Days spent in the A+E can be rather tedious and boring. In fact, sometimes it is nothing more than a GP practice with snotty noses, rashes and neurotic mothers. But sometimes you get to see something really interesting. I am not so interested in the medical rareties but rather in the fascinating characters that one comes across.
Enter Cyclops Girl.
Before I call the patient in, I read the file.....
Presenting complaint: Hit eye on pole, very painful.
Yes, I am sure that would be painful, very astute observation by the nurse! I walk to the waiting room and call the patient......
LMM: Cinnamon..............Cinnamon X
(I am not shitting you, that was her name!)
Cyclops Girl: Hi
LMM: Please follow me. Now tell me what happened to your eye.
(Let me interject and describe Cyclops Girl. She was neatly dressed and everything appeared normal except her GIGANTIC swollen right eye. There was a huge haematoma under her right eye, basically like a sac of blood, which squashed her eye shut so she could barely see.)
CG: So I get these cluster headaches and I got one at 2am this morning.......
(Not sure what this has to do with the grotesque eye she has)
CG: The headache was so bad that I hit my head against a pillar with screws in it....
LMM: What? You did this to yourself?
CG: Yes, its a common phenomenon in people with cluster headaches.
LMM: Yes of course it is. (I have never heard of this in my life and it sounds psycho!)
CG: And now my eye....well...it looks like this.
I could not comprehend how someone could do this much damage to themselves?
LMM: Did you not feel what you were doing?
CG: No. It actually helped a bit.
LMM: We need to get an xray to make sure the orbit isn't fractured and maybe ring Opthalmology...OK
I send her off to Xray and look up her old notes on the computer. She has been to A+E 4 times in the last month, always with the same problem, always the right eye, although this time it looks like the damage is worse. I page opthalmology and tell them the situation.
Opthalmology: Hang on.....She has this large haematoma........... that was self inflicted?
Opthalmology: Is she a psycho?
LMM: No. She appears quite normal.
Opthalmology: Sorry not interested.
The patient returns and luckily her xrays are fine. I explain to her that the swelling will go down and prescribe her some eyedrops.
CG: But what am I supposed to tell the people at work? This is the 4th black eye in one month.
(Maybe you should've thought about this before you kept hitting your head against the wall/pole/pillar)