Friday, July 2, 2010

Lies We Tell the Doctor #1

Nobody wants to be told that they are living an incorrect lifestyle by our medical doctor. And so we make things up to tell them in answer to their queries.

"I don't drink much. Maybe a glass or two a week."- You always lie about your drinking to anyone who asks. Whether it is your mother, your girlfriend, your best friend, or your doctor, the amount you drink isn't pertinent to your health. It is more of a judgement call of your character. If you drink, you're seen as a drunk, unless you are a wine connoisseur. If you drink hard liquor, which has no health-supporting properties, you are seen as a lush. Drinking beer means you a lazy slob. Is it any wonder that you lie when it comes to your personal relationship with booze?
"No, I never do drugs."- Not that you like to lie about drugs, but they are illegal for heaven's sake. What you take for fun isn't the sort of thing you want written down on your records. Nor do you want your doctor to know that you like doing drugs or that you might possibly have a tendency to do too many too often and against your better judgment. Lying about your illegal intake is all part and parcel of what you go to a doctor for: to have your ailments taken care of without having to change your habits. A good doctor would know you do drugs without asking anyway, wouldn't they?
"I am not taking any alternative remedies."- Well, not unless you consider snake oil, milk thistle, St. John's Wort, and the pint of my own urine that I drink every morning. When you go to an orthodox doctor, you tend to think they ask the question of alternative therapies much as a girlfriend would ask if you have been seeing anyone else. It isn't your health they are concerned about, it is your loyalty to them. If you are slipping over the road to the Happy Hippie Shop to buy some medicinal hemp, well, they should be able to tell if they are any good at being a physician.."
"There is no outstanding medical problems in my family."- There is no one problem. There are many. But who wants to tell their doctor this information when 1) it may take away all the fun of diagnosis for them, and 2) you may get told the depressing nwes that they know what ailment is going to eventually kill you. Why tell your doctor that your father has a bad heart and that your mother is on dialysis? Doesn't that jeopardize your sense of free will, all genetics aside? One more reason to not tell the truth about your medical history: who wants to stop drinking, smoking, eating fatty foods, and lying around the house because of a silly handful of the wrong DNA?
"Symptoms? I've not had any symptoms," or "Yes, yes, those are the symptoms I've been experiencing!"-  Neither of these will be true. This is because 1) if you have had some symptoms, you don't necessarily want to know that they are representative of some recognizable illness, or 2) you really want to believe that the symptoms you have are linked to something and you are not going mad as you feared. When you lie about this question you either want to be sick or don't want to be sick. As it is, we all end up lying about symptoms simply because the body plays tricks on us in memory and sensation. "Is that the pain I felt yesterday? I am not too sure."
"Why, yes, I am feeling better!"- This lie means that you do not intend to go back to the doctor again. The pain isn't getting better but you can't be bothered talking about it anymore....

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