Wing Bone

My last shift day of the cycle was Wednesday. One of my calls was for an MVC — a motor vehicle collision. The accident involved a 4-door car that was rear-ended by a van. Each vehicle had a full load. This brought the total patients for the accident to 9…and all 9 wanted to be transported. I “lucked out” with the driver and front seat passenger of the car. The patients were two guys, one 21 and one 24 years old. They claim they were wearing their seat belts (though another occupant of the vehicle admitted that no one in the car was wearing one at the time of the wreck. I’ll go on what he says over my two patients. Sorry guys. I also smelled a strong odor of alcohol…though they say it’s in the trunk and they were not drinking.

Anyway, patient A (24 year old) and patient B (21 year old) both had the same complaints — head pain and neck pain. Patient A also complained of nose pain….as he whacked the steering wheel when they wrecked and had broken it. Patient B initially had no complaints other than listed above. So, I took both patients to the hospital with me. While making that journey, patient B starts complaining about it hurting when he breathes…and, you know what hurt? His “wing bone”. I nodded and smiled. His lungs were clear and everything was stable (no floating ribs or anything like that) upon his trauma exam 5 minutes earlier (and I didn’t punch or hit him…so if it was stable before, it’s still stable now).

When we get to the hospital, the nurse asks him what hurts him. He answers “my wing bone”. She looks at me. I simply shrug. She asks him “sir, can you explain to us medically-inclined folks what a ‘wing bone’ is? We only know things by their medical terms.” Here was his answer:

“You know when you go to heaven where your wings go?”

“Your scapula? Or shoulder blade?” the nurse asked. To which he responded yes.

This is likely one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard a lay person call something. And it’s not so much what he called it as how he explained it. Here are some other things lay people sometimes name things:

  • Blood clogs — these are blood clots
  • High blood — this would be hypertension…or high blood pressure
  • Vomicking — must be a special kind of vomit
  • The sugars / sweet blood — diabetes
  • Fell out — synocpe…or passed out
  • Low blood / tired blood — anemia…or low iron
  • Old timer’s disease — Alzheimer’s disease
  • Mental pause — I think they mean menopause
  • Woke up dead — haven’t figured that one out yet because if you’re dead, you can’t wake up
  • Fast heart — tachycardia…or fast heart beat
  • Cooters — another one I haven’t figured out…ever seen a cooter

I’ll leave you with a favorite:
Me: “What kind of medical problems do you have?”
Patient: “None.”
Me: “Then why are you taking 10 medications?”
Patient: “Oh, I had a heart attack last year, I have the sugars, high blood, …(fill in the blanks). But I’m cured after I took all that medicine.”
Me: “Mmhmmm.”

I hope this gave some laughs!