Musings of a Dinosaur

A Family Doctor in solo private practice; I may be going the way of the dinosaur, but I'm not dead yet.

Monday, May 14, 2007

(More) Stupid People and the Pain They Cause

The message above, unfortunately, does not apply to a distressingly high proportion of the patients who seem to have been seeking me out of late. I continue to amuse my staff by periodically commenting (after the patient is long gone):
I can't imagine how being *that* stupid wouldn't hurt.
I don't know why it's been so bad lately. Perhaps the nicer weather is allowing them to climb out of their caves.

There's the guy with the rash. The one on his leg, and maybe somewhere on his arm; or was it the other arm? It's mostly gone now, but it was really bothering him last week and he wants to know what it was. There's some barely discernible pinkness in a distribution that may or may not have been the rash he's talking about, that may have been a little contact dermatitis, or perhaps even a few hives. There's no way to tell; it's not really bothering him anymore, so there's nothing to do for him. And my head hurts from my brain trying to force its way out through my ears, rushing into the intelligence vacuum created in the room by the guy sitting in front of me.

As it happens, I've basically written this post before; but it was way back in October of last year, which is more than six months ago. Besides, now I have this great picture to share. (Thanks, MIH.) And the stupid people just keep right on coming.


At Tue May 15, 02:36:00 AM, Blogger MonkeyGirl said...

One of my favorites: "My baby won't stop crying and I don't know what's wrong with her." Baby is silent/sleeping in triage, silent/sleeping for the 2-3 hours they wait to be seen, and acting like a perfectly normal, well baby upon exam by the doc. Perhaps what's wrong with her is...YOU!

At Tue May 15, 12:10:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have high cholesterol... LDL about 165 and HDL around 70 were my last measurements (I had a lower LDL and an HDL about 74 a year ago). So I have not had any butter for the last 6 weeks, limited cheese, and only pretend eggs, plus I increased my exercise (swimming more times a week). I want to avoid being put on Lipitor or whatever, as does my family doctor.

So last month I went to a family wedding. At the dinner the night before where my siblings, our spouses and children took up a corner of the restaurant... I explained to my sister that I was ordering the fish trying to avoid butter and cheese because I did not want to be put on Lipitor because of what it does to the liver.

She told me that her husband decided to stop taking his Lipitor the month before... just as he was getting his appetizer order of fried calamari. He followed that with a triple pasta order covered with extra parmesan cheese (lasagna, ravioli and fettucine).

The next day during our sister time before the wedding she complained that he is completely ignoring the doctor's advice on his cholesterol. This is driving my sister nuts, and making her worry.

Though I'm not surprised at his behavior. Last year as we were rushing to get ready to attend a family funeral he was instructed to get us a hamburger to share --- and to remember not to have cheese on it (my cholestorel, and my sister is lactose intolerant). So just before we have to drive off he gives us the CHEESEburger he chose for us! AAARGH!!!

At Tue May 15, 01:36:00 PM, Blogger Bookhorde said...

I bet the guy's rash is like my rash. I get a rash every spring from the sun -- my skin gets shocked or something after being covered up all winter. I'm itching right now.
(I notice that the itch comes before the rash -- if I can manage not to scratch, and use lotion, or ice, or something instead -- I don't get the rash.)
So, um, feel free to tell him that and send me his co-pay. ;)

At Tue May 15, 05:48:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Conversation I had with a young woman who walked into my husband's office (optometry):

Woman: Um, I think there's, like, something in my eye. Can the doctor look at it?
Me: What do you think happened?
Woman: Well, I was glueing my falsh eyelashes on, and I think I stabbed my eye with one.
Me: Excuse me. (Walk into next room, laugh silently, come back out with straight face.) He can see you, and the fee for an emergency visit is (insert purposefully high fee here to weed out idiots).
Woman: Oh! I have to pay for the doctor to look at me? Never mind.

Get a clue!!!

At Thu May 17, 06:39:00 AM, Blogger Midwife with a Knife said...

I try never to laugh at people who are just really worried and anxious. But stupid is fair game, I feel. Like people who, despite being told to be NPO after midnight in anticipation of their c-section, eat a Wendy's bacon cheeseburger, fries, and frosty at 4am (their reasoning being, "I was hungry. I figured you wouldn't really want a pregnant woman to be hungry!").

A friend of mine from med school called such people "too stupid to live", suggesting that eventually they would die as a result of their own stupidity. The same friend referred to some of our ICU pts in the SICU as "too stupid to die" after ending up in the unit after various motor cycle stunts, etc.


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