Horny Old Ladies and Mashed Potatoes

In medicine, you always have some crazy patients.

I was doing my emergency medicine rotation at a private hospital in the Detroit area.  Our patient population was this mix of people with a lot of money and residents of Detroit that didn’t want to go to any of the inner city hospitals.

I picked up the next chart to see that I would be seeing a lady who had been sent to the ED with high blood pressure. I made my way over to her hallway bed- the place was packed, which is normal for night, so the majority of our beds line the hallways.

In taking a history, you run through a number of questions…what brings you here? when did this start? how are you feeling now?

My patient was an African-American woman who was much closer to 100 than she was to 50, decked out in a leopard-print suit and had her red hat lying on the bed next to her. Her daughter, who was much closer to 50, was sitting in the chair next to her. She was a bit hard of hearing, which meant that she answered every question very loudly.

And then, I hit the fated question: “Ma’am, are you in any pain right now?”

Patient (in a loud purr): Oh honey, I have a pain between my legs that only a man or toy can fix.  Unfortunately my husband passed away so I’m stuck resorting to batteries.

Daughter: Oh mom, this nice lady here doesn’t want to know about your sex life. Just answer the question.

I’ll admit two things:

  1. I burst out laughing in the middle of the ED- I just couldn’t help myself. Thankfully they laughed along with me, along with everyone who overheard.
  2. She went home in great health a few hours later.

Satisfying Alternative Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs small red-skin potatoes (about half a 5 lb bag), not peeled and chopped into small pieces (feel free to use whatever potato you have on hand- I just prefer red skin or yukon gold)
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced (can use more if you like)
  • 2 tbsp light butter
  • 1/3 c skim milk
  • 1/4 c fat-free sour cream
  • 1/4 c fat-free greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 tbsp chives, chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper

How-to

  1. Place potatoes into a 2 qt saucepan and cover with cold salted (normally 1/2 tsp) water. Cover and place over medium heat. Remove cover when boiling and continue for approximately 15-20 minutes until potatoes are easily pierced by a fork.
  2. Drain potatoes (do not rinse), add butter and garlic to pan, and cover for approximately 5 minutes.
  3. Mash potatoes, butter, and garlic together.  (Don’t have a potato masher? Me either!  I always use a whisk- my grandfather’s trick.)
  4. Stir in skim milk, sour cream, greek yogurt, and garlic powder and continue mashing until potatoes reach your desired consistency (feel free to add more skim milk if necessary).
  5. Add chives and salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Serves 4-6 normal adults or 3 of Irish-Polish heritage 😉

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67 thoughts on “Horny Old Ladies and Mashed Potatoes

  1. Nothing wrong in laughing with your patients. To me it shows that we physicians aren’t the trained robots a lot of patients feel that we are. It not only makes the patient more human to us, but also adds that element of humanity to our patients. Doing my ED clerkship was one of my favorite times in med-school. Even as a PGY-1 I spent 3 months in the ED and LOVED it. Memorable patients and quotes, now I only get it when I consult in the ED or have to admit to service. Great to hear she had a good disposition. The potatoes look great!

  2. Hey thanks for following my blog! I’m glad, as it introduced me to yours. Your writing is hilarious. Also–I work as a standardized patient from time to time, so I feel I have a particular appreciation for funny medical stories 🙂

  3. Oh that woman would’ve tickled me too. She sounds hilarious and so much fun to be around. She reminds me of my great aunt LOL. And these mash potato recipe sounds amazing. Thanks for sharing this great story

  4. Laughing at your story! Love your whole blog and the way you tell a story and a recipe. Can’t wait to keep reading!

  5. I loved this. I used to be a Legal Aid attorney and I was always surprised (and a little delighted) at the crazy things people are willing to admit!

    Also, your mashed potatoes look divine.

  6. Well, I burst out with explosive laughter on reading this one–especially after multiple trips to the ER with aging parents over the years. They will, indeed, say anything. My dad scandalized us all on more than one occasion.

  7. I used to work in psychiatric emergency. I lived for clients like that – though more often than not the really “fun” clients were ones under active delusions. Alas.

    Also, as one who is largely Irish with a half Polish husband, this recipe looks awesome!

  8. Fantastic! After a (small?) heart attack I am now faced with food regimes and your recipe sounds like a real winner, since I really have no desire to alter my indulgent food habits.
    But I also LOVED your story. That lady would have livened up the hospitals I’ve seen lately!!!!

  9. Reminds me of a patient i was looking after to after she had had a pacemaker fitter – she wanted the toilet – i asked would you like a bedpan and she replied ‘nope, my Mother told me i was never to wee in the bed’ i laughed and she laughed along with me. Her needs and so were mine.
    I could just eat those mashed potatoes 🙂

  10. I am a NP and the combo of food and ER humor is fabulous. You are so much braver than I at retelling of patient humor. If I wasn’t such a chicken I could match your story with one of my own just from last week 🙂

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