- “Doc, that rabies cream you gave me worked AWESOME. My rabies is gone!” (the patient actually had scabies)
- Another young male patient: “Can I ask you a question? Cause you’re a doctor or something? The vagina has two holes, right? Like, the part you pee from isn’t the part that you…you know…have sex with. Right?” Me: “That’s right. There are two separate holes. Why do you ask?” Patient: “That’s what I told my girlfriend! But she didn’t believe me! I’m gonna go home and tell her what you said. Ha!”
The day’s best comments October 30, 2008
Another opinion about the election October 28, 2008
Me: It’s very important to control your blood pressure. You could have a stroke or a heart attack if your blood pressure stays high.
Elderly Puerto Rican Man: Oh no, I don’t want to die. I want to live to see the election!
Me: You and me both.
Elderly Man: I want to live to see the colored guy win! You know, that Obama.
Me: Yes, I know. I’m not allowed to tell you who I’m voting for.
Elderly Man: C’mon, you know you want him to win. That colored guy. That’s who I’m voting for!
Monday is haiku day October 27, 2008
A kid’s doctor says:
“Soda is Devil’s urine”
The best quote EVER
Patient with mouth pain
Teeth broken off at gumline
Please go to dentist!!
Assessing suicide risk
Can’t wait to attend
A handy dementia tip October 22, 2008
I happened to run into the geriatric specialist today–coincidentally right as I was preparing to assess a new patient for early dementia. I was telling the geriatric doc that I was unsure if this patient (who dropped out of school in 2nd grade) is mildly mentally retarded, or if she has a new onset of cognitive impairment. The doctor suggested that in addition to the clock drawing and the interlocking pentagons (see: Mini-Mental Status test), I should ask the patient to name as many different animals as she can in 60 seconds. According to the geriatrician, a score of less than 13 animals indicates dementia. Before I asked the patient to do it, I asked the medical assistant to time me for 60 seconds. I named 43 animals (admittedly, I do like to watch Animal Planet, so I have an advantage). My patient named 5. AND she messed up the clock. AND the pentagons. As pathetic as it is, I was hoping she would turn out to have dementia, because the services for dementia patients are a lot better than the services for our independent-but-really-slow patients. Next steps? A home dementia and safety evaluation.
Something to look forward to October 17, 2008
One of the small pleasures at my job is reading the “Reason for Appointment” section of my schedule. The phone operators at my clinic are not medically trained, which makes for some pretty hilarious appointments. For example, next Monday I have a pending appointment for “Bugs in Pubic Hair.” This week I saw somebody with a complaint of “Manopause” (although one of her problems is a decreased libido, so maybe that was accurate). Last week I saw someone for an appointment scheduled as “Dehorstion.” (???–the patient had both dehydration and exhaustion, and I’m not sure which one the operator was going for). I also saw someone this week for “Ear and a Tonsil.” There’s the always-ominous “Pt States it is Personal.” And then there’s my all-time favorite: “Fly-like symptoms” (Would that be the compound eyes, the garbage eating or the buzzing?)
Speechless. October 15, 2008
This morning I was tending to a woman who had smashed her finger in a door. She was grumpy to begin with because I was running 30 minutes late. She was not pleased with my recommendation to go to the ER for xrays and stitches. She works the night shift and had not yet been to sleep. All around, not a happy camper.
We discussed her job and the fact that she will likely not be able to work for at least a few days. I asked her if she has sick leave. “Well, I don’t know,” she said. “My boss is a Jew and they don’t like anyone to take time off.” Um…hello, I’m a Jew?
What followed was a long silence while I struggled to come up with an appropriate response. I couldn’t find one. The long silence was all that I could muster. I hate when that happens! It’s not that I find the patient’s remarks ok, or even worthy of ignoring. It’s that my first reaction (did she really just say that?) is never conducive to a therapeutic response. My second and third reactions (oh my god, think of something to say! THINK OF SOMETHING TO SAY RIGHT NOW!) aren’t very helpful either. The fourth reaction (say ‘I’m Jewish.’ Wait, do you really want to engage on a personal level right now? Is that professional? Is that a good idea?) also didn’t make the grade. My only response was a disapproving silence. It was not the articulate yet professional condemnation of bigotry that I was hoping for. Sigh. I’ll be adding ‘develop better response to prejudiced patients’ to my list of “Things to Work On.”
Cleverest comment of the day October 7, 2008
This morning I was giving a patient my standard pep talk about quitting alcohol and smoking. I informed him that abstinence from alcohol will allow his gastritis to heal (hopefully putting an end to his pesky habit of vomiting blood) and will help out his liver. Then I helpfully pointed out that smoking is also bad for his health. That’s when he interrupted me. “You know,” he said, “I should call you Obama. Because all you talk about is change, change, change!” Ha!