Saturday, December 11, 2010

Patient Parody... Which one is YOU?

Oh well oh well oh well!

Isn't this an interesting topic to be discussing about!

What made me want to even blog about this is the fact that i've went through countless of patients in my limited working experience of just 3 years. and boy oh boy! have i seen waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyy too many personalities that even Rapunzel could handle! bet she wouldn't wanna leave the ivory tower coming out to a bunch of these people!! but what the heck. not all of us are born .... errr.... normal?! ;P

Lets start with the first category!

The Passive-fier!!!

Let's start with the less-dramatic one shall we?? that way we could build towards the climax! people in this group are....well... QUIET and hardly responsive! when i give a consultation on his/her condition, the only response i get would range from simple nods to "yes ma'am/no ma'am"s. not much of a range now izzit? but nevertheless, it's a favourite type to most doctors, because there is less fuss and hassle. and it makes it a lot easier knowing you have a gazillion more waiting outside your door, waiting to barge in to see you!

The OCDs!!!

Ok. this must be quite the eccentric of the lot. as most of you might know OCD stands for obsessive compulsive disorder. probably one of the most well-known mental illnesses currently in line with depression. as the name implies, they cannot stop thinking of something and act on it without composure, calmness and control. so they tend to exaggerate in their actions. like when presenting a complaint for example. the usual 2 or 3 symptoms one can have at one time ends up being 10 - 15 symptoms instead!! and after addressing the issues one by one, they would then annoyingly ask the same questions again as if they've never heard you in the first place! thus the long consultation time, the long waiting hours for other patients, and finally the rising steam erupting from every part of your orifices on your bulging red head!!! *fooohhhhhhhh! fooohhhhhhhh!*
The fact that they have to do it for a consistent number of times made it all worst. and when i do suggest the proper medical management for their undiagnosed condition (most of the time i would say i need to refer to a psychologist/psychiatrist), they turn awfully quiet, and some would show that they're insulted. And so when the next appointment comes, they have either become less symptom-generous or requested to see another doctor. Strange, but i'm afraid this is how most Malaysians would react to the word Psychiatrist. they still generalize people referred to one as being CRAZY. Pathetic, but true.

The "My friend is better than you doctor, but he is not one"!!!

Oh yes!!! this i would say is the most interesting of all the categories imma gonna mention!! these patients are generally from the working class or from the retirement group. they would come in explaining what they have and spilling infos about what they've read on their disease. Good so far eh? superb! in fact it's too good to be true as it could consequently cut down the time spent per consultation! so where's the poop?? (like Lily from 'How I Met Your Mother").
The poop happens to be AFTER you've told them that despite the things they've read about, some or nearly most of them, are technically full of crap. but in a nicer, more polite way of course. and then you comment on why the blackcurrant-flavoured drink they're drinking is not a cure-all for their diabetes as the advert on the paper said. As proof, you present to them their abnormally high blood sugar reading. Instead of getting an "oh dear! this is terrible! i must get back on your meds then!", you would expect to find this instead: 

"eh! but this cant be a correct reading! my friend said it worked on him! and his wife too! your glucose machine must be wrong! i don't believe it!". 

Of course it doesn't stop there. sometimes it could end up in a mere fist-fight just me trying to convince them that it's not good for their health. but i end up giving up and let  them believe what they want. and at times, i feel like seriously soooo wanna meet this FRIEND of theirs. =.='

The Plastics!!

On the contrary to the above mentioned group, this one is the COMPLETE opposite!! The Plastics term here, is taken from the bunch of bimbos seen in the movie Mean Girls.

Yes! it is THE up and coming trend you would expect to see (if you don't do anything about it, or you'd actually be sickly proud of!) in your future daughters, nieces and their friends. The epitome of all examples would be Paris Hilton and the Kardashian sisters. and believe it or not, i actually face some of them at my clinic! they seem to not have a single clue whatsoever on a problem they're having. and after explaining to them, i guess some appreciates it but others tend to just stare at me blankly after i went thru lengthy, simple explanations. it's as if they go "whuuuuttttt???" silently in their invisible blonde-coloured heads. And then when they do get it, i swear they were about to say this to me: "oooohhhhh!!! i geddit! That's HOT!" ;P

The Incredible Hulks!!!

Right. i guess most of you know how these sort of people would go. in terms of being a patient, let alone a human being, the applied concept is just the same for them. I'm sure a lot of you are familiar with how mr Incredible Hulk turn into his enormous green alter ego right? right. it's when he's PISSED! Angry! annoyed! whatever you wanna say when someone goes berserk. basically in my case, it could be from a lot of reasons. it could start from him being slightly sensitive after being addressed politely that he needs to cut some slack a little bit due to his sky-high blood pressure. instead of the normal reaction of being concerned and a little worried, nooooooooo......... not these patients! In fact, he would literally give me the smug on his face and told me this : 

Annoyed man: "alaaaa!! biasalar doktor!! kerja banyak! tido tak cukup! memang lar tinggi! pastu cuaca panas plak tu!!"
(Translation: that's normal doc! non-stop working! not enough rest! it's bound to be high! and don't mention about the hot weather!)

Me: "oh ok. takper encik. mesti encik orang penting so memang sekarang trend dier ramai akan sibuk bekerja dan stress. mcm mana dengan exercise? ada buat tak? pemakanan ada jaga sikit2?" .. while smiling behind my gritted teeth.
(Translation: alright then. its a trend now that people are terribly busy with work. how about exercise? and eating right? are u doing any of those?)

Man now transforming: "dah orang kata takder masa, biler plak nak exercise nie??!! pasal makan tu, takkan lar itu ini tak boleh makan! nanti pengsan nanti!! ha!! siapa nak jawab??!!" 
(Translation: I've told you!!! i don't have the time!! and are u telling me i can't eat?!! what if i fall weak??!! whose gonna be responsible for that??!!)

Me (slightly panicking): "ok ok. takper lar. since memang susah sikit bagi pihak encik, saya akan tolong. so saya naikkan ubat sikit ok? nanti takder lar encik sakit nanti."
(Translation: ok ok. it's alright. since it's tough for you to do so, i will help. i'll increase your medicine dosage ok? at least you'll be alright and not fall badly sick later.)

By this time, the patient has already started to evolve. His face started to square out bigger. His eyes started to bulge out from their sockets and the veins on his neck are about to pop! and then his hand turned into a fist and banged my table.

The Hulk"DOKTOR!! tak payah nak naikkan ubat saya!! saya tahular nak buat apa!! bukannya saya rasa apa2 pun!!! leceh betul lar doktor nie! asyik nak sumbatkan ubat jer!! aah!! malas lar saya!!"... and then he stormed out. but not before i sternly tell him to do so. Maybe i don't need to translate that. it's just too frustrating!

So that was pretty interesting eh? with the drama and theatrical acts, i must say that it was a masterpiece of being Incredible Hulk. thank God i wasn't thrown out of my window though!

well. looking back and re-telling my experiences made it look like as though i was given the chance of witnessing the entertainment of a lifetime! and these are just a small collection of categories! but trust me, it wasn't as near as how i can laugh it off now when it happened at the time. so now i'm sure some of you can relate on how that have somehow changed me in a few ways. and if it's not well-controlled, the end product will be some of the doctors you complained about today... all scruffy, always in a bad-mood and lack of empathy. i don't know who to blame exactly for us to turn like that, but regardless, it takes a lot of guts to withstand the stress and remained constantly calm and happy all the time. trust me, its NOT easy doing the whole courteous, compassionate, smiling doctor thing while explaining the same, freakin' repetitive consultations... EVERY SINGLE DAY!

So do try to give yourself a break. Cause when you do, we'd definitely give you some too. Generously.

"treating illnesses is why we became doctors, treating patients is what makes most doctors miserable." - House.

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