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Friday, February 17, 2006

Why the doctor doesn't appear to care (II)

Why the doctor doesn't appear to care when you come in with...

Back Pain

1. You walk in on your own with no apparent difficulty. Contrary to popular belief, doctors can tell when a patient is putting on a big display for our benefit. Thank you for your kind efforts, but we're not going to be fooled. You can stop limping now.

2. You are all hunched up in the bed/in the chair, moaning. People with back pain tend to keep their backs stiff and straight - even then, I still may not care. Your posture is terrible, by the way. Take some deportment classes.

3. You wrenched your back in a rugby scrum last week and today decided to help a friend carry his piano up the stairs. You are a very kind person, but also very stupid. No more heavy lifting for you. This also means no lifting shopping bags/carrying children/doing handstands/moving crates.

4. The nurse offered you pain relief but you politely declined. You martyr. Get outta here.

5. It happened after sleeping rough on somebody else's floor following a night of particularly intense carousing. Go have your hangover at home in your own bed.

6. You haven't changed your mattress in 15 years - the bed sags in the middle. 'Nuff said.

7. It happened after a visit to the chiropractor/osteopath. You should go and get your money back.

8. Your back pain miraculously recovers when I explain that a digital rectal examination is necessary in order to test the nervous supply of the anal sphincters.

9. You hurl abuse at the nurses when they refuse to give you morphine for your pain. You apologise to them first, then maybe I'll give a care.

10. Your pain is down your entire back. Everything hurts! What do you want? A new spine?

2 Comments:

Blogger angry doc said...

"Your pain is down your entire back. Everything hurts! What do you want? A new spine?"

No, just some backbone. :)

9:01 am  
Anonymous Amka said...

As for #4, I just wanted to gently remind you that a patient presenting with back pain might want a diagnosis so the problem can actually be fixed rather relying on a bunch pain meds to cover symptoms. They may have been frustrated in the past by being given pills and told to go on their merry way. You may not be able to give them a satisfactory diagnosis, it may not be able to be fixed, but at least give them a bit of compassion.

Also, what do you do for a person who can't afford a new mattress?

I know I'm not there, and I understand there might be burn out. And I also get that some people are there for the narcotics. There are lives and motivations that may be irritating. But to these people, their case is their own unique experience, not just a statistic of stupidity or bland redundancy.

1:12 pm  

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