Sunday, December 30, 2012

PRETTY LITTLE LIAR.





This is the third time In recent times, I have had to deal with a fake 'comatose' patient.

The first was this woman who wanted to milk her husband for being unfaithful to her.

Second was a patient who had just been convicted and conveniently slumped on his way to jail.

Third was this young girl :

I was called in the middle of the night to see her, I reluctantly got up, hoping it was a case I could see in a few minutes.

Something struck me as being odd in her posture, she was in a very calm 'coma'.

I asked what had happened, I was told by her uncle that she was sitting down and fell and slumped.

I asked what she had been sitting on.

I was told she had been sitting on the floor.

HUH?

" So you mean to tell me she fell down while sitting on the floor?"

I took a second look at her.

I opened her eyes and shone a light, her pupils danced around like a merry go round

I lifted her hand to let it drop to her face, she suspended her arm in mid air.


HUH?

The young girl was faking it.

I wanted to go to sleep but had to talk to her relatives.

Was she being maltreated?

Did she have some social problems?

Was she overworked?

I could only gather she had lost her dad recently and was staying with the aunt, but was unable to resume school because she missed the September window

They denied any further issues that could lead to an attention seeking behaviour by the girl.

I was too tired anyway.



Saturday, December 29, 2012

DOES MARRYING LATE MESS WITH THE MIND.





What age does a woman get to before she really gets worried about her unmarried status?

At what age does this worry become so pronounced that it begins to mess with her mind? At what age does the messing with her mind become so bad that she actually breaks down and loses her mind?

Is that even possible?
Can a woman become mentally deranged simply because she has reached a certain age and is unmarried?

Recall this post about a 38 year old unmarried woman who was having a series of headaches related to her unmarried status


THE PATIENT.
The stench coming from her was so nauseating that I became uncomfortable, she was brought in by her brother.

She had lost her mind.

According her brother, she had worried relentlessly about being unmarried.
She was 45.
She now talked and behaved irrationally.
She refused to have her bath.
She would sit at one spot for days on end.

I tried talking to her - she would talk, then suddenly become quiet as if her mind had left the room, then smile awkwardly.

Who places the burden on such a woman?

Is it the society?
Family?
Friends?
The media?
Or herself?

What is your take on this?

Image

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

THE MYTH ABOUT DOCTORS' HANDWRITING.





I never thought an actual patient could ask me this - and ask me seriously. The patient was a retired accountant in his sixties and he asked me, with all seriousness if we are taught in medical school how to write horribly.

I told him he was wrong, that we actually have nice handwriting though various reasons could account for our writing being sloppy occasionally, some reasons being:

1. large number of patients
2. Emergencies
3. Might not want patient to see what you are writing (eg his bill).

But being a scientific kind of guy, I set out to disprove his assertion; I checked the different case notes around me and what I saw shocked me; I will attempt to reproduce what I saw using my own artistic impression here:

HANDWRITING 1


HANDWRITING 2

HANDWRITING 3


HANDWRITING 4


By the way, one of the above is mine:)

Quiz: Can you decipher what is written? Kindly score the handwritings.





Tuesday, November 27, 2012

IT'S HERE! FREE MEDICAL CONSULTATION.





Ever wonder why a lot of Doctors are poor?

Yeah, you got it right - free consultations.

Sadly, yours truly is a major offender.

If I was given a penny for every free consultation I have given, I'd probably be on a remote Island somewhere, sipping fruit juice under a coconut tree, being served by various butlers in black and white tuxedos.


The temptation to give free consultations comes in various forms especially via telephone and text messages; sometimes, you are even required to reply using your own credit.
Examples of questions I have been asked on the phone include:

"My son has what looks like a rash, what can I give him?"

"I have a swelling here, what do I use?"

Note, in these instances, I have no means of seeing the offending rash or swelling, nor am I given more information about it as regards the site, size or shape of the rash, but somehow, I have to provide a cure over the distance.

You could also be out in public and someone introduces you as a doctor, the next thing is, "Doctor what do you think this is?" "What can I use?"

I have decided to stop giving free consultations/ services because of my experience with two cases:

1. The case of Mr B.
Mr B works in a utility company. Lately, I have been billed ridiculously, most of the time through Mr B himself who claims not to have any say on the billing - but Mr B who is a diabetic/ hypertensive comes to my home to have his blood pressure and sugar checked and receives a new prescription, without me taking a dime from him.

2.The case of Mr E.

Mr E does some work and electric fittings for me, he is always paid in full; after his work he asks,"Dr I have this pain here, What can I take?" I am expected to give him a free prescription .

WHY DO PEOPLE ALWAYS EXPECT FREE CONSULTATIONS FROM DOCTORS?


1. Medicine is a ' humanitarian' profession.
This comes from the so called Hippocratic oath; reading through the original oath and the Modern version, no where did I see it written, "I shall work for free."

2. Knew you before you became a doctor: Yes, we grew up together, or went to the same college, I don't have to pay to see you or to ask your opinion do I?

3. Doctors lack of business sense.

So my new year resolution is - no more free consultations.

Are you in support? What is your take on the issue?

Image courtesy.

Monday, November 5, 2012

HUMOR: HOW NOLLYWOOD MURDERS MEDICAL SCENES





The Nigerian movie industry is one of the fastest growing in the world today, they are said to be the third largest after Hollywood and Bollywood.

I have watched some Nigerian films and I have noted some hilarious things when they act hospital scenes:

IT IS ONLY IN NOLLYWOOD THAT:


1.The doctor uses his stethoscope to check for the heartbeat on a patient's wrist.

2. Blood used for transfusion looks like Ribena, or a local drink called Zobo.

3. Primary school science charts are hung on the wall of a doctor's consulting room.

4. Bandages are tied like a turban around the head of a patient with a head injury.

5. The patient is in a coma, and is just placed on the bed, no oxygen, nothing. And he recovers.

6. The intensive care unit contains a bed and no machines.

7. The only hospital instruments are the doctor's stethoscope and the tray the nurse carries.

8. The drip is plastered to the patient's arm without a cannula.

9. The nurses always run to the doctor's office with their mouths wide open whenever there is an emergency.

10. The doctor checks the heart beat on the right side of the chest.

11. No matter how big the hospital is, there is always only one doctor on duty who somehow is a specialist in all fields of medicine.

12. Absolutely any material can be used as a hospital curtain.


I believe Nollywood is coming of age but have to do proper research when writing medical scripts.

And by the way, I am available for a small fee, if they need proper consultation when acting medical scenes.

Image courtesy.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

MEDICAL FICTION.



For those who haven't seen it, I've started a fiction blog here.

Kindly visit it and tell me what you feel.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

NO ONE TOLD ME I WOULD BE DOING THESE THINGS AS A DOCTOR...






I once thought that being a doctor was all about prescribing drugs for sick people- how wrong I was.When I started practicing, I had to learn the other functions of a doctor not taught in medical school, these include:-

1. MARRIAGE COUNSELLOR.

I've been asked one too many times to play a mediatory role between a husband and a wife: e.g this story where the husband was not faithful; and this story where the wife doubted the husband's fertility.

2. TELEPHONE OPERATOR.

We learn the art of making and receiving phone calls at the oddest of hours , and how to politely turn that patient down who calls you for a drug to treat that swelling he has that you can't see.

3. CAREER COUNSELLOR.

Everyone wants to know what it is like to be a doctor, and should they continue on that path or take another route?

4. PUBLIC SPEAKER.

The inevitable world of presentations: From presenting patient cases to your superiors, to presenting mortality figures to the whole hospital, to talking about Diabetes to the old men at church, you really can't escape this.

5. DISPUTE RESOLVER.

Somehow, you're expected to have the solution to any dispute that the courts can't provide, e.g this post about a lady who had two boyfriends and didn't know which was the father.


6. PHILANTROPIST.

Your name is kept at the top of any event, and the reason why is so you can donate your hard earned cash. I was once asked to donate a public utility in my locality; you can guess my reply.

7. SOOTHSAYER.

"Doctor, will I survive?" "Doctor, will I walk again?" "Doctor, will this tablet work?"


8. DETECTIVE.

So many mysteries will present themselves, and you're a better doctor if you can solve them, an example is this case where the Lady was found dead in a room, with the door locked on the outside.

Image courtesy

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

HOW COME DOCTORS KNOW EVERYTHING?





Have you ever wondered how a doctor seems to have a prescription for everything?

You have a headache- Bam! Take this!

You have a fever- Bam! Take two tablets of this.

Your urine looks funny- Bam! This should clear you up.

Amazing right? So what is the secret to this superhuman ability?

1. COMMON THINGS OCCUR COMMONLY.

You might think your case is unique, but a doctor who has practiced for a short time has probably seen hundreds of such cases; just like driving a car, treating that case has become a part of the doctor, he can treat it while asleep.

2. THE POWER OF DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS.

Several illnesses present the same way, and it could be one of a group of possibilities. Whichever the doctor thinks it is, he may follow that line of management.

3. WELL, YOU NEED TO DO SOME TESTS.

This is a sure get out clause, giving the doctor time to consult his notes; who wouldn't agree to some tests to help get at the root of a problem?

4. HEY FRED, COME AND TAKE A LOOK AT THIS.

The power of a second opinion- Who wouldn't want two doctors taking out time to see one patient.

5. SOMETIMES, TESTS COME WITH ANSWERS.

Tests like Microscopy, culture and sensitivity come with recommended drugs to use, leaving the physician to take all the credit.

6. THE SYMPTOMATIC APPROACH.

Pain = analgesic; Fever = anti-pyretic (anti-fever); Malaria= anti-malarial. (You didn't hear that from me.)

7. WATCH AND SEE.

The conservative approach- Who wouldn't want his doctor to say, "It's probably nothing, it will go in a few days. Well, if it hasn't gone in a few days, the doctor would have at least read about it.

8. AND IF ALL ELSE FAILS...

Well, uhm...Kindly give me a minute, I need to check something.

So, have you ever come across a doctor who didn't know everything?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

HUMOR - MUSINGS OF A SCEPTICAL THIRD WORLD DOCTOR.




-So you mean to tell me you've never done an operation using a torch light before?

- So you're telling me you've never sutured a wound without anaesthesia before?

- So you mean to tell me you can fly a sick patient in a helicopter from one hospital to another?

- So you're saying your government pays for your hospital stay?

- So you're telling me your ambulance drivers don't just put on their sirens because they have a lunch date and there's actually a patient inside?

-So you mean to tell me each patient has an ECG monitor and ultrasound scan to themselves?

- So you mean to say you don't see more than 10 patients a day?

-So you're trying to tell me your politicians get treated in your local hospitals?


HMMMMM, LET ME SEE...



So......

You're telling me one can actually eat off your clean hospital floors?

- So you're saying you can transport someone's beating heart in a box?

- So you mean to tell me your patients don't have to share oxygen?

- So you mean to tell me your President moves around with his personal blood bank?

- So you're telling me your Doctors monthly income can pay my annual income?

- So you're saying your medical students get loans and not village contributions?

- So you mean to tell me your Doctors don't migrate to foreign countries after graduation?

- So you're saying 911 actually works?

- So you mean to tell me you've never seen a bush rat in your hospital?

- So you want me to believe you've never admitted a patient on a bench?

- So you are telling me you isolate patients with malaria? Get ready to isolate a whole country.

- So you're saying this man Gates has sent us billions of dollars for the above? Where is it?

Image 1,2

Friday, September 21, 2012

NEW POETRY BLOG.



No, I'm not ending this blog. I'm just moving all my poems here for easy accessibility. So, this blog will be just for my stories and articles. Thank you all so much.


IMAGE COURTESY.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

JUST BEFORE YOU TAKE THAT DRUG.

Is it possible to look like this just by swallowing a drug?




The answer of course , is YES.

Unforunately, there are some things one doesn't know about one's health until one has a life changing experience . An experience one doesn't forget. An example is a drug reaction.

Recently managed a young girl whose only crime was to take a popular sulphur containing antimalarial tablet ( those that require you to take 3 tablets at once). She ended up looking like the above.

Could this condition be fatal?


The answer is YES, see this sad story.

Question : Name the above condition/ possible conditions and or common drugs that give such reactions.




Image courtesy.

Monday, September 17, 2012

VERSATILE BLOGGER AWARD!

Thanks very much to Just Another Doctor's Wife who has nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award! I appreciate your interest in my blog and will keep trying to spew out fresh and interesting content.






How It Works:


If you are nominated, you’ve been awarded the Versatile Blogger award.
Thank the blogger who nominated you and include a link to their site.
Copy and paste the award to your blog.
Share 7 random facts about yourself.
Nominate 15 bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly and include a link to their site.
Let the other Bloggers know that you have nominated them.

7 random facts about Dr Erhumu

1. Left Medical school about 8 years ago.
2. Always had an interest in English and Literature.
3. Favourite authors are Sir Author Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie.
4. Presently the only doctor in my family.
5. Love Chess and Scrabble.
6. I like good jokes.
7. Had braces on my teeth when I was younger.


I have nominated the following blogs which I follow or have an interest in.

1. Just Another Doctor's Wife.
2. Your Doctor's Wife.
3. The Write Transition.
4. The One With The Red Stethoscope.
5. Minty Green Medic.
6. . Want2BWriter.com
7. Love Should Not Hurt.
8. HyperCRYPTICal.
9. A Blogger's Books.
10. FatUm.
11. Tope Olowu's Blog
12. The Angry Medic.
13. Chronicles Of A Deranged Optimist.
14. Sharing Good Health.
15. The Boereworsmedicine Emergency Medicine Chronicles.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

MEN - WHY YOU MAY NOT WANT TO MARRY A FEMALE DOCTOR

In response to my earlier article: Ladies - should you marry a Doctor?.

Are you considering proposing to that female doctor you can't get out of your head? Well, here are some reasons you may or may not want to:

WHY YOU MAY HESITATE BEFORE MARRYING A FEMALE DOCTOR.





1. She is older and wiser ( which might not always be a bad thing).

2. She is independent.

3. She will more than likely talk back at you.

4. Her career may mean more to her than your needs.

5. You will sleep alone at night a lot and she'd probably not be back before you leave for work in the morning.

6. You would more than likely need a maid.

7. It may be hard to convince her to take extended time off work to raise the family or even to put her career on hold.

8. She has no time for extended dating, you're either ready to marry or out the door.

9. I will stop here because I have been warned by the female doctors mafia to put more advantages than disadvantages.

So on to the pros.




WHY YOU SHOULD MARRY A FEMALE DOCTOR.


1. She takes her relationship seriously - she's more than likely ready for marriage.

2. You are admired by your peers for landing a choice catch.

3. She is able to take care of major expenses for the family e.g paying the maid.

4. She is smart. And knowing a smart lady is ready to be submissive to you puts you on top of the world.

5. You have little to worry about her ante-natal care and birth of your kids.

6. She is hard working and good at multi-tasking.

7. She will hardly have time to sit down and engage in gossip with other housewives.

8. You always have a ready excuse to dodge couple events - "my wife is on call and I have to take the kids to Grandma's"

9. You can leave her to bother about the right amount of calories you need in your diet.

10. Most female doctors are beautiful ( I had to put in that so my food won't be poisoned at work); my actual view about this can be seen in this post

So go ahead and propose to that doctor, while I take cover from the expected responses to this article. :)



Special thanks to @TheChubbyMissus
Image1,2

LADIES - SHOULD YOU MARRY A DOCTOR?



Ladies, are you considering that young handsome doctor that took you out last week? Well, here are some reasons you may or may not want to respond to his advances.

REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD NOT MARRY A DOCTOR.

1. His Medical friends will probably bore you.

2. He will probably bore you.

3. You will spend many nights alone.

4. Nights you do spend together, he may be fast asleep before you say Jack Robinson.

5. You just can't go on holidays when you feel like or spend weekends together like other couples.

6. You will probably attend a lot of couple events alone, or he may be with you a short while and give an excuse.

7. His beeper or cell phone is not your friend.

8. He will have a lot of trying times especially when preparing for never ending exams.

9. You're never really sure what he's doing when he goes for night calls.

10. Many doctors these days are broke.


Okay, just before you run away at the altar, here are some reasons you may want to reconsider.




REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD MARRY A DOCTOR.


1. He'll compensate his lack of spending time with you with a lot of money to splurge at the mall.

2. You don't have to worry about giving the wrong drugs when your kids run a fever.

3. You have a variety of his Specialist Friends at your beck and call if you have any medical issues.

4. You become a medical authority yourself, your friends run to you to take a look at any rash they have.

5. Doctors are romantic. Period.

6. Doctors are hardworking. Period.

7. He takes your feminine cycle seriously and understands why you may be cranky sometimes.

8. He probably can never be out of employment - he may not be paid much, but he usually always has a job.

9. You and your family can jump any queue for your medical appointments.

10. A lot of doctors these days are rich.


Do you agree? Can you give me other reasons for or against?

Image1,2

Monday, September 10, 2012

WHITE COATS.

This has got to be my most ridiculous post ever, a poor attempt to be a medical fashionista ( whatever that means) - carry on at your own peril:

I have noticed that different doctors have different ways of wearing their white coats:

1. BUTTON DOWN

I guess this is the traditional way of wearing it.


2. OPEN FRONT JACKET .

This is a more relaxed way of wearing it, you could be wearing a designer shirt or blouse underneath that must be appreciated at all cost.


3. BUTTONING FIRST OR SECOND BUTTONS ONLY

This is bringing one's personal style to it.


4. BUTTONING FIRST AND SECOND BUTTONS ONLY.

Similar to above.


5. WAIST LENGTH COAT.

Well, It either gets longer or shorter.


6.KNEE LENGTH COAT.

No problem so far you don't trip


7. FOLDED SLEEVES.

Well, you wouldn't want to take germs home, would you?


8. SHORT SLEEVES

Again, similar to above.


9. WEARING NO WHITE COAT AT ALL.

I guess this is self explanatory.




So there you have it. Do you have any preferences? Are there any institutional laws guiding the length of your ward coats? Do you know any other fashionable way of wearing it?


All images courtesy picasa web albums.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

ARE DOCTORS PROMISCUOUS ?





ARE DOCTORS PROMISCUOUS?


I had to take some time to ponder this question. Of course, we are talking more about male doctors here; female doctors hardly have time to be promiscuous (though there are few exceptions). Due to the nature of medical school, by the time a female doctor graduates, her biological clock has already started ticking and there is little time for philandeering.

Before I answer if doctors are promiscuous, let me give the reasons why they MAY BE promiscuous.

WHY DOCTORS MAY BE PROMISCUOUS.


1. THE STRESS OF MEDICAL SCHOOL:

Medical School puts a lot of stress on any person, and if this is not properly handled, a ready outlet of frustration could be in promiscuity.

2. THE DURATION OF MEDICAL SCHOOL:
like a bird set free from a cage (see angry birds), once doctors are released from medical school, they suddenly feel all the inhibitions loosening and are ready to explore what they missed.

3. PEOPLE OPEN UP TO DOCTORS:
Doctors are good listeners which may be interpreted as caring, and they've seen you when you are most vulnerable. A patient or a patient's relative can easily fall for a caring doctor.

4. OTHER FACULTIES HOLD MEDICAL STUDENTS/ DOCTORS IN HIGH ESTEEM:
A doctor/ medical student is quite respected by many peers, and dating one (in some cases) is seen as a choice pick.

5. MONEY TO BURN:
Well, a Doctor that is ready to splurge his hard earned money can easily get a bevy of admirers.

6. LATE NIGHTS:
Call Duty is a ready excuse for any overnight rendevouz.

So there you have it - but I'm not done yet, I have to give the other side of the argument-

WHY DOCTORS ARE NOT PROMISCUOUS.


1. THEY'VE SEEN IT ALL:
Beauty is only skin deep, and medicine is a profession that recognises this.

2. THEY'RE TOO BUSY:
Too busy making money, too busy caring for their patients, or too busy writing exams.

3. THEY ARE AWARE OF THE RISKS OF PROMISCUITY:
They see the consequences of STDs and the likes.

4. THEY'RE USUALLY NERDS:
Oh Oh, I didn't just say that did I?

5. THE DURATION OF MEDICAL SCHOOL:
They are usually more mature when they finish school, and besides, most of their peers would be married.


SPECIALTIES AT RISK OF PROMISCUITY:

OBSTETRICS AND GYNAECOLOGY

GENERAL SURGERY

FAMILY MEDICINE

INTERNAL MEDICINE

In that order

Do you agree?

Special thanks to @pep_eluwa
IMAGE COURTESY.

Friday, September 7, 2012

DOCTOR STEREOTYPES.




OUT OF EVERY TEN DOCTORS YOU MEET, ONE IS:


DOCTOR FRUSTRATED:

These are doctors that are not happy with the conditions in which they work; this may be due to the country, the specialty or the department in which they work, You can constantly hear them complaining about something or the other.

DOCTOR BUSINESS:

These doctors are constantly on the phone, and no, they are not discussing a patient's management. They have various business interests outside medicine.

DOCTOR ACADEMIC:

These doctors are always reading, either for an exam or for the next ward round; you can usually find them in a tutorial session discussing any new academic topic of interest. Many times, they have no life outside the medical field.

DOCTOR POLITICS:

These are doctors that are either activists, interested in politics or holding various posts in medical associations, they nurse an ambition in administration.





DOCTOR LEISURE:

These doctors usually have extra curricular activities which they take more serious than Medicine, they could be members of various recreational clubs.

DOCTOR CARING:

These Doctors go the extra mile for their patients, they are very empathic and can stay up late thinking about their patients.

DOCTOR I AIN'T PRACTICING:

These doctors have hung their stethoscopes either temporarily or permanently, and usually, they'd rather you didn't ask their opinion on any health issue, because, frankly, they've forgotten.

DOCTOR'S DOCTOR:

These are doctors even doctors like running to for advice or their opinion ; they are always calm, composed and possess a perfect grasp of any issue you bring to them.

DOCTOR FRIENDLY:

These doctors are the life of the party - or should I say, the life of the hospital. Everybody loves them; the nurses have a smile on their face when such doctor is on duty, the patients feel better when the doctor is around, or at the sound of his voice. You can see such a doctor throwing banters around as he walks through the wards, just like a president waving to a crowd of supporters.

DOCTOR SERIOUS:

Medicine and health is a serious matter for these group of doctors - there is no time for idle chit chat as lives are at stake. These doctors are usually unforgiving when any mistake is made by their subordinates.

Do you agree with these stereotypes? Have you met any of the above stereotypes? What do you think about them? Is there any stereotype I left out?



Image1,2.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

A PERFECT GUIDE TO CHOOSING YOUR MEDICAL SPECIALTY.

Saw this and couldn't resist sharing it(You may need to zoom in to read it). Source is onsurg.com










Source

Thursday, August 23, 2012

WHEN A TEENAGER LOSES THE WILL TO LIVE.



Linda was a seventeen year old girl. Like other girls her age, she liked going out without telling her parents. On one such occasion, she returned home and was scolded by her mother. In a fit of rage, Linda went into her room, opened a bottle of insecticide and swallowed the contents. She was dead a short while later.

Samuel was a 14 year old whose parents had decided to separate; he stayed with relatives under questionable conditions. One day Samuel disappeared. He was found 4 days later, hanging from a rope tied to a fan in a nondescript building. An apparent suicide.

We hear countless stories of teenagers who decide to take their lives for reasons that may not be clear or logical to us. In their own thinking, there is no point in continuing to live. It could be due to repeated failure in an exam, excessive bullying at school or displeasure over parents separation. Other reasons may be rejection from a loved one or substance abuse; the reasons are numerous and complicated.

SIGNS TO WATCH OUT FOR.

Depression:

A child that is constantly unhappy without any obvious reason should be closely monitored.

Withdrawal:

A child that becomes withdrawn and displays a lack of interest in things that usually excite him or her.

Mood swings:

Going from one emotional extreme to the other within a short time.

Sudden changes in behaviour.





WHAT TO DO

1. Create more time to attend to your child's needs
2. The child should be carried along and considered when major decisions affecting the family are being made.
3. Children at risk should undergo counselling and should be followed up.


How do you think parents can help their teenagers go through seemingly rough times?


Image1,
2

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

MALE URINARY PROBLEM.



"HELP! I CAN'T URINATE."

Imagine - it is time for your evening meal - a plate of your favourite native delicacy, crowned with a bottle of your favourite drink, chilled to perfection.

" Aah!, life is good," you down the glistening liquid and settle down for a nap (afterall you've worked really hard).





Midway into your slumber, you have that expected urge to relieve yourself; lazily, you hobble to the bathroom, unzip in preparation to urinate
and nothing comes out. You try again, still nothing.

Panic!
Imagine the shock a grown man would feel, when he discovers he wants to urinate, has the energy to urinate, has all the resources to urinate, but urine just won't come out.




The above could be a symptom of an enlargement of the Prostate gland or worse still, an initial presentation of a Cancer of the Prostate gland.

WHAT IS THIS PROSTATE GLAND?

Let's think of a road with freely flowing traffic. Imagine two trees on both sides of the road; imagine both trees falling onto the road, blocking traffic.
The road is the opening through which men urinate, the trees are the prostate gland. When the prostate enlarges, it reduces the opening to urinate.

WHO IS AT RISK OF PROSTATE GLAND ENLARGEMENT?

Men above the age of 50.

WHAT ARE OTHER SYMPTOMS TO WATCH OUT FOR?

Blood in the urine.
A feeling you haven't completely emptied your bladder.
Weight loss.
Straining to urinate.
Swelling of the abdomen.
In advanced cases, back pain and inability to walk.

WHAT TO DO.

Go to your local clinic, after initial emergency is addressed (a catheter may be passed), ask for a referral to see an Urologist.

Note: Enlargement of the prostate is not the same thing as Cancer of the Prostate, but it could be an initial sign.


Images1,2,3

Monday, August 20, 2012

RAT KILLER / POISON.


He must have been serious about taking his life - he didn't take one or two tablets; not even four or five tablets - he took ten.

He didn't just take any random drug. No, that wouldn't have been effective, he took indocid (indomethacin), a drug used for pain and inflammation which has a side effect of causing bleeding ulcers especially in the stomach and intestine.

More popularly, in this environment, it is used as a rat killer.

Since one capsule is capable of killing a rat, ten capsules would more than likely send him to the great beyond. Or so he thought.




He almost succeeded, but for prompt medical attention. However, the worst was not over.

I tried my best to get him to say why a young man in his early twenties would want to commit suicide - best I could get was his elder sister was frustrating his life (he was from a polygamous home).

Anyway, that was not the problem now.

His problem now was that he couldn't urinate.

And whatever urine that came out now was bloody...

The drug had eroded the lining of his internal organs.

No wonder it is such an effective rat killer.





Image1,2

Thursday, August 16, 2012

CAN YOUR PHONE SAVE YOUR LIFE?


What names do you use for storing important numbers on your phone?

What should be the first few numbers on your phone list?

In case of Emergency, can your phone save your life?

I realised the importance or otherwise of a phone and relevant numbers when I became a telephone operator for an unconscious patient.


He was brought in by a good Samaritan after he slumped, his name unknown, relatives unavailable. All we had to work with were his phones. Easy peasy, all we had to do was call numbers on his phone and they would come rushing to the hospital.

Not so easy.

I decided to take on the roll of a call operator - I had two options. First, I could scroll down his contact list and find the name of somebody responsible that could shed light on his medical condition, probably, I would find his wife listed under "Darlyn", "Sweetheart", "Dear" or possibly "Wifey". No luck. Scrolling through his contact list almost gave me a headache, I gave up on that route.


My next tactic was using his recent calls log.

So I started calling...

First call was a stammerer, wasn't much help there.

Second denied knowing him.

Third said, "are you serious?".

That's when I knew I had a long day ahead. I was already tired.

Fourth, in a cool detached voice said he was just an in-Law and would try to call the wife .

All this while, his phones kept ringing and I kept answering, some hanging up before I could explain anything.

Finally, his wife called...

From the caller ID she wasn't listed as Darlyn, sweetheart, wifey or Honey

She wasn't hyserical or anxious.

She was cool and calm..


I asked her if she was on her way to the hospital, she said yes.

She didn't sound as if she was on her way anywhere.

Then I asked her the address of the hospital she was coming to - she said she didn't know.

The line cut.

She didn't call back...



What numbers are on your phone?

Can your phone save your life?



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Saturday, August 11, 2012

GETTING INTO THE BRAIN.




I could imagine her sorrow, even though I could not actually see her face behind the hijab she wore.

She struggled with her emotions until she could no longer hold back the dam keeping her tears - the tears rushed down her face - I still could not see her face but I heard the distinct sobs and almost felt them as they cascaded down her face entering her nostril and mouth.

The tears of a mother afraid to lose her beloved son - the son was comatose - and somehow she may have, by acts of omission or commission contributed to his state.

It was just malaria, common malaria, but now, the parasite had crossed into her son's brain, his chances of survival slim.





Is Malaria really that dangerous?


Yes. Read Here.

Good news and Bad news.


Good news - He woke up after two days in coma.

Bad news - He started talking irrationally, and having hallucinations.



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Thursday, August 9, 2012

EVER TASTED YOUR URINE?





Seriously, have you ever tasted your urine?

Well, my patient did - and - he enjoyed it.

Or more precisely, it tasted sweet.



Well, he had enough supply of urine anyway as he Urinated excessively.

That would be Clue 1.


Of serious concern to him was the fact that he could no longer satisfy his wife.





That would be Clue 2.


He did a test before coming to see me that morning which clinched the diagnosis that explains all the above.

That would be Clue 3.


Question : What was the Diagnosis?





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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

IT'S ALL IN YOUR HEAD.



TREATING ANXIETY.


Fear, or should I say anxiety, is not something that can be easily wished away . So the patient taught me.

Knowing it is all in your head is not enough to make the symptoms go away; because ,the symptoms are real...at least...they feel real.

It all started with some minor complaints, that soon became frequent, soon - the patient found himself continually at the Doctor's clinic, soon - he became convinced there was always something wrong with him.

Then - the fear started, the chest tightness, the feeling that all was not well - now, it had almost crippled him. He carried a face-mask around for fear that germs would enter his nostrils, and from there into his lungs.

He was also scared to fly.


He anticipated the fear before he entered the plane, he had to leave for the Doctor's clinic just before his flight because he knew the fear would come. And come it did.

He sat, weak and unable to breathe throughout the short flight to his destination, his chest tight and gripping.

I was his first port of call after landing.

I examined his chest and heart, I found nothing wrong. I tried to reassure him and told him it was all in his head.

Frustrated, he looked at me and asked me if knowing it was just in his head was enough to make his symptoms go away.

Oops! I guess not - but then I'm no Psychiatrist.


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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

PRIVATE ADDICTION.



GETTING HIGH ON YOUR OWN SUPPLY.



I knew there was something wrong when she refused my offer for her to sit down.

She sneered at me, "I told you I'm the head of this Hospital, you didn't answer me!"

Indeed, she had worked in the Hospital and retired over a decade back as a Matron, but she wasn't the Head of the Hospital... She had simply lost her mind.

She now talked and behaved irrationally.

She pointed her walking stick menacingly at me - I put myself in defense mode, just incase she attacked me....

Her problem began about 14 years ago, when she developed an addiction for a popular analgesic injection- Fortwin (Pentazocine). As a nurse, she had unrestricted access to the drug and continuosly injected herself, this went on for about 7 years without medical intervention and still persisted after she was diagnosed.




"If you give me Fortwin, you will see that I am okay", she told me in the midst of some random ramblings and insults directed at me : "I asked you the other time, what's in your head? That your head",she directed her next set of ramblings at me.

I tried to examine her, "Don't touch me!" She exclaimed, as I humbly withdrew.

She was a pitiable and embarrassing sight, a former Nurse now a psychiatric case, all because she didn't know where to draw the line.


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