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Author Archives: WhiteCoat


Ever have someone complain of vomiting? Just like your car works fine when you take it to the auto mechanic, vomiting patients never seem to vomit when you see them. Well one lady today decided she wanted to drive the point home that she was *really* sick. So she began retching loudly over and over again as if she was going to vomit. Everyone ran around pulling the cabinets apart looking for a vomit basin. They found one, rushed to hold it under the patient’s chin, and then she hawks up a little loogie and spits in the bottom of the bowl. Everybody just threw up their arms in the air, rolled their eyes and walked away. No ma’am, that’s not vomit, it’s saliva. Possibly a small amount of sputum mixed in, but the predominant composition is saliva. After the patient left, I commented about how the people who retch never seem to get up any stomach contents. My nurse called the process “fretching” – fake retching. Congrats, Colleen – your new word is the first post on the blog. Will submit this to Websters for their consideration next year. Update: Although not contained in the dictionary, the word “fretch” has been used before. Rats.

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