Yes, ER nurses have the best stories to tell

A few weeks ago, I picked up a trio of nurses headed to an evening event. I didn’t realize they were nurses until some of the conversation coming from the back seat turned to treating patients who were restrained.

Being the casually nosy/inquisitive type, I dipped into the conversation to ask if they worked at a hospital. Two of the three did — a county hospital that occasionally treated people in custody.  Making small talk, I said, “Oh, I bet you have some interesting stories in that line of work.”

They did. But they weren’t about treating people sporting police escorts.

These women had already enjoyed a cocktail or two before getting into the car. They were loose, and immediately jumped right to their favorite topic: Men who arrive at the ER with foreign objects embedded in their … how shall I say? … last stop on the gastro-intestinal path.

“So this guy is in the exam area, and all his chart says is, ‘Butt hurts’,” one of them says.

Quickly, the medical pros assess and realize what they are dealing with. And while they have seen similar cases before, this one stood out.

“The guy has a 4-inch wide pool noodle wrapped in a condom stuck up his butt,” she says, watching my reaction as I’m driving down the freeway.

“I mean, why can’t these guys just go to Fascinations and get something made for this,” she mused.

Then, just to prove she’s not putting me on, she pulls up a photo on her phone and hands it to me for show and tell.

(Quick aside … aren’t there HIPPA privacy laws against snapping cell phone pics of stuff like this? Just wondering …)

Keep in mind, this happened a few weeks ago. I had given it some thought and specifically decided NOT to blog about it. Too bizarre, I thought. Too one-off. Too … creepy.

Then it happened again.

I picked up another pair of medical pros, two women leaving a Scottsdale nightclub just before midnight on a Saturday. They had been drinking — one of them was pretty toasted. Once I heard what they did for a living, I casually repeated my previous query.

“Oh, I bet you have some interesting stories in that line of work.”

Without missing a beat they … immediately … go … there: Guys who arrive at the ER with foreign objects stuck, causing severe Posterior Pain.

(Since most medical conditions these days advertised on Big Pharma TV commercials are given snappy acronyms, we’ll dub this ailment “P.P.”)

Apparently, this is a thing. And a fairly common one at that.

The Scottsdale clubbers told a tale of a guy with P.P. who arrived with an object so deeply embedded he needed immediate abdominal surgery to remove it.

“So the doctor has him opened up and is pushing, while a resident on the other end is pulling,” the more sober of the pair dutifully reported.

And then out came the cell phone picture. This one was an X-ray image. Yes, they had to show me. And took much delight in doing so.

“Can you imagine his friends asking about that abdominal scar and where he got it,” the sober-ish one said.

No I can’t.

(Note: at this moment, her drunk friend was fixated on yelling out the window at the AAA flatbed tow truck that was slowing our late night visit to a Taco Bell drive-through — actual image below)


Some of the best Lyft stories come to their climax, I have come to realize, in line at a drive-through.

And drunk friend, please stop yelling at the AAA tow driver. It’s late, and he’s got a right to order a Chalupa. And frankly, I realized I was pretty hungry too. I had been driving all evening, and clearly I now knew this was going to be my final ride of my night. So when they offered to get me something to eat, too, I took it.

Thanks for the Burrito Supreme, nurses. And by the way. You do have the best stories.

PS – If after reading, you’re inspired to give Lyft driving a try, make sure to use a driver referral bonus when you first fill out the applicationUse code MIKE17396 and we will both enjoy a bonus for rides you give during your first month. (You don’t need to drive in Phoenix for the code to work.)

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I'm a former corporate manager and journalist driving Lyft for fun ... and sharing these stories with anyone willing to play along.

One thought on “Yes, ER nurses have the best stories to tell”

  1. As a retired nurse this sort of thing infuriates me.
    Talk about breaking the HIPPA laws!
    I wish I could report them to the Board of Nursing. It’s one thing to talk things but to show pictures!
    Just another reason why cell phones shouldn’t be allowed in patient treatment areas.


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