I work in a place where we may see patients from almost anywhere in the world. This richness in humanity is one of the reasons I have stayed working at the same place for almost a quarter of a century. Interacting with people from all over the world is interesting and enriches me. It also presents significant challenges
A Bangladeshi man brought in his elderly mother for evaluation. He made some notes, which he gave to me so I could understand what had been going on with her. He said she had been suffering for forty years with these problems. She had just arrived from Bangladesh a few days before and he brought her in for evaluation. Here is the note he gave me, transcribed as best I can from his neat handwriting:
* IF SHE FEELS HUNGRY, GETTING DISSYNESS.
WANT TO EAT MORE, BUT CANNOT.
EVERY HALF AN HOUR EATING.
JUST LITTLE AMOUNT, WAANT TO EAR MORE.
* BURNING INSIDE STOMACH/ GAS, HOT
* FEELS VOMITING BUT COULDN’T THROUGH UP.
* STOOL IS HARD/ GOING TO THE RESTOON ONCE EVERY AFTER ¾ DAYS
* CAN’T EAT ONLY RICH FISH, VEGETABLE
* IF TAKE PRE-COLEDG (stool softner) GOING TO THE RESTROOM NORMALLY.
* VERY WEAK, SHECKING.
****SLEEP IS NOT ENOUGH/ 4-5 HOURS EVERYDAY
* 4-5 YEARS AGO, GOT LOT OF EXAM FROM HERE. DOCTOR SAID, COULDN’T GET SERIOUS.
ANTHING, ONLY STOMACH/ PARS ARE VERY WEAK
* WANT SOME VITAMINS
You can see that this sort of presentation would be a challenge for any doctor but, as an emergency physician, I need to see through the forty-year-old things and make sure I don’t miss anything that needs to be discovered today. These people and this note represent a part of what makes my job so interesting.
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