Dr. Grumpy: "All right, so the test Dr. Hand has asked me to do is called an EMG/NCV. It involves running some shocks through your arm, and putting a needle into different muscles, to see if you have carpal tunnel syndrome."
Mr. Carpal: "Yeah, whatever. I know your game."
Dr. Grumpy: "Excuse me?"
Mr. Carpal: "You and he are in on this, right?"
Dr. Grumpy: "No, I mean, I've never met him, I just saw his name on the order you brought in as the guy who ordered the test."
Mr. Carpal: "We all know I don't need this test."
Dr. Grump: "Well, the reason for doing it is..."
Mr. Carpal: "Don't give me that. This is all part of you guys' get-rich-scam. You're bilking me and my insurance."
Dr. Grumpy: "Sir, you don't have to have the test if you don't want to. Certainly, you're free to leave now, and there won't be any charge to anyone."
Mr. Carpal "Yeah, but I need the hand surgery. And Dr. Hand won't do it without this test. So I have to play along with your cozy racket here."
Dr. Grumpy: "I'm sorry you feel that way, but it really is..."
Mr. Carpal: "Look, I'm here. Just get the greedy game over with."
Officer Steve: "Okay, Mr. Smith. We got your fingerprint results back. Not only is there a warrant out for your arrest, but the name you gave us is phony. The fingerprint match says your name is really Jones."
Mr. Whatever: "Well, they're both right. Smith is my maiden name."
Neurologists are a quirky bunch. We all have our own ways of checking various cognitive functions. We ask people to remember things, name presented objects, draw figures... a bunch of stuff.
But, in training, I had an attending on rounds who beat everyone else.
He was missing the 4th and 5th fingers from his right hand. I have no idea how it happened. He told different people different stories, ranging from a hunting accident to being tortured by the Stasi to a patient attacking him with a knife.
He'd do the usual stuff like having people remember objects, answer historical questions...
And then he'd suddenly spread out his right hand and ask "which fingers am I missing?"
The reactions of patients varied from shock, to a calm answer, to one demented lady who began screaming uncontrollably (granted, she did that when the door opened, too).
At the graduation banquet we gave him an award for "Best Neurological Exam Making Use of a Physical Deformity."
Mrs. McDonald: "Hi, I'm on my way there for my appointment, but I'm running late."
Mary: "Okay, well, the one after you just cancelled, so come on in and he'll see you when you get here."
Mrs. McDonald: "What a mess. The neighbor's asshole rooster came into my yard, and my dog got it. Feathers every-fucking-where."
Mary: "We'll see you soon."
Mrs. McDonald: "The bird had it coming, too. I mean, every day he struts around on top of MY fence like he fucking owns the place, and taunts Bitsy. If he was stupid enough to come down to the ground, he deserves whatever she did to him."
Mrs. McDonald: "My goats saw the whole thing. They were probably cheering for Bitsy the whole time. And then, when I finally got the damn bird away from Bitsy, and it was still alive, I handed it over the fence to the bitch owner. And you know what she said? She said that if he dies, I owe her a new rooster. The hell I do."
Mrs. McDonald: "I told her she could get her ass over and clean up the feathers that are all over my yard. If it's her bird, then they're her feathers, aren't they? So she better have them all picked up and gone when I get home."
Mrs. McDonald: "Anyway, I can show you the pictures of the feathers and the bird when I get there to prove I'm telling the truth. I took a lot of them for evidence, because, you know, this is probably going to end up in front of Judge Wapner or something. I'll be at your place in a few."
In 1995, in the usual tradition, my nephew was circumcised.
The ceremony was at my parent's house. Mom placed the foreskin in a Ziploc bag and put it in her freezer. Her plan was to give it to my sister on the kid's first birthday... I'm still not sure why.
When my nephew was a year old, Mom went looking through the freezer. She couldn't find the bag. Multiple attempts at moving things around, looking through piles of frost, etc. were unsuccessful. The foreskin had vanished into some sort of interdimensional void.
This became a running family joke. Was it accidentally slipped into a quart of ice cream? Mixed in with the Thanksgiving stuffing? Served with a brisket? Inquiring minds wanted to know.
My mother never gave up. It was wrapped in gauze, in a Ziploc bag with the kid's name on it. No one else in the family said they'd removed it. Repeated searches were unsuccessful.
Last year, after my nephew moved away for college, Mom decided to get rid of the old freezer. She defrosted it, carefully removed and inspected everything in it, and checked every single corner and shelf.
This blog is entirely for entertainment purposes. All posts about patients may be fictional, or be my experience, or were submitted by a reader, or any combination of the above. Factual statements may or may not be accurate.
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Note: I do not answer medical questions. If you are having a medical issue, see your own doctor. For all you know I'm really a Mongolian yak herder and have no medical training at all except in issues regarding the care and feeding of Mongolian yaks.