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[Readings]

Shit Talkers

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From an audio recording entered as evidence in a 2014 lawsuit filed by a man identified as D.B., who claims that he inadvertently recorded his colonoscopy on his cell phone. Tiffany Ingham and Soloman Shah were the anesthesiologist and the gastroenterologist who performed the procedure. In June, a jury awarded D.B. $500,000 in damages.

tiffany ingham: All right. This medicine is going to start making you feel a little drowsy and relaxed.

d.b.: Pretty much instantly?

ingham: Quickly, yeah. Once Dr. Shah comes in, I’ll make you go all the way to sleep.

d.b.: What’s the medication?

ingham: The one that I just gave you? It’s called midazolam. There you go.

d.b.: I used to want to be a surgeon in high school.

ingham: What kind of work do you do now?

d.b.: I’m an attorney.

ingham: That’s kind of a big switch.

d.b.: I couldn’t take the sight of blood.

ingham: Well, you probably made a good career choice there.

d.b.: Yeah. There’s little chance that I will remember this, right? Maybe this part.

ingham: It can make your memory a little fuzzy, so you may not recall too much of it.

d.b.: Am I going to remember the procedure?

ingham: No, you’ll be unconscious.

[Soloman Shah enters.]

d.b.: Hey, is that Dr. Shah? How are you, my friend?

soloman shah: Good, good. All right, we’re gonna get started shortly.

[D.B. goes under.]

ingham: I don’t think this prep’s going to be so hot. That’s my impression of this gentleman. Is that a clog? Did he clog it up with his crappy prep?

assistant: Do you need a towel, Dr. Ingham?

shah: You’re going to need more than a towel.

ingham: On his pre-op form, he has, as his only medication, gabapentin. And I’m like, “Why are you taking gabapentin?” “Well, I went to a dermatologist. I have this irritation on my penis.”

shah: Right. That’s a little too much information.

ingham: I said, “I don’t think that you should go back to that dermatologist. If you’re having issues in that area, you should see your urologist.”

shah: I told him that already! He’s seen two urologists. He told me. I said, “You need to follow up with your urologist.”

ingham: He’s crazy.

shah: And he keeps mentioning it like it’s the first time he’s ever talked to anyone about it. I’m like, “Sir, you’ve seen two urologists. What are you telling me for?”

ingham: I don’t know. Most men I know, if they have the problem with that area of the body, they are in a doctor’s office the next day.

shah: And also, don’t mention it to me. I’m not interested.

ingham: Exactly. And then he went on and on about it.

shah: One nice thing about being a specialist is I don’t deal with that crap.

ingham: One nice thing about being an anesthesiologist is making people shut the hell up.

shah: That’s why I didn’t become a fricking urologist. Because I didn’t want to put wires in people’s penises all day.

ingham: I would make bank as a urologist because (a) I’m a pretty girl, so all the Viagra-seeking dudes would want to see me, and (b) all the ladies whose vaginas have fallen out after their babies would want to come see me, too.

shah: I’m going to get a chair. Because it’s going to take me a couple hours to suction all this out of him.

ingham: Big shocker. I just knew it. As soon as he said, “No, it’s not clear,” I’m like, “Well, is there solid material?” “Well, yes, there is, it’s dark brown.”

shah: Let me guess, does he work for the Justice Department or CIA?

ingham: He’s a lawyer, for somebody.

shah: The most kooky people that I know work for the Justice Department or the CIA. Or they’re lawyers.

ingham: Amazing. I mean, I have anxiety and nervousness, but he’s over the top. You gotta calm down. You’re gonna have a heart attack at forty.

shah: Why is it always the last colon of the day that’s like this? Doesn’t he know that I want to go to lunch? His frickin’ colon is slow as molasses.

ingham: Put some gloves on. That’s a soupy-doupy-poopy prep.

assistant: Not to mention a penile rash.

ingham: Just make sure you’re gowned up. Don’t want you to accidentally rub against it and get some syphilis or something.

shah: That would be bad. That would be real bad.

ingham: If you didn’t rub up against the penis, then you should be all right.

assistant: I did, I did.

shah: Well, as long as it’s not Ebola, you’re okay.

ingham: It’s penis Ebola. The gabapentin will fix it. . . . Sir, the word I want to use to describe you is not appropriate for this venue.

shah: So, Vicky, so you’re going to go talk to this patient afterward, right?

assistant: [Laughs] Suuure.

ingham: You’re going to have to have a timer go off or, like, a fake page. “Dr. Shah, you’re needed urgently in the office.” I’ve done the fake page before. . . . Who will be the lucky nurse who gets him? It’s lunchtime. It could be anyone. Round and round we go. Wheel of annoying patients. Where will it land? Nobody knows. . . . I feel bad. I shouldn’t be so mean. . . . I’m going to mark “hemorrhoids” even though we don’t see them and probably won’t. I’m just going to take a shot in the dark. And I’m writing it “H.O.R.” in capital letters.


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December 2015