* * Anonymous Doc: "I've been charting my diarrhea"

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

"I've been charting my diarrhea"

If a patient ever starts a conversation with, "I've been charting my diarrhea," I've learned that it's very unlikely that the rest of the conversation will be pleasant.

"I think it's caused by drinking water.  Every time I drink water, I get diarrhea.  So I should stop drinking water, right?"


"But if I don't drink water, then the water can't come out the other end."


"Why doesn't that make sense?  It seems like it makes sense."

"You need water to replace what you're losing."

"But the water is causing the whole problem."


"I heard about water causing terrible illnesses back in England in the 1600s."

"I don't think you have cholera."

"Can you check?"

"Yes.  Look at me.  Great.  You don't have cholera."

"You don't know that."

"Is the water you're drinking water from your toilet?"

"No, it's bottled."

"Bottled from a toilet?"


"Great.  It's not the water's fault.  Did you eat anything strange?"

"No.  Just the usual."

"And what's the usual?"

"Every sample at Costco, and some leftovers I had on the counter overnight."

"Could be food poisoning."

"Nope, it's the water.  I'm never going to drink anything again."

"That's not a good solution."

"Well, if I don't drink water, eventually the diarrhea has to stop."

"That may be true, yes."

"See?  I was right."

"Nope.  Not right."


  1. I am bad, bad person for never commenting! It's about time I say just how much I love your posts. Thanks for writing!

  2. I think he may be on to something. If he tapes his mouth and nose closed, then most likely his diarrhea would also stop(among other things.

  3. I had no idea what magical thinking people use to justify illnesses.
    Also I just finished reading all your archives and now I feel sad. Do you have anything for that? A pill, a sandwich?
    Thank you for writing so wonderfully and honestly about your life. I love it.

  4. I've been bringing food to eat-- for dinner, and then snacks for later-- during my night shifts. green diarrhea causes