Thursday, 29 October 2009

Prove Yourself

Apologies in advance if this comes across as whinging, but I must shed light on one particularly nasty habit that I am regularly confronted with. It is exhibited by the patient who feels that words alone are not enough to convey their plight, but that hard evidence must also be given in support.

On Tuesday this was Mrs D, who had a terrible, and almost certainly life threatening... cold. On describing her symptoms, each was presented with one of a selection of unpleasant, virus spreading displays - a chesty cough, a snotty sniff, a sorrowful swallow - I refrained from asking her about her bowels...

It's an odd performance, and one which I presume is given in a drive to increase credibility or gain sympathy (unfortunately it has rather the opposite effect!). It has crossed my mind however that it is potentially my own fault - have I somehow presented myself as a tyrant? A menacing keeper of medication to whom a patient must prove themselves in order to be helped?

I hope not, and in fairness, I suspect that it's actually done subconsciously. However, if this is ringing any bells with you my advice is this; your doctor is on your side and will believe what you say even if it is not accompanied by sound effects. In omitting them, there is the added advantage that you may spare him from catching whatever it is that you have, and you're certainly more likely to remain friends.

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