Explaining My Strips: Hypodilaudidism


I was standing at the nurse’s station in a downtown ER, talking with Melissa, a nurse that I had befriended during my short time in EMS to that point. The side of the counter that we were standing at was closest to the receiver and speaker for ambulances calling in their reports.

As we chatted about nothing in particular, a call comes in. Melissa excused herself and turned around to answer it, but the charge nurse beat her to it. 

Melissa turns around and looks at me with a smile as we silently agree to pause our conversation to listen to the report. 

The unit called in with something to the effect of, “Patient is a 54 year old female with a complaint of severe back pain.” Then, a short time later in the same report, the unit on the line says, “Patient has history of chronic bank pain and states that she is allergic to morphine and fentanyl, so no pain meds have been administered at this time.”

I look at Melissa and say, “But I’m willing to bet that she isn’t allergic to Dilaudid.”

We have a laugh, and then went back to doing our respective jobs.


*Side note: This was my very first attempt at sarcasm in my artwork that did not land with my earliest readers. The intent was to make it seem as if the ambulance was peeling out to get to the ER as fast as possible, with the sarcastic joke being, “Oh no! She needs to get to the hospital now! This is an actual serious emergency!”

However, many of the comments on this one tasked if I was trying to imply that the patient was morbidly obese and causing the ambulance to wheelie. Hahaha! Oh well.

*Another side note: The background behind the ambulance in this strip is the sea wall of the Battery in downtown Charleston, SC.

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