I spent 45 minutes today trying to convince a patient not to eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The nurse chases me down around lunchtime: "Mrs. Whoever says she wants a benadryl, can you write the order?" "Why does she want a benadryl?" "She says she wants to eat a peanut butter sandwich but she's allergic to nuts and if she takes a benadryl it'll be okay." "Why does she want to eat peanut butter if she's allergic to nuts?" "I don't know." So I go into Mrs. Whoever's room, and she's about to take a bite of this sandwich and I stop her. "Why are you eating that?" "I'm hungry." "I can have the nurse get you something you're not allergic to." "No, it'll be fine, I can just take a benadryl. I'm already in the hospital, what's the difference?" "The difference is that I'd rather you didn't go into anaphylactic shock while I'm in charge of you." "But if I take a benadryl--" "Benadryl's a fine drug, but it's not a miracle. You never know what can happen with an allergic reaction, and it could exacerbate your other conditions in any case." "But I really want to eat this." "We'll get you something else to eat." "What?" "I don't know. I'll have the nurse get you today's menu." "I didn't like anything on the menu." "Well, you're not eating something you're allergic to. Sorry."
I don't know how some people manage to live to adulthood.