Wednesday, May 10, 2006


Day 40:

We admitted a patient from the ER last night who appeared to be in significant pain, a 43 year old female with a history of sickle cell disease. Seeing her this morning on rounds, it was clear she was still hurting, as she was unresponsive to verbal commands and she kept twisting/writhing her body in a peculiar way. Sitting up in her bed, she would rock back and forth, punch one of her arms towards the ceiling and back again, crane her neck from side to side, and occasionally let out a low, animal-like moan. It was an odd sight to witness and I felt for the poor woman, but at the same time, her experience afforded me the chance to learn a new vocab term (which accurately captured the clinical picture on physical exam, in my opinion): "crack dancing," a description of the extrapyramidal phenomena and other movement disorders, uncommon, that can be associated with cocaine use and withdrawal.


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