Monday, July 2, 2012


An oddly realistic dream:

I was in a Pain clinic, seeing the usual mix of back and neck pain. Super exciting.

I went to get the next patient and saw that there were three charts for patients waiting to be seen, meaning I was really behind. I took the next chart in line and went to the room listed on the front of the chart:

"Hi, I'm Dr. McFizz," I said. "Are you Mrs. Hong?"

"No," the patient in the room said. "Although maybe I should pretend I am so that we can get seen."

"I'm really sorry," I said. "We're running behind."

I decided that the number of the room on the chart must be wrong, so I started checking every room for the patient. Finally, I found my patient. It was a blonde woman in her 60s who was there with her husband and two grown kids.

"Hi, I'm Dr. McFizz," I said. "What is bothering you today?"

"Actually, we BOTH have pain that you need to see us for," the blonde Mrs. Hong said. (Her husband was a blond guy too.)

Husband: "She has back and neck pain and I have back pain."

I felt a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. "Listen," I said, "I can only see ONE of you today. We can only see one patient at a time or else it's not fair to the other patients waiting. So which one of you is having worse pain?"

The husband and wife conferred and couldn't decide who wanted to be seen.

I had a bright idea: "Why don't you each write down your pain scale from 1 to 10 and whoever has a higher pain scale will be seen."

I gave the husband a piece of paper to secretly write down his pain scale. He wrote down 5. I wasn't too happy about this because it sounded like the women was having more complicated pain.

I went over to the woman, who was calculating her pain score on a styrofoam cup since I didn't have anything else to write on. For some reason, her calculation involved two-digit numbers.

"My pain score is 55," Mrs. Hong announced.

"You know it's from 1 to 10, right?" I said.

"Oh, I thought it was a 100 point scale," she said.

So it was sort of a tie. Mr. Hong had a score of 5 and Mrs. Hong had a score of 5.5. I was leaning toward Mrs. Hong since her pain was 0.5 worse and women are easier to examine than men, but then baby crying woke me up before I had to decide.


  1. And didn't it seem like the dream wiped out most of the night?

  2. Why are women easier to examine than men?