* * Anonymous Doc

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

People are delusional.

We have a 3-pack-a-day smoker who's telling me she just started drinking a glass of red wine every night because she read that it's good for her.

We have a 400-pound guy who told me he gives himself a colonic every three months to keep his system clean.

We have a cocaine addict who asked if we could refer him to a nutritionist, since he's worried about his heart.

Maybe it's not their fault. Maybe the media just does a horrible job of helping us understand the relative risks and benefits of assorted activities. Someone forwarded me an article from yesterday New York Times with breaking news that the spleen is a useful organ. Did the reporter just open a medical textbook and decide that was news? Also news, the brain's an important organ too! It's impossible to get patients to understand what's meaningful and what isn't. If you're going to smoke three packs a day, that glass of red wine isn't doing anything for you. If you're snorting coke, the rest of your diet is not particularly important to your overall health. There's such an ignorance on the part of so many patients, that it's hard to even know how to explain anything to them.

And that's just the patients themselves. Then we have family members who read about studies that-- apparently there's a study about everything. No one accepts they have an illness that isn't going to be cured. No one accepts that at some point there is no turning back. If we have to cut off your leg, it will never grow back.

And if you're a cocaine addict, stop worrying about fatty foods. The cocaine will stop your heart faster than the french fries will, I promise.


  1. This is the mentality of "give me a quadruple cheeseburger and a diet soft drink".
    You're so right - we need to educate people on healthy versus unhealthy living.

  2. I could not stop laughing reading this entry - HILARIOUS - I find myself thinking the same exact way when I am faced with those "special patients"

  3. My MIL makes statements based on a Redbook article all the time.... and I always remind her that its great that she eats fresh vegetables, it is the pastries and pies that your husband buys every few days that is the problem for you. It has to be in context of the whole lifestyle...not isolated parts..HOLISTIC!!!!