I’m sure you don’t like narcs

Code 3 for abdominal pain.

A man walks out of his front door and up to the ambulance. If he didn’t wave us down, he could be mistaken for someone simply taking a walk.

“I have pain. I have pancreatitis. I have nausea.”

“How long have you had pain?”


“So what’s different today?”

“It’s worser.”

That’s not a typo. I know you are familiar with this word.

“Get in.”

He doesn’t say anything about medications for 5 minutes. For a while, I actually think to myself, naively: finally, some peace and quiet – no one to pester me about pain management on what is clearly not a pain management call.

“I don’t like getting narcotics. I don’t like that shit.”

Here we go.


He’s actually polite. I think he’s just smart enough to realize being a dick doesn’t get him narcs. He rambles on about how he doesn’t like it when the ED gives him narcs, describing how sometimes he’s surprised when he finds out they did indeed give him narcs.

“I sell that shit to people. Codeine, Vicodin, all that shit. I don’t use it myself.”


It’s not my first day, silly.

“My pain is bad today. Can I get something for it?”


“Why not?”

I fudge.

“Because you don’t have veins.”

“Not true. You can give it to me in my arm,” making the motion of an intramuscular shot.

“I already gave you Zofran. I’m not giving you anything else.”

“I know you can because I’m a regular. I know how it works.”

“And that’s exactly why you’re not getting anything.”

He quietly finishes the ride. To his credit, he remains polite and cheerful. And definitely not a single outward sign of pain.

While we’re on this subject, there are plenty in the blogosphere and elsewhere who constantly insist that we shouldn’t be second-guessing patients’ pain and we should be giving them all the pain management they demand.

Kiss my fucking ass.

2 thoughts on “I’m sure you don’t like narcs”

  1. Pain should not just be what the patient says it is. So many deaths now from narcotic overuse. We must draw a line.

  2. I have to say, this is pretty amusing. I am not a medic, I am an EMT. Though my Boyfriend is a Medic and riding with him I can pretty much relate to many of your comments/posts. I would like to share your story’s on my blog http://www.theemtmommy.com so if you get the chance, please feel free to stop over. In the mean time I am going to suggest to my readers they visit your blog 🙂
    Have a beautiful day! Stay safe and keep smiling!

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