Jan 092011

CC- “My son’s chest looks weird”

HPI– Over the last several months my son’s chest has looked more and more deformed – caved in.  Fair enough.   No pain or shortness of breath.  It just looks weird.

Me:  “Did you take him to see his pediatrician?”  She did say this problem had developed over several months and I’m working in the EMERGENCY ROOM. 

Pt’s mom: “No”. 

Me: “Why not?” 

Pt’s mom: “Well because my AHCCCS ran out and they won’t renew it.”

Noting that this woman was wearing a work uniform I took a deep breath and asked her “Does your job offer health insurance?”  What the hell, it was one of those evenings when I was simply curious.

Pt’s mom: “Yes.  But they want me to pay $125 per month for it!  I should get AHCCCS for free.”  An annoying Lady Gaga song begins playing inside her Coach purse and she pulls out her iphone.   A pack of Camels falls out in the process.

My first thought is to write down the company name written on her uniform because $125/mo for family health insurance is an amazing deal!  Maybe I should get a job there instead of working in this ER.  Immediately following that thought is the urge to slap this silly woman who is now jabbering on her iphone upside the head.  How could she be so selfish as to leave her children without health insurance?  Please tell me why you deserve free health insurance while the rest of us pay hundreds to thousands of dollars a month for our own family’s insurance PLUS the taxes to pay for you and your family’s insurance. 

PE – Nontender chest with a concave sternum

Diagnosis – Pectus Excavatum

Treatment – Follow up with your pediatrician.  Oh wait, mom doesn’t want to pay for her son’s health and I know it’s unbelievable but it’s true – doctors don’t want to work for free.