, or eggs. Or I’ll SUE you!

No one can take care of me except board certified doctors. Or I’ll SUE you!

I refuse to wear a hospital gown; I have to wear pajamas you provide. Or I’ll SUE you!

My family will visit anytime they want to. Or I’ll SUE you!

You have to provide a telephone and fax in my room. Or I’ll SUE you!

I have to be able to take client calls. Or I’ll SUE you!

If my clients find out I am in the hospital. I’ll SUE you!

He was not my patient and he was not in a room I was assigned to, I thought. There really is a God. This was a real patient and a real document. I am not making this up. The real document is far more absurd and weird than the excerpt provided here. He screamed and groaned as I left the room. The doctor, red hair plugs placed in neat cornrows and not quite grown in, gazed upon his unusual patient. Jody RN and Mary RN hooked up the cardiac monitor, BP cuff, O2 monitor, O2 nasal canula, and attempted to start an IV on the patient. He jerked his arm away and turned to Mary. I’ll SUE you, you bitch. You didn’t ask if you could do that. Mary ignored him and pleaded with her eyes to the doctor to explain what was happening. The red headed doctor, hair-butt plugs prevalent in his scalp, turned to the patient and explained that he had ordered blood tests and for his safety two intravenous lines (IV’s) were necessary. The patient yelled back at the doctor “I’m a god-dammed lawyer and if you don’t do exactly as I demand; I’ll SUE you!”

Great, Dr. Hair-Butt Plug thought. Now I’m going to get sued for taking care of the most loathsome creature this side of the gates of hell. This special piece of flotsam washed ashore in my ER and now I have to deal with him. The flotsam spoke up and demanded pain medication. Dr. Hair-Butt Plug responded, “I have to know what’s wrong with you before I prescribe pain medication.” Mr. Flotsam was furious. I’ll SUE your ASS you worthless piece of shit. You god dammed worthless motherfucker you have to give me pain medication, “Or I’ll SUE you.” We have to get some tests completed before I give you any pain medication, Dr. Hair-Butt Plug said as he walked from the room. That is IF you live you worthless wasteful consumer of oxygen, thought Dr. Hair-Butt Plug.

Dr. Hair-Butt Plug walked back to the Nurse’s Station and took his seat at his desk. Sweat dribbled down his temples as he thought about the exchange that just took place. Well, he thought, at least my wife is a medical defense attorney, but she’ll probably not want to have anything to do with this. He took the patients chart and started writing- EKG, PCXR, TC 2 Units, CBC, CMP, UA, Foley Cath, CT Chest. IV NS W/O 1 liter, NPO. When he was done he handed the chart to the unit secretary for order entry. Well, Dr. Hair-Butt Plug thought, if he has wrong what I think he has wrong I won’t have to worry about him testifying in court.

Mr. Flotsam’s blood pressure began to slide down and his heart rate began to climb. It had begun. The nurses who were not taking care of Mr. Flotsam watched the monitor. We all knew what the diagnosis was from the moment he oozed his way into the ER. Burning/tearing chest pain that radiated through to his back. He was doomed, and he didn’t even know it! I’m glad, I don’t have to deal with this asshole or his descendents, I thought. A worried wife hovered around his bed. He’s going to be alright isn’t he? She asked Dr. Hair-Butt Plug. He doesn’t know bitch, Mr. Flotsam bellowed.

Dr. Hair-Butt Plug pulled Mr. Flotsam’s wife into the hallway and told her he did not think Mr. Flotsam was going to live through the night. He told her he thought Mr. Flotsam had a life threatening condition and he would probably die within the hour. Dr. Hair-Butt Plug braced for the anger and denial. Instead he got a resigned “I knew he was dying. He has always been such a depressing and angry person, I didn’t think he could live very long.” Everywhere he goes he leaves misery and pain, she said. It was his end and she knew it.

You’ll be Ok honey, she repeated to her doomed husband. She played the part of the respectful wife right up until the moment he was taken into surgery. X-ray had gotten as far as the chest x-ray and had not done the CT of the chest. Widened mediastinum, he was going to die, thought the radiologist. He called Dr. Hair-Butt Plug and told him the news. No CT was necessary, it was apparent on the chest x-ray.

Frantic calls were made to the vascular surgeons on call. The patient’s blood pressure continued to fall even with two large bore IV’s running wide open. The patient had listed “No blood products; Or I’ll SUE you!” as one of his preconditions of treatment. The ridiculous requests the doctor was willing to overlook and ignore. The request not to receive blood was a legitamate request and Dr. Hair-Butt Plug felt inclined to honor it. He confirmed the TC 2 units though in case the patient changed his mind.

We heard later from the surgeon that the despicable little lawyer never had a chance. The aorta had not ruptured in just one place. It had separated like a wet paper towel and left the surgeon no other option but to watch his patient die on the table before him. It was all over in less than 2 minutes once the surgeon opened up the lawyer’s chest. Blood pooled and spilled from the surgical incision like warm syrup being poured over Sunday morning pancakes. It poured out onto the floor, draining the life of the miserable little troll before him. Give him blood, one of the RN’s suggested. No, he asked us not to, I don’t think it would make a difference anyway, the surgeon replied.

The surgeon walked to the waiting room and broke the news to the wife. She listened to the surgeon, thanked him, and left. She never shed a tear or made a threatening statement. She never sued us. I hope she found her peace in the little lawyer’s death.

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As the husband of a dedicated nurse, we both have memories of those we often wondered what the hell they were doing on this earth. The aorta had not ruptured in just one place. It had separated like a wet paper towel and left the surgeon no other option but to watch his patient die on the table before him… Read more »


Descriptive writing to the n’th degree, very good post Azy. I think we have all met a person or two like this over the years.

They serve no purpose but to spray spittle along with depression and loathing, best to avoid them wherever possible.

Radical Redneck
Radical Redneck

Good post Azy