Saturday, October 6, 2012

A Baby Story Part 3

As one could imagine, the majority of my function at our pregnancy appointments is to provide emotional support to my wife while trying not to alienate our caregivers through ill-advised jokes. This has gone somewhat poorly. When the doctor was discussing pain management with my wife, I interjected that after much soul-searching we had settled on a 1920’s-era combination of morphine and scopolamine known as “twilight sleep.” I was met with a blank stare by the physician and a rather unsavory look from my wife at which time I decided I could be of best of use by reading the billing codes on the back of her chart.

As a mental exercise I began placing these billing code descriptions into three distinctive categories: insulting codes, unnecessarily specific codes, and codes that could also double as the name of a rock band.

We will begin with the insulting codes:

Incompetent Cervix – This seemed unnecessarily condescending in my personal opinion. Pregnancy is intense enough without being told that your “cervix is incompetent.” What is the treatment for such an ailment? Remedial courses? Conceptual tutoring? Interestingly enough, the cervix is the only part of the female anatomy to earn this designation. While other components can be “injured” or “abnormal” only the cervix can be so unskilled as to be unemployable. Someone needs to take a stand before they start billing for “ovarian ineptitude” or “fallopial maleficence.”

Obesity – This condition’s proximity to “pregnancy  confirmation” could lead to some awkward conversations. I can just see the doctor walking in and saying, “Well, you’re not pregnant so we have had to change your diagnosis to ‘Level 3 Fattie.’” Keep mind, there is still a separate diagnosis for excessive weight gain during pregnancy so the medical staff has dug themselves quite a hole with this one. Perhaps something easier to swallow like “girth of an unknown origin” would soften the blow.

Unnecessarily Specific Codes
I did think that it was interesting that there is a code for vomiting, another code for nausea, and a separate code if you feel nausea while you are vomiting. Now I am not an expert on the human body, but it is rare for me to experience vomiting without feeling some digestive uneasiness. To further complicate matters, there is a fourth billing code for a “vomiting pregnancy.”

There are also some interesting billing codes under “Pregnancy Complications.” Most notably there is a designation for “Prom < 24Hrs. Prior to the Onset of Labor,” and while this could potentially spell disaster for any high-school senior I am not sure it needed a specific code.       

Band Names

GERD – while actually an acronym for gastro esophageal reflux disease, this would look fantastic on a tour T-shirt and the acronym could be easily altered to something more cutting edge like Gringos Eschewing Racial Division or Gateways Encroaching Relative Darkness. As a bonus “GERD LIFE” make a great knuckle or stomach tattoo.

Blighted Ovum - This could work for a punk-band or a Norwegian death-metal conglomerate. Any use of the word blight outside of a potato famine has instant cache and the name provides the snicker-worthy acronym B.O.

Uterine Scar – this could easily be assigned to an all-female grind-core band or a group of twenty-something frat guys with maternal abandonment issues. Either way the debut album cover should feature a Cabbage Patch doll festooned with throwing knives.    

Vulvar Lesion – while undoubtedly an unpleasant condition, the band’s popularity could help educate their young male fan base and dispel the notion that a vulva is the optional bug screen for a Volvo sedan.

Transverse Lie – this has Emo-core all over it. The name suggests the incongruity of deception and begs the possibility of a concept album about a break-up with each song named for a stage in the grieving process.


  1. You should get a copy of IC9 and look at the E codes. There is a code for injury by a trolley not currently on rails and injury by a falling spacecraft.

    1. Exceptional MediocrityOctober 6, 2012 at 11:10 AM

      All the time in high school I spent trying to come up with original band names and I just now realize what a goldmine medical codes are. I can only assume there is a separate designation for injury by a trolley car still on the rails?


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