14. Some Of The Most Obvious Fakes
“I have so many of these!!
–Male patient, 18 years old, rolled in unconscious. Mom says he’s been like that for the past four hours. Go to check his lungs when I hear something interesting. I place the stethoscope near his mouth and hear him breathe in normally, but then breathe out by saying ‘breath’. No joke.
–Male patient, 21 years old, admitted with inability to speak for last two hours and respiratory distress. Lungs clear, but we hook him up to oxygen for a few minutes. After he’s taken off, his father comes running and drags me over, saying his sons tongue refuses to go back in after receiving the oxygen. I look at the kid and he’s seriously just lying there with his tongue poking out like a child. I tell them to push it back in. A few hours later the dad tells me the boy is convulsing. I go to see without making my presence known and he’s lying there just fine. The moment I ask the mom how he’s doing, he starts ‘convulsing’. Think of an odd version of the worm, but on his back.
–Female patient, 16 years old, admitted with complaints of recurrent seizures and frothing from the mouth. I look at her and she is literally blowing spit bubbles. I check her reflexes, everything is intact. The moment I turn away to check on another patient, she suddenly becomes ‘rigid’ and the spitting intensifies.
–Male patient, 30 years old, unconscious and completely unresponsive for six hours. This guy was totally dedicated to his act. I initially approached it as a stroke, but when the blood pressure, ECG, reflexes, pupils, etc all are normal….I start checking pain sensation. He slowly began to open his eyes and groan as I asked him to tell me his name, but the moment his Achilles’ tendon was pressed, he suddenly sat up, stated his name, and declared himself cured.
–Female patient, 17 years old, complained of respiratory distress and convulsions. Everything’s normal on admission, and she’s conscious but refuses to eat. Parents are worried out of their minds, and every few minutes she has a ‘fit’ where she would just basically shake from side to side. She let slip to a nurse that she didn’t want to go to school that week, so she was faking an illness. Since she was refusing to eat, the attending wrote up an order for a nasogastric tube (which was inserted and then removed by her in a matter of minutes), and we prescribed her sugar pills because her parents wouldn’t let us transfer her to psychiatry or discharge her. She finally left after four days.”