Black Widow Spider Bite
When I first started practice, I had a lady in the Emergency Room with a black widow spider bite. It was my first case of that.
I checked her out, got her out of pain first, then found an Emergency Medicine text. I opened the book to the page on black widow bites, flopped it open on the foot of the bed and commenced to follow a written protocol.
The lady was groggy from the pain medicine but said, “You reading that book makes me nervous.”
I replied, “Well, I tell you what ma’am. I believe you’d be more nervous if I wasn’t reading the book. This is my first one of these.”
I think if she hadn’t been loaded up on Morphine she mighta bolted, but she stayed and got better, though I can’t say for sure it was my treatment. Mostly it was morphine and time. Half of what I did that day is no longer in evidence based medicine vogue. (Not that what is in fashion today will be twenty years from now either.)
She didn’t much want to hear it, but I think patients and Docs both are better off for us to admit up front what we don’t know and do the best we can.