I am continuing with my favorite topic... Matters of Historical Importance, this is the part – 7
It is accepted in Medical field that eliciting a proper history from a lady is very difficult job irrespective of caste, creed and religion. Ladies seldom give an accurate picture of what, when and how they are suffering.
We hear generalization on a regular basis. They are sometimes funny, sometimes irritating and very often confusing. I am recollecting some of my encounters with ladies here.
This is my first encounter with a 47-year-old lady who worked in a Bank.
Me: What is your problem?
Lady: Nothing actually. You see I am working in a Bank and have to manage the Cash everyday. I really can’t explain it. Actually I don’t have a problem as such but sometimes I generally feel tired even before noon. Though officially I am a Special Assistant in my branch, I have to actually take more responsibility. And occasionally I am not able to concentrate and then I get some vague difficulty.
Me: Okay, what exactly is the difficulty and since when are you getting it?
Lady: See, it is nothing very serious I suppose. I occasional feel like something is sitting on my chest and some dizziness like thing. Actually I am not feeling dizzy but somewhat like dizzy!
I believe this is enough for anyone to understand how exasperating it is to get anything out of this lady!
This one was a 69-year-old homemaker, who had lived some years in the Middle East before coming back to God’s own country. She was very warm when I greeted with a good morning. And so it went…
Me: So, what brings you here?
Lady: See Doctor, I am 69 years old and have a lot of problems. I am suffering from Diabetes, Pressure, Arthritis, Libranitis [Labyrinthitis is what she meant] and Uric Acidity!
Me: What is Libranitis and what is Uric Acidity?
Lady: Don’t you know what is Libranitis and what is Uric Acidity? Libranitis is the dizziness and Uric Acidity is increased Uric Acid in blood.
Me: Okay, I got your point. Now since when are you having all these problems?
Lady: Mmmmm… Let me think…. Okay… I have Diabetes since some time. I can’t recollect when it started exactly. Pressure was always there since my young age. Even when I was pregnant, I had pressure. Libranitis was born with me. I can’t say how long it has been there. Uric Acidity was accidentally detected. I can’t remember details but even that is these since some time. I think everything generally is there for some time!
Was I any wiser than I was, before I met her?
This one was with a young lady of 25 years who had chest pain.
Me: When did the pain start?
She: About 3 days.
Me: Where does it come?
She: In the chest… Where else? Chest pain comes in the chest…
Me: No, not like that, I want to know which part of the chest, the left or right or upper chest or lower chest and does it radiate to the shoulder or hand… like that, understand?
She: Oh, okay… the pain started 3 days ago. It is actually on the left side of my chest and that is why I am worried. But how it started… I can’t tell you.
Me: Why? Errr… why not?
She: See Doctor, you can’t expect me to divulge everything about my personal life. I believe it is enough if I tell you WHEN and WHERE. I prefer to give the HOW a pass…!
I was totally surprised and said, “Okay, as you wish” and proceeded with physical examination. When I was examining her, she had significant redness on the left side of her chest and I also found her wincing in pain when I pressed my stethoscope over the left side of her chest. I apologized to her for causing pain. Then she said, “Doctor, you are such a nice chap. My husband who caused this pain and the swelling, never once apologized. He just slept off after he was finished with his job. I haven’t slept for 3 days because of this swelling and pain!”
Now I knew ‘WHY’ it was difficult and 'WHERE' was the problem for her to reply for the ‘HOW’!