I learn a lot from you patients. Some of you will bring in some esoteric piece of medical information from the internet and I learn that I should spend more time on the internet. Some will have researched, ad nauseum, every possible website, blog, link, forum and tweet about the mating habits of the Eastern Moldavian micro RNA viral particle that, being a physician, I should be an expert on.
I’ve even learned about the status of a medication when a patient came in for a renewal on her medications, which included a cholesterol lowering medication called Baycol. As I was writing out the prescriptions and ordering some blood tests she said “Not Baycol, doctor.” “Why not? It appears to be working fine.” “Well, I heard that it was taken off the market, doctor.” “Oh, I’m sure I would have heard that Mrs. Bloggins. Trust me, I’m a doctor. See…” I replied as I reached across the desk and produced a golf ball with the word Baycol right on it. “Regardless of what your balls say, I heard on the radio that Baycol was being recalled.” Sure enough, Baycol had been removed from the market that very morning due to a pesky side effect known as death.
Another patient told me that he had bought my book at Bolen Books. “Well my book hasn’t been released yet, but there are some other stunningly handsome authors out there that you might have confu…” to which he took out a copy of MY book and asked me to sign it.
I learn about cars, trucks, the gospel, RRIFs, riffs, latest Japanese gadgets, latest Japanese research, great books, great bookings, great bookies, stock tips (thanks Martha S.), Chinese cures, Chinese restaurants, clothing sales (with strong encouragement to take advantage of same), movies, movements, a great band, a lap band, and, of course, a plethora of alternative medical stuff, usually involving an exotic sounding fruit endemic to an exotic sounding South Pacific Island. At the end of my day I often have a pile of prescription pad notes scattered across my desk, having scribbled on them “Toy Story 3” or “Bre-X” or “thong” or something completely illegible (which in retrospect I wish had been the Bre-X and thong note) to me or even the pharmacist.
And then I learn some lessons for life. The trusting philanthropist. “I want you to find someone who needs this and give it to them anonymously” said Jean Bilson of 273 Fairlane Ave., 250-379-2345. It was cash. More cash than I would make palpating prostates in a month. So I looked for someone who needed this help, in Maui.
The patient . A 23 year old man had been called in to our clinic regarding the results of a lab test. A test that was positive for herpes. He had to wait three hours. Turns out he never had a test for herpes. It was someone else’s test! Three hours of his life spent in our waiting room amongst the sick, weary and infective, all for nothing. “Hey, at least it’s good news.” he laughed. Wow.
The caring comedian. Opening the door to the exam room, there was a new patient, Jake, fully clothed, lying spread-eagled on the table with his feet in the stirrups and a rather large revealing hole in the crotch of his jeans. “I figure anybody who writes the stuff you do would enjoy a good laugh.” I then learned that he didn’t have a lot to laugh about as dirt poor Jake cared for a severely mentally damaged child, one that was not even his. I learned about compassion…. and sewing kits. Jake, I just happen to have some cash back here.
So, thanks for the lessons and please…. let me know if I’ve written another book.