There’s always a few comments each week that make me laugh, even on the bad days.
- English-as-second-language patient, describing her asthma symptoms: “I have weasels in my chest. Weasels, when I breathe. Weasels!” (wheezes)
- Me, to older man: “I’m pretty sure that rash on your forehead is herpes zoster, which is also called shingles. Do you see how it has all those blisters and scabs, in a line? That’s a sign of shingles.” Patient: “Mmm, No. I don’t think so. I think it’s something else” Me: “Do you want the medication we just talked about? The kind that can prevent you from developing a nerve pain after the sores are gone?” Patient: “Naw.”
- Me, to post-menopausal patient who was worried about imminent pelvic exam: “I’m going to use a small speculum for your pap smear, ok?” Patient: “That’s good, honey, because that factory has been closed for a long time!”
- Schizoaffective patient, informing me that he just fired his therapist for insulting him: “Did you know that ‘knee-jerk’ means ‘asshole’?” Me: “Actually, I’ve never heard that before.” Patient: “Yeah, I didn’t know that either, but that’s what she called me and then I found out she was calling me an asshole.”
- Me: “Do you think you could be pregnant?” Patient: “If I am, somebody better call the news because it’s going to be a fucking miracle!”
- And the ever popular sweet-drink overload. Me: “You drink the sweet teas from McDonalds? The 32-oz for $1 ones? How many do you drink a day?” Patient: “Three” Me: “That’s 96 oz of sweetened beverage a day. I think this is contributing to your weight gain.” Patient, looking crestfallen and disappointed: “Ohhhh. Really?”