Monday, July 24, 2006

Another venting post

One of the things that irritate me as a doctor is health irresponsibility.
So, I help out at the free clinic here in town. Every fortnight for 2-3 hours, I see diabetes patients for free (usually it's 300 bucks a pop for a new consult). I enjoy it, really. And, considering the bad stuff I've done in my life, thought I needed to do some good to change my karma (probably community service for 100,000 years might do it). Seeing different types of patients, usually more grateful, less pretentious, less sense of entitlement.
And then, on some days you get patients like these:
31 year old type 1 diabetic, who runs out of long-acting insulin 3 freaking days ago. Calls up the clinic after my staff is gone promising to come in 5 mins but shows up 18 minutes later as I'm leaving. Wants more insulin eventhough she's never been seen at the diabetes clinic before. Doesn't check herself eventhough we give her the strips for free. Spends whatever money she has on cigarettes and booze. And has the cheek to demand for her medications to be filled immediately because her ride's waiting for her.
I believe adults are capable of making informed decisions on their own health. If you don't wanna live a long, healthy life, it's your own choice and I will gladly step out of your way.
But when they come to you wanting help but clearly are not wanting to help themselves, and in the process, causes inconvenience to you when you're doing them a free service, I draw the line.
As the Chinese say, if you're in a rush to reincarnate, just go ahead and be my guest.


Blogger caryn said...

t1dm..? no insulin..? how long does it take to land yourself in DKA..?

4:57 AM  
Blogger Jeeu Teck said...

Hi there. I found out your blog through Dr Chen's link. I am studying medicine at University of Liverpool. Nice to meet you!

6:35 AM  
Blogger vagus said...

piggo: you go into DKA pretty darn fast. hours. that woman was using her short-acting insulin several times a day when she remembered to check herself.
jeeu teck: thanks for stopping by.

6:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you!!!

Most patients that I witness go in and out of waiting rooms are unhealthy because a) they are terribly overweight or b) smokers.

And they wonder why they are sick, and have so many aches and pains!!!

Aggravates the crap out of me!!!

Have a pleasant day :)


7:20 AM  
Blogger vagus said...

Taj, that message almost looks funny.
The 'aggravates the crap out of me' was right above 'have a pleasant day'. :)

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