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Monday, October 10, 2005

Tell me your sign!!!

She says: Doctor, I have some pain in my knees.
She means: I haven't walked for 3 days because I keep fainting all the time, and the last time I fainted, I think I wet myself and bit my tongue.
Time taken to get the real story: 20 minutes

He says: Doctor, I had a bad cough last week.
He means: I have had this chest pain since last night that has made me short of breath and, by the way, both my parents died of heart attacks.
Time taken to get the real story: 15 minutes

She says: Doctor, I fell down this morning.
She means: I fell from the 2nd floor window.
Time taken to get the real story: 5 minutes

He says: Doctor, I have had some constipation.
He means: I haven't opened my bowels since two weeks ago and I've been vomiting this smelly brown stuff that looks a bit like poo.
Time taken to get the real story: 10 minutes

She says: Doctor, my back hurts.
She means: This morning, I had blood in my urine.
Time taken to get the real story: 25 minutes!

Why?! Why can't they just tell me what is the real trouble instead of making me interrogate them? It's like squeezing blood from stones.

I'm just a doctor - I'm not a clairvoyant! I'm intuitive, not telepathic. I may be far-sighted, but I am certainly not second-sighted. I'm sorry, but I left my mind-reading seer powers at home today, why don't you call the psychic hotline?!

I'm not sure if my patient's reticence stems from the natural conservative nature of the British folk, or if maybe, just maybe, they are trying to play sadistic mind games with me.


Anonymous j. said...

that story is at once frustrating, amusing, and most of all, gross.

i'm back in england and slowly readapting to the lethargic pace of life.

9:12 am  
Blogger Tym said...

Let me assure you that I am the complete opposite of those patients. I march right in and tell the doctors everything, even stuff that they probably don't want to know and they're like, "No, no, that's not a symptom of anything. It's completely unrelated..."

This is what comes of having a mother for a nurse, since she'd usually be able to offer a preliminary diagnosis from her thorough knowledge of all our symptoms.

PS: Perhaps you could creatively interpret such challenges as, erm, opportunities for enhancing your people skills? Ha ha, and now I know I've been juggling corporatespeak too much these last few weeks...

10:26 pm  
Blogger tscd said...

j: Yes. I don't think many people realise how gross it is, being a doctor. We have to do alot of demeaning things.

tym: Heh. So you make the doctors sift through the information deluge for clues eh? Messing with our minds...(mumble mumble)

12:14 am  
Anonymous Ray said...

In the SAF, patients do the exact opposite.

He says: Sir, I got dire rear for 3 days and I think got a bit of blood down there.
He means: Sir, I want 1 day MC.
Time taken to get to the real story: I don't know, how long does it take to put gloves on, get out the surgilube and stick your fingers up someone's butt?

5:31 pm  

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