Only half the story…

Posted on July 30, 2008. Filed under: At home..., Benign |


I sit in my room, and simple things bother me…I see patients with simple conditions that just won’t respond to the treatment that works for everyone else…something is missing…

Have you ever considered the concept that every member of your family is someones patient?!

It’s quite a scary thought when you consider how things are from the other side of the consulting room desk.  Last night I was on the phone to my grandparents – thankfully not registered at the surgery where I work.  We were (as usual) chatting about all there usual health problems and it became apparent that the clinician only really gets… half the story or less…
I doubt my Grandad’s Doctor understands why this fairly healthy chap in his 80’s had so many problems with his knee after he had it replaced. But then I doubt my Grandad’s Doctor knows that as well as having physiotherapy, my Grandma told Grandad that a 2 mile walk would be the best thing to for him on the second week after his surgery. I also doubt that he knows Grandad has been up the ladder on a grass slope leaning over to cut the hedges, so that the gardener wouldn’t have to worry about it.

I also doubt the Doctor can understand why Grandad has had such terrible back pain since his knee op.  If he knew that Grandad throws a rope over the balcony for Grandma to hook the shopping on and then he heaves it back up, the Doctor might understand a bit better…well at least his resting his knee rather than running up the stairs with the shopping!

Joy-bells, Joy-bells, where for art thou shopping bags?

Then I hear about all my Grandma’s troubles.

She’s one of these ladies with otitis externa that just doesn’t want to resolve.  I see patients like this all the time… I can’t figure out why it won’t clear up…  But I know why my Grandma’s doesn’t… my Grandad won’t let her leave her hearing aid out, so her canal never dries up and stays permanently as wet as the men’s toilet at the footy ground, with an odour to match (nice).  My Grandad understands about ear canals, that’s why he uses his car keys to get the wax out of them…apparently it helps the ignition as well!! (NOT RECOMMENDED!!!!)

Brrrrrm, Brrrrrrm. Listen to that engine turn over…

During the phone call I had to laugh out loud..nobody heard me, so nobody was offended….

Granny Max: I had to have the gunk syringed out of my ears again today.

Max (cynically): Did that make it better or worse?

Granny Max: Yes, I saw the nurse!!

So as a clinician am I any better…. Well I personally am not a good patient.  My doctor is fabulous, his young, enthusiastic and enjoys educating his patients.  I am the ultimate patient with an agenda…I hate patients that come in and say…”This is what I want”…but I am that patient.

By the time I am actually ill enough to be bothered to go to the doctor, I have diagnosed myself and just want the required treatment.  I don’t want him to draw me a picture, I understand the mechanism of the problem, I know the best home-care remedies, I have tried them and am happy to continue to do so…I don’t go to the doctors for assessment…”Give me what I want and then go and make yourself a coffee in the rest of my appointment time…please!” 

 How cross would I make me?  Very!!  So I try my best to humour him, but I know I’m wasting his time…and that’s what bugs me most.

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2 Responses to “Only half the story…”

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I try very hard to describe my symptoms in such a way that the obvious diagnosis is made by the nice doctor and thhe correct prescription given.

I’m sure he hasn’t worked that out.

Ummmmmmm.

But at least you have the education behind you to be that kind of patient.
I don’t and still act like that,lol
Lucky for me my doctor is good guy with
lots and lots of patience;p


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