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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Too much information

Part of being a doctor is knowing how to manage sensitive information. Building a good rapport with a patient and being observant are skills that help me to learn intimate details of that patient's lifestyle. I have to ask questions about sexual habits, social issues, bowel movements - the sort of things that aren't mentioned in polite society.

It's a very odd feeling, having all this intimate knowledge of a complete stranger. Oftentimes I wish I didn't know so much.

For example, I recently saw a young man who was (one might say politely) rather on the hefty side. He had some pain in his upper abdomen, worsening over the last few days and it was getting quite unbearable.

So I examine him and I find that the pain is coming from a rather odorous patch of skin over his tummy that had become very ulcerated and infected.

And the source of infection was a cheese sandwich.

Yes. This would be a good moment for you all to run and get a basin or a bag of some sorts.

This young gentleman had been enjoying an afternoon snack but had dropped it, half eaten, somewhere on his person and he was so, er, hefty that it had gotten lost somewhere in the folds. Don't ask me why he left it there. Maybe he was saving it for later? I don't know. I don't really want to know.

However, I do know the following:

1. Objects have been lost in the rolls of fat on his person. He has really let himself go. I wonder what other hidden treasures lie in the depths.

2. This man has not washed himself for a long time. Judging from the state of the cheese sandwich, I would say at least a week.

3. This man eats his meals in the buff. *shudder*

4. This man often drops food on the floor of his home, but doesn't bother to look for it to pick it up again. His living arrangements are probably less than desirable.

5. This man probably does not have a job. Or any friends. Or anything that involves getting himself out of the house.

6. This man must be very lonely.

7. This man hates his body so much that he can't even look at it long enough to find out why his stomach was hurting. He had to get someone else to look for him.

You see what I mean? Too much information!!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your site is starting to be a more interesting read than watching Dr. Gregory House. - D W

10:27 am  
Blogger tscd said...

D W: Thank you!

12:31 am  

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