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Monday, April 6, 2009

Mind your language (1)

I just thought I'd share this with you.

I consulted a diabetic patient today who had a septic wound on his toe. I couldn't see it under the masses of bandage so I asked him to describe it before I released that purulent festering wound from its swathy prison.

He began thus: "Well doctor, you know I has a pasta in my foot."

This man did not look like an Italian.

Pasta foot? What the hell?

Hmmm...I suppose that would be graded in terms of severity by its al dente'ness?


What would I find when I opened this wound?

Linguine? Hopefully that's all it is as that's the mildest most non-fatal form of pasta foot.

Fettucine? Severe, but still treatable with garlic and sundried tomatoes.

Panzerotti!? Oh god no, please let it not be panzerotti! There's no coming back from panzerotti!


"No man Doctor, a pasta, like when it is having an infection."


Then I got it. He meant like pus. A pus-like infection. A yummy pus-filled pasta sauce.

I forgave this man his mishap because English is his 4th language.

They always did compare certain pathologies to food at medschool:

TB necrosis - cottage cheese

Meckel's diverticulum - red currant jelly

Bleeding gastric ulcer - coffee grounds

Bon appetit!

5 comments:

Julia said...

You are the rockingest Dr S! Do you know they asked me matter-of-factly for my TB X-ray at Heathrow. I said I don't gots a TB X-ray. They were not impressed. Jules

Julia said...

By the way, I've just taken a whole lot of codeine and brufen and I can't feel my legs. Should I be worried?

Muammil said...

I am no longer having yellow sauce on any food-form I ever ingest, ever.

Dr S. said...

Julia: are you doing that method writing thing again? Just because your protagonist is OD'ing doensn't mean you have to! What will happen to you when you write about a serial killer? Are we all going to have to change our names and move towns?

Also - when were you at Heathrow? As you know my family travel up and down to UK a lot and have never once been asked for a TB X-ray!

Alia said...

you forgot to mention the main ingredient of an abcess!custard!!!! yum!

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