Saturday, June 16, 2012

Language

Dr. Grumpy: "It looks like you have high blood pressure?"

Mr. Semantics: "I wouldn't characterize it as such."

Dr. Grumpy: "Okay, but you're on 3 blood pressure medications."

Mr. Semantics: "My internist and I have a difference of opinion of both vital signs and common vernacular."

16 comments:

Li'l Azathoth said...

A college dorm room, many years earlier:

"Wow, man, I am so high right now! How about you?"
"I wouldn't characterize it as such."
"But you've had like 10 bong hits, your eyes are totally bright red, and you just scarfed down that whole bag of Doritos!"
"Clearly, you and I have different interpretations of both vital signs and common vernacular."

Snarky Scalpel said...

Very well, sir. You have tall blood pressure?

Old MD Girl said...

Admitting that he has high BP is admitting that there is *something wrong* with him. And he is perfect, therefore that could never be the case.

DocBastard said...

Even better are the morons who say "No, I don't have high blood pressure" when in fact they take lisinopril, HCTZ, clonidine, and Norvasc.

"Then why do you take these BP meds?"

"Oh, those are for my blood pressure."

"But you said you don't HAVE high blood pressure!"

"I don't when I take my pills."

This kind of idiocy raises MY blood pressure quite effectively.

bobbie said...

Clueless...

Moose said...

I think the problem is that people don't think of "high blood pressure" as a disease, the same way you would, say, diabetes. "High blood pressure" always seems more like a malleable situation.

If my blood sugars are under control, I still have diabetes. But if the question is, "Do I have high blood sugars?" then the answer is, "no."

Perhaps the wording needs to be changed to something like, "Are you taking any medications for high blood pressure?" or "Do you take anything to keep your blood pressure under control?"

Anonymous said...

...huh, no vampire jokes yet???

Future Pharmer of America said...

@Moose: Agree 100%. Laypeople use medical language in a much looser fashion than health care professionals, and it's probably more productive for HCPs to ask more precise questions than to expect patients to acquire more precise vocabulary.

skidmark said...

My blood pressure has never been in the elevated range - not even when I am spitting-mad. But I take a few BP meds because due to other diseases it is better off if my BP is actually in the middle of the LOW BP range. So how would you expect me to answer your comment that you "see" that I have high blood prressure? No, all you have seen is that I'm taking a few meds most commonly Rxd for high blood pressure.

It's difficult enough coping with the raft of illnesses I actually have without being saddled with another one. (Truth is, I enjoy playing 20-Questions with MDs to see if they can figure out why I'm on BP meds. I can tell which ones in the group do not gossip. :)

stay safe.

Anonymous said...

I note that he is Mr. Semantics and not Dr. Semantics. Did he offer any reason as to why he felt his definition of HBP was superior to his internist's? Just curious.

Caya said...

That sounds like something I might say. I tend to pull out the $5 vocabulary when I'm trying to both mentally distance myself from someone who I think is a jackass (as the patient clearly thinks the internist is one) and trying to phrase the situation in terms that others will find socially acceptable. Versus just saying I think the guy is a royal jackass.

Grumpy, M.D. said...

No.

Packer said...

I think the numbers don't lie.

Anonymous said...

As inaccurate, in his own way, as my MIL who came home from a medical appointment and announced "I have no blood pressure!" I just thought 'I wish..."

Anonymous said...

was this guy an engineer?

Grumpy, M.D. said...

We have a winner!

 
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