display | more...

I am a family medicine physician well trained in Evidence Based Medicine. But sometimes I have a difficult case and my right brain takes over: TA DA! Fuzzy Poet Doctor, FPD, to the rescue. FPD is able to distract the logical left brain, knock it out and come to the patient's rescue.

I returned to clinic after a day off.

My nurse said, "How did you know?"

"Um," I said, "About what?"

"Dr. C. wanted to know how you knew that kid had C. diff." Clostridium difficile is a bacteria that causes diarrhea and usually shows up after a course of antibiotics. You have to use a different antibiotic to get rid of it, thus proving that the universe has a sense of humor.

"Which kid?" I said, not remembering a thing.

"The 3 year old with diarrhea," said my nurse, rolling her eyes. Her expression said, if my doctor only had a brain. "Ok, when you do labs for someone with diarrhea you always do a stool culture, giardia and C. diff. Right?"

"Uh-huh." I said.

"Except you only tested for C. diff in that kid. Came back 4+. Other doctor wanted to know how you knew."

"Well," I said, warming to theory, "It's endemic in the deer here, so people can pick it up in their yards....." but I was fading out, because that was not right.

"No." said my nurse. "That's giardia."

I looked at the chart. I could remember the visit now. My left and right brain had had a conversation. The left brain started to check the usual labs and the right brain took over and only checked C. diff. The left brain said "but" and the right brain interrupted: "Don't worry about it." And then I forgot it entirely until this moment looking at the chart. I could not remember anything special about the child or any logical reason.

"You're right. The deer carry giardia." I said. "I have no damn idea why I only did the one lab or how I knew. None. Did the kid get treated?"

"Yep," said my nurse, satisfied. She knew I was doing that thing again. Practical woman, as long as it works, she'll support it.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.