Just before two in the morning the tones went off. As the computer voice rattled off the address my my mind immediately recalled who lived there. It was one of our frequent flyers. In fact, he had just called 911 the morning before.
We walked up to the apartment and found the door open. Just inside, sitting on the stairs, was my patient.
I said hi to Joe (age 31) and asked why he called tonight. He said that he had a fever of 100.7 and that he had been feeling sick for 2 days. I probed a little further. He had had some nausea and vomited a couple of times. He also had a cough.
About this time his girlfriend appeared at the top of the stairs. She had been feeling the same way for several days but was now on the mend. She had gone to her personal physician who had told her to drink lots of fluids and get some rest. And to take some OTC medications to alleviate some of the symptoms.
So basically, they had the flu. I tried to explain what they would do in the ER (blood draws, possible a chest x-ray and then send them home with the same orders as the private doctor) in hopes that he would change his mind about going to the hospital. It didn't work. Instead he jumped up on the gurney and started moaning about all the aches and pains in his body.
Calling 911 for a mild flu? When you're 31? Really? Come on.