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I would like to start the New Year by wishing you excellent health and prosperity. It is a time to reflect back, learn and sometimes chuckle. I share with you some of the lighter moments that occur in a busy medical practice over the course of a year. It keeps the days from being anything but bleak for me, Dr. R, Julie and Rita. Names have been changed and incidents "doctored" so that they do not resemble any form of amusement that might be found in medical practice!
Julie: Mrs. X just called. She re-booked, because she has a headache, and will come in to see you when she is feeling better!
Let me see if I got this right. You have been married three times in 6 years, you have booked a hall, band and church, but have not booked a groom yet, you gave up your teaching position to concentrate on selling pails to squeegee kids, and now you feel that I should reconsider using the term "impulsive" in your presence?
We are on the top floor of a medical building in a low rise neighborhood, and patients sometimes ask why I bother closing the blinds for an examination. I often joke that we have a nosy traffic reporter flying around. One day, I was pulling the blinds shut to offer some privacy for a 75 year old female patient in preparation for a breast exam. I blushed when she suggested I leave them open, because she has heard his traffic reports, and is convinced that he can't see further than his joy-stick.
Hey, Doc. I met a patient of yours that lives in my building. You know the one, hates medication, thinks doctors are agents of drug companies, resists every medical treatment. Great news, she has had a sudden change of heart on her anti-drug resolve. But I think she needs more convincing. I am just here to get a quick flu-shot. Oh yeah, she asked me to get some more of those "Viagra-Vitamin" samples?
It's a funny thing, because I felt perfectly fine, before I signed up for Leaf's TV. Now I scream at the TV with no one in the room, get reflux and worry a lot. Do you think it's contagious?
In my practice, it is your right to "bare" arms during flu-shot season.
You know Doctor, I have had these stomach cramps and loose movements for days, ever since we ate at that nice restaurant. Since the war, my husband always says: "Never trust a skinny cook", and this time I think he was right.
A twice divorced fellow came in for his new year's weigh-in and informed me how his new girl friend had only one wish for Christmas, and that was to see a new "six-pack" on him. He went on to inform me that with all the merriment he has surpassed the six-pack and has decided to get her a "keg" instead!
Doctor, I need a new form of contraception because headaches don't seem to be working anymore.
Mr. J came in and I was amazed to find that he was fighting a rapidly progressing lung infection. He has had several poor experiences with walk-in clinics. He explained how his wife kicked him out of the bedroom because his cough kept her awake all night, and she felt he was stubborn for not taking any medicine. He explained in detail his desperate visit to the overcrowded clinic in the local LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) plaza. After an hour of waiting and staring at the LCBO store across the mall, he decided that brandy was a quicker fix than penicillin! He is currently improving and should be discharged from the hospital sometime soon.
People always seem to think it must be exciting being a Coroner "just like CSI Las Vegas!" The truth of the matter is that in Canada, real coroners don't need guns or high heels, but thermal underwear, galoshes and nose plugs prove more practical. My "forensic lab" shares space with my hockey equipment in the trunk. Those dimly lit blue places, with stylishly dressed singles walking around discussing the intricacies of crimes and their social lives are called "sports bars" in our neck of the frozen north. Although I suppose some people consider them as "head-quarters"!
Remember, people don't stop dreaming just because they are getting old, but people age quickly when they stop dreaming.
Keep smiling, stay healthy and let's never meet by accident!
Note: Dr. Peter W. Kujtan is a medical doctor and an investigative coroner.
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