Fans of ‘Carry On Doctor’ or ‘Doc Martin‘ know there are times when medicine creates amusing recollections. If you’re sensitive about dark humour, not gallows stuff, but semi-taboo subjects, you may want to skip this post.
Here are just a few of the many things that made me laugh:
- at the end of an overly long grand-rounds that dealt with circumcision, an elderly French-Canadian professor slowly walked to the podium and stated, “Every man has the right to shape his own end.”
- a British professor gave a long answer to a short question and apparently forgot his finger was still in his patients rectum.
- after a busy night in the ER a nurse warned me the last ambulatory patient was, “a little odd.” I asked, “How so?” The nurse said the patient demanded to look at you before staying. She told the nurse, “He’ll do.” The patient complained of a lump in her throat. After examining her and finding nothing unusual, I asked, “What am I missing?” She told me sex with her boyfriend was great, but they had just broken up. I asked how that related to the lump in her throat. She replied, “God you’re stupid, I’m stressed, just give it to me right now.” I naively asked, “Give you what?” When I finally caught on, I stupidly said, “That is not a service I’m accustomed to providing in the emergency room of this hospital.” Now here’s the funny bit. I made the mistake of telling the ER nurses the whole story. For the rest of my internship, I had many urgent, come right away, pages to every floor in the Ottawa Civic Hospital. Often, after running up flights of stairs, I discovered a nursing station full of nurses holding their necks and verbally teasing, “Doctor, I have a lump.” For a while it happened so often, my wife would ask, “Any lumps today?”
- I had to leave the ER to see a young couple in the parking lot. Picture a young couple standing in the back of a pickup truck wrapped in a blanket. Long strings on an IUD had somehow knotted around his penis. Long after his erection disappeared, he attempted to withdraw, she would howl because of severe cramping. He was afraid he might do permanent damage. They called a friend who owned a truck. The truck owner scurried around Ottawa looking for long sturdy planks so they could ascend to the truck’s cargo bed while still facing each other; picture that. The solution was simple, I cautioned her to expect a major cramp and asked him to step way back. I untangled the strings and sent them on their way.
- a CAF Medical Assistant in Victoria shaving a male butt. The patient was on his hospital bed, in knee-chest position. After each stroke of his razor, the MedA tried to blow away loose hairs. With each puff, the patients anal sphincter tightened. The patient’s facial expressions were priceless.
- also at the CFB Esquimalt hospital – another doctor asked me to see one of the patients on his list. A big cook refused examination by a “kid.” The other doctor was shorter than I and did have a youthful face. After my examination I told the cook he owed the young doctor an apology. The next day, in front of four doctors and three nurses, the cook said, “Captain, I’m sorry, it’s just that whenever I see you I expect you to be carrying your medical stuff in a sand pail.” Not the apology I hoped for.
- I was the new doc in Cumberland. I had just inserted a metal vaginal speculum when the nurse said, “Where did that damn fly go?” I hadn’t been in Cumberland long enough to know the nurse and the patient were best friends. Seeing me flushed and flustered, the patient’s laughter popped that speculum right back out.
- the fellow from Campbell River who told me “Doc, we’ve got to change those suppositories, they taste terrible and stick to my teeth.”
- arriving home at 0400 hours after I helped a new mum deliver her baby, I suggested to my wife that it would be relaxing to go out to our hot tub. She replied, “Relaxing, I’ve been sleeping.” Her expression added, “you asshole” to her sentence.”
- the retired CAF fellow delivered to the ER by the RCMP. He demanded to see the Chief of Defence Staff right away because the Arabs were invading Canada near Nanaimo. I spent one and a half hours gently coaxing him to allow me to admit him, with no joy. When the psychiatrist arrived, he ordered the retiree to attention and marched him straight to psychiatry. Well then, that was easy.
- the fellow with a ‘lost’ dildo chatting with an effervescent nun who had no idea why he was in hospital. I don’t believe the best actors could recreate some of his many facial expressions.
- the three in the morning phone call that went like this, “Hi Doctor Eves. You don’t know me, I’m not a patient of yours, but I was afraid to call my doctor at this hour.” After I got off the phone, I quietly cursed, just a little, and my wife said, “Don’t you dare complain to me. You were so sweet, if I was her, I’d call you back tomorrow morning.” Once again I felt there was a “you asshole” at the end of her statement.
- the five year old with a bloated tummy and pain. I asked, “Have you passed gas from your bum today?” I looked at his mum and asked, “flatulence?” Then I cut to the chase and said, “have you farted?” The youngster gleefully shouted, “See mum, it’s okay, even the doctor says it.”
- the seven year old who asked if I was Santa Clause. I asked, “Do you think I am?” He replied, “You’re fat, you’re happy and you have white hair, all you need is the red suit.” His mother looked embarrassed, but I laughed and reassured her that her son had it right. I whispered in his ear, “I’m sorry, but I’m not Santa.”
- two heavily-muscled, drug-seeking body-builders appeared at our clinic’s closing (2200 hours), demanding oxycodone. After I refused oxycodone and everything else, I asked about their steroid use. They both flexed, leaned in and said “This is real muscle.” About six months later one of the guys reappeared, this time with a genuine rash. It was obvious he had no recollection of having seen me before. I elected to have a little fun. When I examined him I made some concerned doctor sounds. He said, “What’s the matter, what is it?” I told him I had only seen this kind of rash once before, in a heavy steroid user, but you told me you don’t use any drugs. He asked, “What if I told you I do use steroids?” I replied, “Well, then I’d tell you it’s just the end-stage of chicken pox and there’s nothing to worry about. You’re almost better.” Even he thought my ruse was amusing. As a parting comment I said, “Don’t you find that as your muscles get bigger and bigger, your penis looks smaller and smaller?”