By Rosie Preston
Pain usually does not give a person anything to laugh about, but the symptoms often heard by a doctor when explained by a patient sound unbelievable.
The other day I found a book which includes every pain imaginable recorded in the words used by patients in describing their headache. It felt good to laugh along with the section of the book that brought to light the confusion a doctor is trying to decipher and the patient not possessing the education to understand the medical terms.
Here are some passages from the book:
“People frequently say that they have a headache in order to get something or to get out of something. Many complain of a headache to get narcotics, tranquilizers or other drugs. I always take the patient’s word that he or she has a headache, except for the drug addicts, and then I have a little battle in deciding about prescribing for that patient.
Headaches are of various types described by those patients: ‘I have nagged headaches, I have a dead headache, I have a dumb headache, I have a dummy headache, I have a piping headache, I have a watery headache.’
“Of course, there are sometimes specific types of headaches described as: ‘I have a migrant headache, I have a diagram headache, I have eye-ground headache, I have mound-grain headache.’
“Another expression means the same kind, although on the Gulf Coast in February, it may be taken quite literally: ‘I have Mardi Grain headache.’
“Some headaches are not so bad (‘I just have normal headache’), while some are: ‘My head don’t just hurt normally,’ or, ‘It’s an un-normal headache.’
“Headaches come at different times: ‘When I wake up, my head is doing one those numbers, when the sun rizes, my headache rizes, I’ve been feeling a swimmy headache the past two or three days, my head hurts a little at a time, off and on.
“Headaches occur in different parts of the head: ‘The pain starts in the corner of my head, I have a hurting misery in the mole of my head, my head hurts between the skin and school, I guess my mole has been ground up, the pain plays checkers in my head, the cuff of my head hurts, I have a headache over my right eye, my head is giving me a rick-rack.’
“And last but not least, ‘The doctor said I have articles in my head.’
Keep smiling, Rosie
Contact Rosie Preston at firstname.lastname@example.org.