4. “A Nice, tasty Lortab Might Help, Doctor”
“When I was a resident, I had a patient in clinic that was doing that round-about thing patients do when they want narcotics but aren’t going to directly ask for them. She would hint at having arthritis pain that ‘just doesn’t seem to get better except that one time she took lortab’ and that ‘you know, her friend gave her a Percocet once and it helped a lot’ (never mind the fact that this lady was 100% functional despite ‘debilitating pain’.
At the end of the clinic visit, when I offered a physical therapy referral and stronger NSAIDs (the actual treatment for osteoarthritis), she suddenly sat straight up, looked me in the eye, and said, ‘Doctor, I don’t know how…but I’m totally paralyzed.’
Seriously. She pretended that, all of a sudden, everything other than her mouth was totally paralyzed. She made us send her to the ER (but not before she had my nurse unwrap a peppermint and literally put it on her tongue because ‘her blood sugar felt low’). We had to lift this nutcase into a wheelchair (during which we could all feel her shifting and repositioning…not something a paralyzed person would do) and roll her to the ER to be evaluated for ‘sudden paralysis’.
While in the ER, she suggested to the ER doc that maybe Lortab would fix her paralysis, and when the ER doc rightly refused this treatment, she got out of the stretcher and walked out.”