Thursday, June 23, 2011

Medical care(less)

In junior high school, I had a hopelessly ill-equipped teacher, Patrick J. Leone, who tried to teach us about health (which he pronounced "helt.")

He once told a class that "det (death) kills instantly."

I was reminded of him when I read the following sentences reportedly typed by medical secretaries in the National Health Service in Scotland.

+ The patient has no previous history of suicide.
+ Patient’s medical history has been remarkably insignificant with only a 40 pound weight gain in the past three days.
+ She has no rigors or shaking chills, but her husband states she was very hot in bed last night.
+ Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side for over a year.
+ The patient is tearful and crying constantly. She also appears to be depressed.
+ The patient has been depressed since she began seeing me in 1993.
+ Patient had waffles for breakfast and anorexia for lunch.
+ She is numb from her toes down.
+ Patient was alert and unresponsive.
+ Rectal examination revealed a normal size thyroid.
+ Patient has two teenage children, but no other abnormalities.
+ The patient was in his usual state of good health until his airplane ran out of fuel and crashed.
+ She stated that she had been constipated for most of her life until she got a divorce.

(Thanks to Harry Newton)


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