Thursday, December 8, 2011


Another post that I wrote and never published. Either I thought I had more to say, or I'm really bad at the follow through.

What is with people who think that refusing treatment for their medical problems somehow makes them healthier? It doesn't make you healthy, it only makes you sick and stupid. Happy thoughts about puppies and rainbows won't cure the raging skin infection you have on your foot. And neither will ocean water, btw.  I had a patient today decline to take a short course of oral antibiotics to treat the not insignificant cellulitis on his foot because, and I quote, "my yoga teacher said that those antibiotics will cause bone thinning." Yes, because taking two weeks worth of Duricef is going to give you the age of 24. It's not that I'm opposed to not taking medications, because I would gladly never pop another pill for the rest of my life. But if there's something seriously wrong with me, then sign me up. Bring on the drugs!
Maybe it's because I have a better knowledge base about medicine and health to know what is serious and what isn't, but it boggles my mind when patients play the either-or game with their health. Why is the anecdotal threat of "bone thinning" worse than your skin infection that could progress to septic arthritis, which according to all my vast medical knowledge is dangerous, hard to treat, and hurts like a bitch? Why is the ability to proclaim that your family is proudly crunchy and anti-Western medicine and just generally more awesome than everyone else more important than giving your kid an asthma inhaler so he can properly oxygenate his body?

It's patients like these that make me want to go into forensic pathology. Their patients don't say stupid things...or say anything at all.

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