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How to tell a patient is lying to you:

Posted Sep 07 2008 2:06am

When your 550-pound patient who is reclined back in bed watching TV with the speaker at her ear at full volume with all the lights on, sucking down a popsicle and eyeing her humongous shelf of candy and snacks, tells you that she is in “excruciating” pain…and when her heart rate is only 80, and her respirations are an unlabored 16…she just might be lying. And when she says she “also has a real bad headache,” and you point out that her TV is loud enough to vibrate the walls and the lights are set to Alien Invasion, she just might get pissed at you because you called her bluff.
I guess I shouldn’t judge. I mean, I don’t really know what it’s like to be her. But I do know pain. I’ve had a couple of orthopedic injuries in my day, and while I would not rate the pain at a ten I would say I’ve experienced a rather unpleasant six-ish. And it’s not as though you’re in a good mood, or able to do things like snarf popsicles and watch TV, when you are experiencing that sort of discomfort. In fact, such behavior suggests to me that the complainant is little more than a gigatic blob of flab and narcotic addiction whose lifestyle is being subsidized via a large confiscation from my paycheck every week.
I guess what I’m getting at is this: if these folks want some pain medicine, I’d be more than happy to give them some pain so that they’ll have a legitimate reason to need the meds.
Time to break out the cluebat…
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