Amateur Diagnosis Essay, Research Paper
On Thursday the 1st February I had an interesting doctor´s appointment, as you will soon find out. Two weeks previous to the 1st of February I happened to contract these spontaneous pulse like pains that resided in my chest, particularly near the heart area. Prior to my visit the factor that made me seek my doctor in the first place was due to the fact that the pains became too intense for me tolerate any longer. You see, the pains intensified to the point where they made me look like a cross between an epileptic monkey and an over-enthusiastic French Street Mimer. For some strange reason I encountered my ‘strokes´ around 10.00am nearly everyday. On this day I was at my school sixth form block at the time. Inevitably some people disregarded my exotic, though scary at the time, movements and took no notice.
After my brief traumatic ordeal had ended I was longing for my appointment. Finally, when school had finished I went home, ate a meal and headed off. On my way I was gathering my thoughts as I had already anticipated my doctor´s mediocre, though medically necessary questions:
“Did you do anything out of the ordinary lately?” asks my doctor
“No” I reply
“Did you over strain or exercise yourself?” he asks me
“No” I reply
“Do you do any exercise in the mornings?” he asks
“No” I reply again and so on
Then he introduces me to this unpromising fellow sitting in my doctor´s chair:
“Sharmarke…this is Stuart”
“Nice to meet you” says Stuart
“You too” I reply
After exchanging brief smiles and prompt empty handshakes I soon realised that this guy, Stuart was a medical student undertaking his practical exam. He looked a bit unsteady and I sarcastically remarked:
“Don´t worry this won´t prove too difficult”
As all our giggles saturated the room I saw that the matter worsened because I saw my doctor´s eyes piercing Stuart´s face as if he were saying:
“This is still serious”
Stuart´s cheeks slowly crackled down like a burnt out engine having its´ last ‘huffs and puffs´. All of a sudden this eerie silence engulfed the room and my doctor asked Stuart to start the diagnosis. I looked at my doctor with a loyal face and he nodded back to me as his reassurance. Stuart examined me and asked me some questions. After he had taken my heart rate, and heard what I had to say about his questions, which remarkably were similar to the ones my doctor asked earlier, he had concluded there was nothing wrong with me. As soon as Stuart told me this my doctor quickly interrupted, put a hand on Stuart´s left shoulder and whispered something along the lines of:
“You never say there is nothing wrong to the patient. It is basically the same as insulting them. They came for a reason and try to satisfy them as best as you can without saying there´s nothin…”
I was about to laugh as soon as I heard this but held together as Stuart detoured for another approach. When I saw Stuart´s face turn around I changed my face too, in order to support his humiliated one. To a certain extent I felt sorry for him but another part of me realised that he was the product of a ‘political football game´ as my general studies teacher had exclaimed to us earlier during the day. The teacher told us about how, over the past decades, political parties have made a mockery of the health service. He went on to say that as a direct result of politicians and their farfetched ambitions, future nurses and medics have to attain the theoretical part of their courses before they could proceed to the real thing or mock practical lessons. He then passionately stated his further theories about how some candidates fail their practical examinations and end up washing three years of their life down the toilet and finish with a useless qualification.
This vividly reminded me of this confused graduate trying to bend my arm in the most awkward position that one would instantly think he was trying to perform a wrestling pin on me. Apparently he was looking for pulled tendons or muscles in my chest. The manner in which he performed these ‘prior exercise stretches´ was alien both to my doctor and me. As I had anticipated, my doctor intervened and persuaded him to check elsewhere. After the second diagnosis had finished Stuart was quick to remember his initial mistakes and instantly told me a nice story about what he had just done and what he had found: not much.
By now I began to lose hope on this guy, as he must have thought I wasn´t there for some reason. Anyway, Stuart avoided the ‘N´ word and instead, knowing he had to say something, told me that he saw subtle signs of all the heart diseases imaginable.
My doctor interrupted with a second tap on Stuart´s left shoulder. This time Stuart was keen not to get embarrassed and attempted to stick his ear to my doctor´s mouth so no words could escape. Unfortunately, for Stuart, my doctor´s voice was too deep and distinct to be misinterpreted in any way:
“Never mention the word ‘disease´ or the names of heart diseases, not even the word ‘conditions´. Patients get scared and panic…they get bad connotations about these things.”
This kind of situation might have proved to be amusing to some people but for me, it was a tedious affair in which I witnessed a scholar progressing at a rate comparable to a baby learning to walk before crawling. As far as the NHS and politicians are concerned I suggest they have a word with my general studies teacher.