We have an elderly Japanese patient who is not a fan of the hospital breakfasts. He won't touch the cereal, doesn't want milk, no juice, nothing. Through the translator phone, he says he wants miso soup, natto, rice, fish.
"I talked to the woman next door. She gets people to bring her what she wants to eat for breakfast."
"Sir, you can have people bring you food, that's fine. If you have people to bring you food, they can bring you whatever you want. But unfortunately what we have in the hospital is what's on the menu. We don't have other food we can give you."
"But I have no family that can come in the day. I want you to get me Japanese breakfast."
"I can't get you a Japanese breakfast. I have to see patients. I'm sorry."
The nurse comes and finds me a few hours later.
"He won't let me take his labs. He said he won't let us take blood until he gets miso soup."
"I don't know what to tell you."
"He said one of the interns said she would get him soup."
"I hope one of the interns didn't say that, but it doesn't matter. I'll go talk to him."
"I told the nurse, no blood until I get soup."
"Sir, if we don't take your labs, they're not going to let you start treatment."
"I don't care."
"If you don't care, I don't know how you expect us to care. You're allowed to refuse the blood draw, but what that means is that they're not going to start treatment, so I don't think you want to refuse. It's not serving your best interests to refuse."
"Then get me soup."
"I can't get you soup. I told you, my job is to help you, but I can't leave the hospital and get you soup."
"The other doctor said she would."
"The other doctor said whatever she said. I'm telling you we need to draw blood."
"You just drew blood yesterday. I only want you to take blood once every three days."
"That's not how we do things."
"That's what I want."
"Sir, it doesn't work that way."
"How much could blood change in one day?"
"That's what we're trying to find out."
"Get me soup, I give you blood."
"Sir, it's your health you should be concerned about. It does not help us to take your blood, it helps you."
"No soup, no blood."
"Not gonna happen."
"Chinese woman said she got dumplings."
"Not from us."
"Can you ask Chinese woman's family to get me soup?"