* * Anonymous Doc

Friday, October 14, 2011

Taking a patient history...

"So, are your parents still alive?"

"My father just died last month."

"I'm sorry to hear that. What did he die of?"

"Old age."

"He had no medical problems before his death?"

"No, no. Just old age."

"And how old was he?"

[Some readers may be thinking what I was thinking at this point... which was that I was about to hear a very low number... 55? 60?]

"One hundred and thirty two."

"Excuse me?"

"One hundred and thirty two."

"Your father could not have been 132 years old."

"Oh, no, he was. People in my family live a very long time. My grandmother is still alive."

"And how old is she?"

"One hundred and thirty six."

"No, that's not possible."

"It is."

"Wait. Is this your father's mother?"


"Even if she was 136. If your father was 132, that would mean she was 4 years old when she gave birth to your father."

"I don't know. All I know is that is how old they are."

"That is not how old they are."

"It is. We have very good genetics."

"You are 42. You walk with a walker. You have significant heart failure. You are not unfortunately not on a course to live to 136."

"You'd be surprised."

"And, wait, also, if your father is 132-- he had you when he was 90?"

"I guess that would be true."

"Your father was 90 years old when you were born?"

"I guess he was."

"I'm sorry to get bogged down in your family history here. But I just can't get past it. Your father was not 132 years old."

"You can ask his sister."

"How old is his sister?"

"About 17."

"Wait, what?"

"Yes. She's about to graduate from high school."

"Okay, we're going to skip the rest of the family history."


  1. Record in chart: "Pt. is an unreliable source..."

  2. Dyscalculia? Or just really fond of big fish stories?

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. I think I've figured out an explanation for a good half of your posts - you practice medicine in the Twilight Zone.

  5. Hahahaha!! I don't know what I would have done.