Saturday, March 27, 2010

Why I did not become a dentist

Why does this type of 6 year old patient come to the Dr?

I don't know anything about teeth.

I refuse to know anything about teeth.

I hate teeth.

Something to do with the fact that I was born with very malaligned ones and had to endure 5 years of braces, and the nickname, Bugs Bunny.

Normally I stay well away from teeth. But when mommy and daddy insist on feeding their son sweeties, and don't brush his teeth, and Junior starts to look like an extra from a horror movie...well, then I feel the need to step in and make a plan.

My treatment plan included:

1 X smack through the head for mommy, PRN.
2 X punch to the groin for daddy, PRN.

Referral to those people like my dad and my sister who really really adore teeth, namely the Dentists.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Survival of the drunkest.

There are certain things patients do when they enter the GP's office which indicate that the consultation is going to be interesting.

For example:

My last patient of the day, Mr V, introduced himself by politely lurching over the desk, slapping me on the shoulder and saying:

"Jammer Dokter, nuh!? Jammer nuh! Ek vra verskoning, ek wil nou nie ombeskof wees nie, en ek moet eerlik wees,maar ek het 'n paar biere gesuip voor ek nou hier gekom het."

"Forgive me Doctor,hey,forgive me for being rude,hey! But I must be honest and tell you I've had a few beers before visiting you today."
English doesn't do it justice.

Having been taught never to judge the patient I ignored his chronic pancreatitis history and did not immediately assume that he was an alcoholic.

In fact, it's probably most likely that he was just someone who has had such shitty experiences with the health service in the past that he knew he needed alcohol to survive a visit to the doctor.

I could understand this completely.

I mean, sometimes I feel like I need a few drinks just to survive some of the patients!

And that scene would go:

Goodmorning patient, I'm slightly sozzled right now, so do forgive me for having accidentally palpated your thyroid through your rectum instead of your prostate...yes?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Gastro for a week?

NO! Ruptured appendix in septic shock - surgical emergency - rushed off via ambulance to hospital.

Neck pain post rugby match. Cervical myalgia?

NO! C-spine disruption! Immobilised and sent off to trauma unit STAT.

Normal period 4 weeks post last menses?

NO! Missed abortion - off you go to the gynaecologist.

Circular lesions on anterior shin? It's just eczema isn't it doctor?

NO! It's actually a classic ecthyma!

Today, I was, the GP QUEEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Woop Woop!


Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Private Problem

I remember puberty.


Specifically I remember developing breasts and how unbearably ashamed I was of this fact.

Puberty is a painful, agonising, angst-ridden, awkward time where one is basically a confused child struggling to deal with the sudden onslaught of adulthood.

It is also the time one becomes both secretly thrilled, and horrifically aware of the sexual organs...both one's own and those belonging to others! Eek!

But then, one grows up, studies medicine, becomes a doctor, is exposed to naked flesh of all shapes and sizes on a daily professional basis...and suddenly there is no difference between a nose and a penis, or an ear and a vagina.

They're all just organs to us.

(Even the diseases of these organs are the same: a penis gets syphyllis, and a nose gets sniffle-less!!! Hee Hee!)

This has put us totally out of tune with our patients' embarrasment at revealing themselves physically in our consulting rooms.

My elderely, conservative Muslim uncle of a patient with testicular pain, couldn't understand my insistence at physically examining his genitals.
And I couldn't understand his resistance.
I had to pull out all my medical knowledge, and subtle scare-tactics about cancer before he would let me anywhere near his genitals. I even mentioned Lance Armstrong. Livestrong, Uncle, Livestrong!

He eventually reluctanctly relented.

After the physical assualt on his privates he remarked quietly that he felt sorry for a "young girl" like myself having to deal with such terrible things on a daily basis.

Stupid, desensitised, Doctor that is me, didn't even realise what I was saying when I responded that I like it and try to have as much fun as possible with the patient.

It was only after he gave me a sly grin, and winked on his way out the door, that I fully understood the ridiculousness and possible inappropriateness of my statement...

In the words of Homer Simpson, DOH!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Baby Fat

A few days ago two young parents brought their baby in for a consultation.

They were so terribly worried that their pigtailed 2-year old child had a runny nose.

When I looked at the child I nearly fainted.

"How many children do you have?" I asked them nervously.

"Just this cute little one." The dad beamed proudly.

"You're lying!" I almost screamed at him! "You actually had THREE kids and this child ATE the other two!"

This kid was the size of three kids.

What in the hell were they feeding this child?

Fried fat wrapped in pastry covered in cream, basted with lard and a side-order of baby?

And she had that hungry look in her eyes.

I examined her very quickly with my left hand.

The left one I was prepared to lose in case she desired a quick snack.

The right was too precious to risk.

Nothing wrong with your child, folks, except that she's morbidly obese.

I explained to the parents the horrors of this delicious death trap they were setting for their little one, and how I would be referrring them to a dietitian for expert advice.

All the while I kept one eye nervously on Junior, and one hand gripping my patella hammer in case she decided to attack me.

With each stomp around my consulting room desk her pendulous belly rippled and a tsunami of fat travelled infero-superiorly up her abdomen, threatening to engulf her head, but then thankfully richocheted off the two Dolly-Parton-sized fat pads that should have been her chest.

It took all my strength not to jump through the window behind my desk and run for the hills screaming that The Blob was going to eat us all!

Baby fat is cute.

Obese fat baby monsters are not.


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