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Second Opinion

Second Opinion: Lost Proverbs of the ED

Leap, Edwin MD

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doi: 10.1097/01.EEM.0000415458.26005.05

    These proverbs, found in an old liquor bottle outside an urban emergency department, came into my possession recently. I have long suspected there was a hidden body of wisdom, a secret society of people that passed knowledge along to others. I was relieved and shocked to find that I was right.

    He who has pain and asks not for medicine is a fool.

    He who has no pain and asks not for medicine is a greater fool.

    Verily, the number of all pain is 10. This is a great mystery.

    Whoever would see long days and joyous life would think carefully,

    And never take a knife to a gunfight.

    Or a baseball bat to a knife fight.

    A big dog is a wonder.

    Play rough with it. Make it fight.

    Then feed it bacon from your mouth.

    Remember that spider? In your basement?

    It probably bit you in the night.

    Doctors always say abscess for spider bite.

    Do you want riches? Do you want prosperity?

    Work under the table. Taxes are for suckers.

    Get your benefits from saps who work.

    Find a woman who will love you.

    Find a woman who will have your children.

    And also her sister.

    Long life is a gift. Gray hair a crown.

    But when the aged are a problem,

    Ask the doctor to admit them.

    Belly pain is a curse and hunger a greater misery.

    So never let pain be a reason not to eat.

    Burgers solve all problems.

    A helmet and a seatbelt make one safe.

    But neither makes one cool.

    Cool is worth the risk.

    Pregnancy is magic.

    Remember, you can't be pregnant.

    No way. No how. Unless you are.

    Work elevates us. Work pays our bills.

    Work drains us and stops fishing trips.

    If you have a cold, get an excuse, silly.

    Doctors and nurses have money.

    Don't worry about them; they're rich.

    Health care is free ... if you insist.

    The wise man avoids conflict.

    The foolish doctor makes mistakes.

    Keep a lawyer's card in your wallet.

    Remember that you are strong. And loud.

    Bully everyone you can. But learn to keep your

    mouth shut when the cops arrive.

    An argument is good

    until the police arrive.

    Pepper spray is no fun at all.

    A thief is the one who gets caught.

    Check the hospital cabinets!

    Purses can hide lots of bandages.

    Life is precious. Who would kill himself?

    But saying you'll do it is great drama,

    And everyone feels badly for you.

    If your heart is racing, if your skin is drenched,

    If you feel afraid and think you might die,

    Ask, “Could it be the meth?”

    Do not take a chance on fever.

    Do not pause to take Tylenol.

    Your cousin's brain caught fire one time, and he ain't right.

    If food and fluid erupt from you like a volcano,

    If your stomach aches, be afraid!

    No one else in history has ever vomited but you!

    There is joy to be had in life. There is beauty.

    There is love. How can it all be sweeter?

    Oxycontin, that's how.

    Was your doctor good? Was your problem solved?

    Did you receive what you deserved?

    Do not neglect the satisfaction score.

    Family is a blessing. They know all.

    Remember, whatever your sister says is true.

    She's a nursing assistant, after all.

    When you roll your car, when you hit that tree,

    Remember, it was because of the dog.

    You only had two beers, right?

    Your time is precious. TV shows to watch.

    Babies to make. Snack food and sodas.

    Ask why your ER visit is taking so long!

    What will you do when the ER is empty?

    What will you do when the doctors quit?

    That won't ever happen! Funny joke.

    Identification is important. For checks, for beer.

    ID matters to the parole officer. But don't take it to the ER.

    They'll only send you a bill, you fool!

    Tattoos and piercings make the girl and guy.

    They show we're edgy, bad, sexy.

    What's an infection now and then?


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