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I’ll Have One Extra Large, To Go

September 27th, 2010 by Kat

Hello, Kat again. Thought I should share this…

You all may remember a little while ago, in my second ER Admitting List, I made a few nasty comments about overweight people. If that offended you, you want to stop reading now. If you understood that I was not generalizing and was only referring to a minority of people who would be rude no matter how fat they were, then please continue.

The following story is entirely true, unembellished and (I think) hilarious. So awhile ago a man presented in our emergency room having some chest wall pain after he took a fall. Not unheard of. This man weighed over 600 pounds, so he fell pretty hard. We first knew we were going to have a problem when he became indignant because we had to strap two beds together for him.

Then we didn’t have a big enough gown.

Then the tech had a hard time with the EKG and the nurse had a hard time with the IV. He was ranting about everything.

The EKG came back normal, so the doc figured he had probably broken a rib when he fell and ordered a chest-x ray. Uh-oh… Table weight on the machine is 500 pounds. Ok, have him stand…. No go, the patient refuses to stand (he hasn’t stood for any length of time in years, it makes his legs hurt). So, what about a CT scan, those usually have a higher table weight. 525 pounds, no good. Ok, call the other area hospitals, Seattle area has some pretty big hospitals, lets see if we can’t use their machines. Harborview, nope; Swedish, nope: University of Washington, nope. You can imagine, the patient was getting pretty upset. Then the doctor got a funny look in his eye, “Can someone look up the number for Woodland Park Zoo?”

Wait, he’s not actually going to… yes, yes he is.

The doc put the lead veterinarian on speakerphone (as the entire ER staff gathered around to listen).

So, the doc explains the situation, “So, anyway I was wondering if we could put this guy in a rig and send him up your way. You have a CT machine that can hold him, right?”

There’s a pause on the line, then an explosion of laughter, “Well, I’ve never heard of that being done before, but sure! Bring him on up! In fact, if you can’t find an ambulence that can take him, we can send our truck if you want!”

“I’ll get back to you on that. Thanks doc, I owe you one.”

We did end up finding a rig that could take him, an extra-wide ambulence built especially to handle the extra-large. We called to the local Fire Department to get extra hands to life the patient from our bed to their stretcher and get him onto the ambulence. He was screaming and cussing the entire time about how he was going to sue (like we don’t hear that every time Micky McDrug-Addict doesn’t get the vicodin perscription he wants). We instructed the rig to take him to the UW Medical Center once the zoo was done with him. They took off and we all breathed a big sigh of relief.

About an hour later, a call came in from Woodland Park. “I know he’s not technically your patient anymore, but I wanted to let you know what I found so you can put it in your records…. Do you have a pen… Ok, every rib on the right side is cracked, as is the sternum, his hips are so riddled with stress fractures that one good impact would probably break them like a ceramic bowl and his feet look about the same. Also, I should mention, I’ve seen whales with less fat than this guy, and the whales have a better temper. I thought about tranking him, but decided the lawsuit probably wouldn’t be worth it. I don’t know how you guys deal with human patients all day. Animals can only maul you, they don’t talk back.”

You know what, I agree.

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38 Responses to “I’ll Have One Extra Large, To Go”

  1. nutcase Says:

    Im a big guy (just over 300) more active than most would believe (security, bouncer and concert security) but i would not dare try to make everyone else’s life miserable because i want to pretend that im normal…..this guy deserved everything he got


    ElementsRook reply on September 30th, 2010 8:57 pm:

    Heh, we should collaborate on some of the “best of the worst” stories for the Skippy


  2. Tsukino Says:

    I’m a volunteer fireman and I’m glad we have a separate (paid) ambulance service so we don’t have to deal with people like this. We generally prefer the dead people to the live ones, the dead ones can’t complain, threaten to sue or write letters to our supervisors.


  3. That Guy Says:

    Damn, I know what you’re talking about. I have an aunt who is lazy as hell and weighs about 400 lbs. She cannot walk over a curb without help, and even then, if she falls she’ll take you with her. It happened to me once, and it took 10 minutes just to get her back on her feet!


  4. Billy Says:

    Now I know who to hang out with when the zombies attack “That poor fat bastard”


    jebbers12 reply on October 3rd, 2010 7:37 pm:

    ummm think bout it with the food and space youd need to accomadate him you could have like 10 marines with you much better idea right?


  5. Kevin Says:

    Now I am a big person (between 350 and 400lbs) and even at 400 I remained somewhat active (walking, etc), I would never think of treating hospital staff that way, large individuals like myself get that way for many reasons due to health, but it can be controlled and it does not give the fat people like that the right to mistreat others just because they are to lazy to do something about it. And if you don’t believe that a fat man is calling others fat, check out my website, it has a big picture (I can’t fit in any other kind….) of my on the front.


  6. Stonewolf Says:

    600 pounds! HOW! How do you get that fat? How has his body not just said “Fuck it!” and given up? Admitted, I’m a skinny bastard at 6-0 and 160ish lbs, but come on! I guess Gabrelle was right, if I saw that guy waddling toward me in an elevator, “Oh HELL NO!” I think there was an episode of Scrubs or House where they stuck a fat guy in the zoo scanner and I thought “ha ha ha, such a funny exageration!” I’m kinda disturbed its not a joke anymore. Still, funny story and I would have tranked his ass and let him wake up in the elephant enclosure. You know, so he can have family with him.


    Raven Prometheus reply on September 28th, 2010 5:03 pm:

    Maybe he finally would have found a woman that could handle him. Although, I doubt bull elephants are that cantakerous to their cows.


  7. Matt Says:

    So, maybe the answer would of been, trank him, paint him black and white, strap a couple of fins and flippers on him and float him out to sea for the Japanese whalers…


  8. Tremorwolf Says:

    As an Ex Vet Tech,, i agree.. animals can only maul you, not talk back… As An Ex EMT, I’m thankfull i didnt encouter this. Now. about the fat part… I’m 5’6 and currently 204 pounds of very thick muscle, now. but back in 2004 i was 300 of depressed lard who had given up on life. Wont go into what lead to me going from 180 to 300. but i got a cruel wake up one morning and started a life change to revers what I had done. (notice i said “I” because its NO ones fault but mine that i ended up 300 pounds) It was hard, damn near tortuous at times to drop that weight. but far better than the hellish future i would have been facing if i continued that old life. I don’t understand how people can realize how bad they are, and not do a damn thing about it.

    This guy obviously was intent to make everyone suffer for his own poor life choices.


  9. Speed Says:

    You show me a fat person that says diet and/or exercise doesn’t work, and I’ll show you a fat person that cheats on their diet and doesn’t work out. Speaking as a formerly kinda fat 6 foot guy – went from 243 to 195 in the past year and still trying to peel off a few more pounds of lard from the waist.


  10. BaschaW Says:

    Wow. See, this is the reason why I loved working in the ER as an admitting tech. it gets too bad, and I can run, but I got to hear/watch all the best stories…
    worst one was when a homeless/drunk guy took off his shoes at 3 am.
    Let me tell you, NEVER let them take off their shoes.
    it was 20 degrees (I’m in Alaska) and we had every door/window we could pry open.


    kat reply on September 28th, 2010 4:42 pm:

    rectal prolapse is a way worse smell, IMO. At least you can wash the feet. When our hospital rebuilt the ER they added a decontamination room that opened onto the outside. It was probably my favorite feature.


    David reply on September 28th, 2010 5:44 pm:

    I was an EMT with CSP in Anchorage for a couple YEARS in the early 90s. Oh, I can go on and on and on with true stories that would churn your stomach. A new guy once commented that my jumpsuit was faded out. Yeah, bleach’ll do that. He didn’t understand. Heh. After a month, he understood that some smells just don’t go away after one or two runs through the washer, and some smells are so bad that you don’t even want to contaminate your own laundry at home with them.


  11. Jim A. Says:

    Course I’m wondering how the zoo charged his insurance company. And whether they covered it.


    kat reply on September 28th, 2010 3:00 pm:

    We called the insurance company to pre-authorize it, and they actually did cover it. Apparently what the zoo charged was cheaper than the standard hospital charge. They were pretty thrilled about it actually.


    TheShadowCat reply on September 28th, 2010 3:24 pm:



  12. jim a Says:

    Well I guess they don’t have to worry about malpractice insurance premiums.


  13. Jenn Says:

    Because TV imitates real life always ( *blink* )…
    There was an episode of Scrubs where they had to do that for a larger patient. I’m a HUGE fan of the show, so I know they have a doctor or two to advise them when writing so they don’t look stupid and inaccurate.

    Reading this was great, all kinds of awesome! I wished the guy had been tranquilized – you could take bets on what amount would finally knock him out!


    SteveO reply on September 29th, 2010 11:46 am:

    Also an episode of House.


    jim a reply on September 30th, 2010 5:39 am:

    Also nip/tuck


  14. ElementsRook Says:

    I am also with nutcase on this one, also being on the bloody huge size(at 6’3″ and 315 as of this morning) and also for the past 16 years worked night clubs to exec escort as well as a fair number of “combat sport” hobbies (air soft, SCA heavy armored combat, and occasional opfor for local PD training)and there are a few folks you don’t jack around with. 1 the people that fix your food, 2 the people that are paying you, and 3 the people that patch you up and can in fact decide to not give you pain meds the next time you come in with a 9 inch defensive wound to the forearm. Just saying


    AFP reply on October 1st, 2010 7:55 pm:

    That last one was oddly specific. Fun story?

    Also a former SCA-er. I might see if there’s a group near my base out here in Korea, cause rapier fighting in five layers of linen armor and a mask is a hell of a workout.


    Elements Rook reply on October 2nd, 2010 3:46 am:

    Long story made short(ish), A bit back I was working in a club in Bellevue WA. For those of you unfamiliar with the great pathetic northwet, this is where we put all the surviving yuppies. The day started not so good by being woke up by finding out that a partner of mine took lead over in the sandbox. got just so much better by getting called in no my first day off in 22 days straight to help cover a miss teen USA pageant in the afternoon to be followed up by a all ages hip hop night being thrown by a promoter that was infamous for every event that he ran, there would be arrest and ambulances on sight. Not might be, will be. Fabulous and other words that begin with f. And to make maters just so much more festive we have a brand new baby bar manager who was a minute over 21, and as far as we could tell had zero experience in anything other than was currently banging the owner, who was a nice old duck, but unfortunately had crap taste in men. About midnight I get a call from pat-down at the front of the house that there is a problem with Mr wonderful, and some customers. Get there to find the clown in charge is demanding that his “close personal friends don’t need to go through security, and that he didn’t care what the owner had placed in our contracts. My door guy (a moonlighting Seattle PD officer) was patiently explaining to the manager that the guy that pays us had a nobody except him and those he personally walked through with out a basic check, and if he wanted to call the owner, he was more than welcome to do so. I steeped in and in my best “I’m here to make sure you have a good time” told the little twit that ” here let me call G**** and have him modify that to get him the authorization.” Shifted around to use the sound baffles so I could here my phone and the lawn dart with the manager popped a cheap Italian switchblade clone. on my 4o clock. saw the flash of blade towards my chest, parried with the right forearm, creased the jerk in the forehead with my old nasty nokia 5110 and took him to the ground hard, driving my left elbow into the guys xiphoid process to help him understand that this is not going to be a good day for him. J*** (my door guy took down the manager who tryed to jump on me and we had both hauled by local PD kid with the knife for a ADW and the manager for possession with intent as he was found to have 25 Ectacy tabs in convenient two tab bindles. The owner came straight to harborview ER and paid cash for my med bill, and gave me, and my door guy a raise. Whole time im sitting in the ER with a bar rag soaked in 151 wrapped around the boo boo, I’m being polite to the folks there because I have learned that even though I’m having a shit day, the folks at the ER are there to help (besides if you stay righteous with em they share their coffee with you ;)


    AFP reply on October 2nd, 2010 5:04 am:

    Oooh, if there’s coffee in the deal too, then you DEFINITELY should be nice to them.

    Awesome story dude, always warms my heart to hear about troublemaking douches getting what they deserve.

    I take it the guys didn’t know that your friend was a cop, huh?

    Elements Rook reply on October 2nd, 2010 2:18 pm:

    Like I said earlier in the story the boy toy of the owner made manager was super incompetent, and in point of fact when G*** offered to at least have him go over personnel files he decided to go out with “the girls” and go clubbing.

  15. Eden Says:

    So I feel the need to play devil’s advocate here. Although I’m not a big person (5’4/ 110) I totally get where the guy was coming from. The last time I was in the ER was after trying to reenact the opening scene from the Sound of Music while riding a shopping cart that hit a rock, flipped over and landed on top of me and I have to confess I was a raging bitch. Not because I’m naturally hateful. At least I don’t think so anyway. But I was in serious pain due to my own complete and utter stupidity and not really thinking clearly because of it. Later I felt really bad for the way I behaved because, like I said, that’s just typical for me. My point is, which I’m sure will be lost on most of you. Have some fucking empathy you arrogant assholes. You never know what’s going on in someone’s head and I can only imagine how horribly humiliated and full of self loathing (which everyone knows is generally the root of obnoxious behavior, or should) that man was. I know I was pretty humiliated after repeating the story of my own galactically moronic behavior for the fourth time and none too sweet because of it. And if you don’t want to be empathetic that’s fine. Just remember, karma is the biggest bitch of all and one day it will by your fat ass on that table due to your own lack of self discipline/forethought/good judgment and I’m sure you all will remember to be sweet as pie.


    Willy reply on October 1st, 2010 4:58 pm:

    I’m supposed to be sympathetic to your bitching because you hit a rock while riding a shopping cart? It sucks when the hospital needs to put two beds together for him, doesn’t have a big enough gown for him, but it’s hardly their fault. And if you REALLY want sympathy, don’t bitch at people o.O


    Eden reply on October 1st, 2010 11:35 pm:

    Empathy is not the same as sympathy and I didn’t personally ask for either one. In fact I’m pretty sure most people could read my post and see I regard my behavior as foolish and in no way worthy of a plea for compassion. It was just an example to make a point. Which was only that we might first have EMPATHY for someone rather that derision as we all make bad choices that land us in bad places. If however you have never made a bad choice or acted unwisely then let me be the first to say congratulations.


    Cornbread reply on October 14th, 2010 1:04 am:

    Actually, you don’t know that he felt badly later so chill out on berating the others. I’ve known / met plenty of people who behave like that on a regular basis and feel no regret for it, then or later. Chillax.

    jmireles reply on October 17th, 2010 1:55 pm:

    My wife’s step-mother is a beautiful example of someone who treats people like shit, no matter the situation, and doesn’t feel bad about it later. In fact, I’d never seen anyone with a fully functioning slective memory, until her. Talks shit in email, then claims she doesn’t remember ever saying any of it, even when shown copies of the email. So, to recap, I have two MILs…the biological one is the sane one, the step is the psycho…my FIL happens to be spineless, and lets his wife treat his relatives in whatever manner she sees fit. She’s quick to make my wife and I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that we’ll never have anything as nice as she has.

  16. AFP Says:

    With all the stress fractures his body had (hips and feet were full of them from what they said), I don’t doubt for a moment that it must have hurt a lot for him to stand. I’ve had stress fractures in my feet before too (and that when I only weighed 185. Turns out it’s not a great idea for a relatively sedentary guy to start running around at a dead sprint all the time in low quarters.

    Hopefully the medical staff at least kept the laughing and joking to a minimum when they were in the room with the guy. If I was hurting as bad as that guy must have been with a rack of broken ribs (whether it was my fault or not) I’d probably be pretty damned irritable too.

    That said, yeah, do your best to be nice to the people trying to help you.


  17. jebbers12 Says:

    i suppose its a good idea but think youll need about 10x as much food as if you had like a marine with you
    really think bout it with the food hed eat you could feed 10 marines


  18. Anna Says:

    I’m curious, what could be done for the guy? At that wieght surgery wouldn’t exactly be advisable but I rather doubt those ribs would heal themselves. Anyone with a medical background want to tell me what the treatment plan for this fellow would have been?


    jmireles reply on October 17th, 2010 2:00 pm:

    Anna, for the ribs…only thing that could be done is ensure that none of the fractures were displaced, and then wrap the patient’s chest to immobilize the broken sections as much as possible. From that point, you manage the patient’s pain, and keep an eye on their innards, to make sure nothing broke loose. Redo the x-rays every week or so, to monitor healing, and for added measure,put the patient on a very strict low-calorie diet, and call it a day.


    Anna reply on October 19th, 2010 8:25 am:

    Thanks! Sucks for him though, and most probably for the medical staff who had to deal with him long term.


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