Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Story time

A Social Butterfly
My roommate, Lolita, asked a patient, "Do you drink alcohol?"

He said, "Oh, I'm just a social drinker."

Lolita, having been a medical student for more than five minutes, knew to then ask, "Okay, can you tell me what you mean by social drinker."

"Oh," he said, "I have about six beers."

"Six beers every day?"

"Yeah. About six beers a day. You know, a social drinker."

Pray for Serotonin
Graci is on a family practice rotation. The physician she is working with sees a fair number of patients with depression. Physicians tend to have their favorite prescriptions for the conditions they treat frequently. This doctor is no exception. Every time he sees a depressed patient, he says, "You need to go to church. Every Sunday. Go to church and ask God for help." Today, he went so far as to ask a patient, "Do you need me to find a church for you? Because I will."

I wonder if he was going to suggest she come to his church. Because that seems like the kind of thing that could backfire. Sundays could become extended office hours with patients saying, "Look Doc, I'm here. I asked God for help. He said to tell you that's what I pay you for."

Infant Frit
Today, a woman brought in a baby with eczema. I knew exactly what the pediatrician was going to say--olive oil. Her mother was a dermatologist in India, and she swore by the stuff. Having learned at her knee, the doctor suggests it for all kids with dry skin and mild eczema. So, I wasn't surprised when she said, "I want you to coat her in good old fashioned olive oil, head to toe, every day." I perked up, though, when she took it a step further and said, "Coat her in the olive oil and then lay her down, naked to her diaper, next to a sunny window for an hour."

She then looked at me and said, "Why did I just suggest that?"

I thought, "Well, the baby isn't jaundiced, so I'm not really sure why we're marinating her. I can only assume we're trying to seal in her juices so she won't dry out when we put her on the rotisserie."

I said simply, "I don't know."

The doctor's explanation had something to do with the vitamin D from sunlight working as an eczema treatment. Something like that. I wasn't listening. I was busy picturing the baby with a side of fries, or maybe some coleslaw.


Mme Benaut said...

Simply weird, T.

Susan said...

I use olive oil for my eczema, but if a doctor told me to go to church and pray about my depression, I'd deck him and then find a real doctor. I wouldn't go to church to get my flu shot and I not going to the clinic to look for faith.

alissa said...

Oh my, I'm cracking up at the marinating. That's hilarious.

nina said...

LOL! Well that makes me feel better about one of my favorite off color jokes. Something about baby oil being made from real babies... ack! *snort*

I love reading about your adventures and watching how you keep your sense of humor through it all.


Melanie said...

I second the olive oil treatment, which healed my daughter's scalp when all others had failed...but I shake my head at the idea of marinating in the sun.

And I wonder seriously if doctors who suggest going to church to pray as a viable option for treating a patient should be brought up on malpractice charges. It reminds me of a chiropractor I had years ago who, when I came in with severe lower back pain, told me that God would take away the pain as soon as I stopped sleeping with my live-in boyfriend.

Also, HI! :) I am a sucky friend and a flaky person, but I have not forgotten any of you and I have missed you and I think I'm out of my social panic phase well enough to talk a little bit, again.

Maria said...

God, I snorted. I mean a real snort. The kind where you are really glad that you aren't in a public place. It was very unladylike and quite satisfying,

The md telling his patients to go to church needs a good swift kick in the balls. But, hey....let an attending do it or a nurse or maybe even a cafeteria worker.

I am typing with four bandaids on my fingers which have SPLIT in this god damn cold. Maybe I have some olive oil in the cupboard....because the a & d and bandaids is seriously not working. Any suggestions, doc?

Terroni said...

Social drinking.
That's my suggestion.
After six beers, you won't be able to feel your damn fingers.

Mme Benaut said...

I just laughed out loud at your suggestion for Maria. Your sense of humour is priceless, little one.

jenny said...

I thought that sunlight through glass didnt have the same effect as on your skin or is that just for getting a tan?

dive said...

Wow! That's a recipe I'm gonna have to try, T; I've got plenty of good olive oil, now I need to find me a baby.
What wine goes with oiled, warm baby sashimi I wonder?

.j.william. said...


I think we all need to marinate in the sun a little bit. At least, those of us in the northern climes.

Anonymous said...

Dear Doctor T,
I've suffered from depression for years, nothing works, not your besic medical prescriptives, not your feel good carbs.
I've never thought about church as the answer to my depression. Hellfire, brimstone, end of the world you'll go to hell rhetoric, not a shred of evidence as to why you'd waste a whole sunday morning in a sweaty building with a bunch of other obvious depressives.
Group therapy perhaps? Or is the other doctor simply prescribing group mass hysteria now?

You'll make a far better doctor than all of these weird and wonderful people who are imparting the mysteries of modern medicine to you. But they sure are funny

joshua said...

me at the doctor:

"so, you drink a little bit?"

"yeah, a little bit."

"you do some cocaine every once in a while? just a little, you know?"

"no, i don't."

"okay, got it. don't do cocaine. all right. but, you do cocaine sometimes, just a little cocaine on occasion, right?"

"no, i don't. i do not do cocaine."

"ok, got it. no cocaine. no cocaine ever, is that it?"

"yes. none ever."

i have the same conversation at the canadian border, pretty much. not everyone needs cocaine to be a nervous wreck. valium, however, is fucking fantastic.

CS said...

Ha ha - a baby with a side of fries! And its monounstarurated fat, so good for you, too!

The doctor who oushed church appalls me. I'd never go back to that one.

Rich said...

If the olive oil doesn't work you could try Windex... it worked for the Greek guy in the movie.

Social drinkers are all over the place. I guess that guy was a VERY social guy eh?