The patient was an elderly female, sitting in a wheelchair.

“Waugh,” she said. She twitched.

Her husband, a grizzled north-woods geezer, spoke up.

“My last cat started twitching like that. Then he died.”

The geezer related this story matter-of-factly. He stood by while we worked on the patient, mostly chatting with one of the department geezers.

The patient seemed to have had some stroke activity. The husband reported that she had fallen a few days before, striking her head, but that she had been more normal since. She seemed alert and would follow speakers with her eyes, however, she could only make guttural noises.


“I gotta cat that just goes ‘wee-oo’. Now I gotta wife that just goes ‘waugh’.”

We avoided laughing out loud in front of the patient.