I don’t usually talk about my patients, but just some general thoughts:
1. In medical school, we were taught the word “physician” means to teach [the patient about his/her own physiology]. Sometimes, however, the patients teach me! Today, I was taught perspective. From a very nice patient, well over 400 pounds. We celebrated that the patient lost 40 pounds! Sadly, even with that, the patient still has a lot of trouble breathing; we checked a chest x-ray. Once you looked at the chest x-ray, you could see that underneath, this patient’s ribcage was just as small as anyone else’s. No matter what you look like on the outside, we’re all the same on the inside.
2. It never ceases to surprise me when patients ask if I really am going to be/want to be a doctor someday. First, I already am a doctor. Remember how I just introduced myself as Dr? And it’s on my badge and my white coat?? I get this question from at least one patient, every single day. Usually followed by an equally rude, if not more so, “How old are you?” Excuse me? Rude! I was told by a patient today that it’s not too late to quit, if I want. Ummm, yes, it is. And I don’t want to.
3. It never ceases to delight me when I can connect with them about something other than medicine. Like, travelling. Or wine. Or how beautiful the Rockies are. I rarely bring anything up off the topic of their health; I think I risk seeming unprofessional. But if the patient brings up something they love to do, and we have it in common? I love it- it makes me feel like my non-doctor self again. It’s a breath of fresh air!
4. You can always, always tell which of the older male population are veterans. Crisp pants. Combed, trimmed hair. Shirt tucked in. Shiny shoes. VERY short & curt answers. I swear, they talk to me like I am their drill sergeant. “No, ma’am. Yes, ma’am. Ok. Thank you. Good bye.” If, and that’s a big if, you can get them to talk, they have some neat stories. Dunno if they’re all true, but incredible, nonetheless.
We had the Steel-Cut Oats made in a crockpot this morning for breakfast, and I liked them better! They need more liquid than if you cook them on the stovetop, but the texture was so much creamier and softer. More palatable, to me. I got the recipe from a friend- thank you Stephanie! Here’s the recipe: