These are some recent statements that really beg for an answer like “Duh” or “REALLY?”. But instead, I just settle for biting the inside of my cheeks while I think of how to make it a “teachable moment.”
- Patient with epigastric abdominal pain. Me: “Do you drink coffee? Soda? Yes, soda? How much?” Patient: “Two bottles a day.” Me: “How big are the bottles?” Patient (making the size of a 2-liter bottle with his hands): “Why, there’s nothing wrong with that, right?”
- Patient who was just informed of her 9-week pregnancy: “Should I be taking something for this? Like vitamins or something?”
- Young female patient, in response to questioning about her daily fruit, veggie and calcium intake: “Well, I eat vegetables maybe once a month. Milk? Ew, no. Yogurt? Ew. Fruits? Sometimes, in the summer. Not in the winter. Why, is that bad?”
- Patient whose blood sugar has reached 500, during a talk about healthy diet choices: “I don’t understand why my sugar keeps going up. I eat diet stuff. And I eat vegetables. Like what? Well, potatoes. And yucca. Mostly potatoes.”
- Patient, requesting Percocet (and nothing else) for her back pain: “Why don’t people here just give me Percocet? I won’t get addicted to it, I promise! Why don’t you want me to have it?”
FYI folks, trying to convince someone to give you a narcotic by saying “I won’t get addicted, I promise” doesn’t work very well!