Discovering the Insane
by William 'Cully'
In the course
of fifteen years as a physician, one is forced to
learn certain truths regarding human behavior,
most of which one would have preferred to remain
ignorant. The unavoidable fundamental truth is
that a much larger portion of the population than
you would ever imagine is, in simplistic terms,
these poor souls can usually be identified quite
readily, as they tend to share certain common
tendencies and idiosyncrasies.
Some of these
truths are as follows:
I must always be wary of a patient who says,
Now doctor, I am leaving on a trip this
weekend and I need something that will get me
better by then. (This is one of the more
ignorant and irritating things I hear. Do
patients actually think that, when faced with an
illness, I reserve, the best, fastest
treatment for certain patients or situations?
Sometimes, I want to say, Well Ms. So and
So, I was going to prescribe a rather slow and
likely ineffective regimen, even though I knew a
much faster and altogether better one was
available. But, since you asked so nicely, I have
decided that I will go against my instincts and
give you the good treatment.)
Through years of study, I have observed that if a
patient insists that a shot is always
better than a pill, it is highly
likely that I have found myself in the presence
of a red neck, or an imbecile commonly
It is clear that anyone who claims to be
allergic to more than three
medications should be considered as crazy until
Any patient to whom I am a total stranger, and
who calls me by my first name during our initial
visit, as if we have been lifelong companions,
should be considered potentially insane. Im
not hung up at all on people calling me
doctor. It is simply evident to me
that most everyone does unless they know
me very well or they are crazy.
Any patient who is allergic to a
naturally occurring and absolutely essential
bodily substance (potassium or estrogen or
vitamin E) is, almost certainly, crazy. I
struggle mightily to maintain my composure every
time I hear, I cant take potassium.
Im allergic to it. I must stop myself
from crying Good God, get the crash cart!
Do you not know that every cell in your body is
at this very moment teeming with it?
Anyone who says medications work the
opposite on me is potentially in need of
are much less subtle, and perhaps more indicative
of one being moronic rather than crazy.
Nevertheless, they must be approached cautiously.
Those that absolutely cant pronounce
Tylenol or Ibuprofen.
Individuals that refuse to take a cholesterol
lowering medication, even though they have
hypertension, smoke, have diabetes and have
already had a heart attack because they are
afraid it will hurt them.
Anyone that refuses a potentially lifesaving
blood transfusion, aside from religious concerns,
because there is a one in a bazillion chance they
may contract HIV; despite a one in ten chance
they will die without it.
me that, regardless of the above, I am neither
jaded nor cynical.