Aug 10, 2010

So You Want An Online Diagnosis?

Last week Doctor D sternly rebuked those who wanted him to answer illegal (diagnose-me-over-the-internet) questions.

Several commenters replied it was D's own fault for naming his blog "Ask An MD." I mean seriously, what answers could an MD possibly have worth reading if he can't discuss your bowel problems?

Oh, so THIS is what you wanted?

So "Ask An MD" is running a special this week only:
Doctor D will answer every single diagnosis or treatment question you ask in the comments of this post!

(Very important small-print disclaimer:
None of Doctor D's answers will be correct or sensible in any way )
What good are bullshit diagnoses, you may ask?

The Weight of Perfection
One of the greatest stresses in a doctor's life is having to be correct all the time. Of course, we aren't always correct, but people always expect us to be correct. This leads to a lot of stress in a docs life.

The avalanche of questions started early:
When Young D was a Pre-medical student in college people started asking him questions that were totally beyond his abilities. "Hey D, I get this weird feeling in my stomach, but sometimes it isn't there. What is that?"

Ah, to be young and free of the heavy responsibilities of doctoring!

D would just smile, shrug, and say, "Probably either metastatic cancer or gas."
Young D became legendary for his smart-ass diagnoses, and a good time was had by all.

But then Medical School began and the game of diagnosis became one of life and death. A wrong guess could hurt someonebadly. People kept throwing unanswerable questions at him, but the weight of his profession had crushed D's carefree attitude. He began giving evasive responses and advising people see their own doctor.

D has been practicing medicine for a while now. It is heavy stuff to talk to people every day about the ways that their own bodies can cause misery or kill them.

Doctor D actually doesn't like talking about suffering and death. He would rather open your mind and make you smile. So D started this blog answering people's questions about the odd quirks of the medical profession. For D this blog is a lighthearted way to process the hard and nasty stuff he has to see every day at work.

But work found Doctor D in his secret online hide out. He should have expected it—answering questions about doctors brought patients, and patients have questions about diseases they want to ask doctors.

Unfortunately, I can't answer diagnosis or treatment questions, no matter how desperate you are. I have to admit: I don't even want to try. I miss sleep at night over the guesses I make in my real job. Trying to do the same thing on-line would lead poor Doctor D to have a nervous breakdown.

But Doctor D won't abandon you poor folks so desperate for answers. He can't diagnose you but he can offer you the next best thing: Utter Nonsense!

"Nonsense Therapy is all-natural and involves no harsh chemicals!"

Therapeutic Misinformation

Do you doubt the healing power of ridiculous bullshit?

Doctor D learned this lesson as a young doctor. He had been working for months with a patient who was miserable from one of those frustrating mystery illnesses. She was in the office crying and listing her symptoms. Finally Doctor D shrugged and grinned, "All I have left to offer you is racehorse therapy. We take a rifle and put you out of your misery!"

At first Doctor D was petrified. He had let one of his pre-med smartass comments loose on a real person with real suffering! Then the patient smiled—the first smile he’d seen from her in months. Then she laughed, and D laughed with her. They had a good hearty laugh and the patient hugged him as she left the office.

Things were different after that. We talked and laughed a lot. We never found a diagnosis for her, but we ridiculed the disease mercilessly. It made us both feel better.
Nonsensical bullshit from a doctor can have a wonderful therapeutic effect!

Ask any middle-schooler and they will confirm it: The human body is funny! The human body is silly! The human body is gross! The human body is ridiculous! The human body is a low-down Judas that will eventually screw you over then kill you!

The only sensible thing to do is to mock our bodies on a regular basis.

So send Doctor D your symptoms and he shall mock them fiercely! He shall diagnose you with improbable and silly things! He shall loose his inner child to laugh at your bodily functions! He shall suggest ridiculous and painful treatments!

Not a single one of you shall get any useful medical information from Doctor D’s snarky replies... but you still know you want to send D your symptoms!
Therapeutic Misinformation:

Just like Chiropractics!

It feels so good,
you won’t even care that it’s total bullshit!

All questions will be personally answered by the doctor. So send in those aches, tingles, throbs, swellings, and vaginal discharges!

Now, Doctor D is a busy man, and he doesn’t check his email 8 times a day like more dedicated medbloggers. (Grumpy you're embarrassing the rest of us with your annoying dedication!)

Be patient, and the doctor will be in to misinform you and mock your symptoms shortly!


Nurse J said... i get these weird twinges in my, they will be there for a second and then, like, they're gone......but sometimes i, could it be a brain bleed? or maybe a clot? should i lose weight? should i start working out? should i eat more fruit and veg-veg-veg, whatever those green things are called......should i eat more of those? should i stop eating at McDonalds every day? so, um,....whadya think?


Doctor D said...

Wow Nurse J, that's a lot of questions!

I may need to put a limit on the number of questions per comment.

Doctor D shall now answer all your questions several times in no particular order:





Necrotizing Fasciitis.

Happy Meals are low calorie and delicious!


You should try ballet! I hear is is wonderful for the torso muscles.


Yes, if you have a bladder infection.



Only if you are on birth control.

Hell no!

Hope you found these insights helpful.

cardiogirl said...

Psst. I have a toenail that has random pain just on the left side. It's not an ingrown nail and I have tried to put cotton between the nail and the skin.

Also, the ball of my foot hurts intermittently. I also have gangrene in that leg. What should I do?


Wow Dr D you have really branched out!! Good on you, I see some much needed cussing and aggrivation happening, You have a cool blog and the blogging gets to us all at times. Wise cracks are awesome, laughter is the best medicine, keep it up.....

Grumpy, M.D. said...


Obviously, you've read the same Bible as I have (Kill as Few Patients as Possible" by Oscar London, M.D.) because he makes many of these same points.

Doctor D said...

Okay Cardogirl, this won't be easy but sometimes it's no pain no gain:

1) Take a saw and place it between your knee and ankle.

2) Have a swig of some strong whiskey.

3) Saw fast and hard until you are free of the problematic foot.

4) You may want to have a friend on hand to help you hold pressure on the bleeding.

5) To prevent infection: Burn the stump with a hot iron.

Hope this helps.

PS: Prosthetic legs are for sell outs. Peg legs are the natural holistic treatment for missing limbs!

Nurse K said...

Whenever the hott doctor in my ER walks by me, I have dysarthria, gaze preference in his direction, difficulty breathing, increase pinkish pigmentation to the skin above the zygomatic bones bilaterally, intermittent SOB, tachycardia, and some sort of fluttery sensation in my upper abdominal area. I'm worried that this symptomatology could represent an underlying heart defect with or without hyperthyroidism, multiple PEs as well as TIAs, and/or WPW. What is your opinion? Do I need a defibrillator and tPA? Thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

Love it!
But- chiropractors aren't bullshit- (well, I guess I worked for one who was and gave the rest a bad name.) I wouldn't be working in healthcare now if it wasn't for an amazing chiropractor- who knew how to help the pain, restore function, and refer me out when it was beyond his scope and abilities. Aack- who knows...maybe everything is bullshit, and we are all a part of the ruse. Keep on with this wildly hilarious blog!!! Even if you can't tell me why I continue to go to work everyday when I have nearly uncontrollable urges to call in sick or "in need of mental health day". Must be in the new DSM- Workplace Avoidance Disorder- NOS.

binkRN said...

You must get the same in person- from family. I get all sorts of questions from family about poop, why uncle Al's leg ulcers don't heal when he is still smoking 3 packs a day and doesn't do jack s$%^!, or why Aunt Adelaine has stopped eating after having progressive dementia for years- after all "those other people in the home are sick, they just holler and try to escape. She has to be locked in. She won't get better if she don't eat..." As a nurse with a progressively sarcastic attitude- I appreciate your wit daily.

Dragonfly said...

I should send this to my dear scattered family who ring me from other time zones about rashes etc. Just as well they haven't figured out that they could show me in real time over video Skype.

Doctor D said...

Nurse K this is a serious illness that must be treated immediately! Patients with symptoms like this have been known to languish for decades before dying alone of a broken heart. This severe cardiac condition needs drastic therapy STAT!

You have two radically different treatment options:

1) Get thee to a Nunnery! Yes, lifelong therapy of peace and contemplation in a unisex environment has been shown to eventually rid you of such symptoms.

2) Get Freaky! Take the doctor who triggers your symptoms to an exam room. Remove all clothing and initiate vigorous physical activity. At first the cardiac symptoms will seem to worsen, but then they will resolve completely. After a few treatments the only symptom this dude will trigger in you will be a roll of your eyes whenever he says something.

Let us know which treatment course you choose!

Doctor D said...

Anonymous 12:41 am:

Of course, chiropactics is bullshit. But who says bullshit can't help people?

All that subluxations-cause-ADHD-and-pancreatitis-and-syphilis-and-war-and-every-other-problem-known-to-man story they tell is total BS without the first bit of data to back it up. But do you realize how happy that BS makes people when they realize all their Stage 4 Cancer really needed to heal was a good spinal adjustment? And those Chiropractors are amazing with their bedside manner!

MDs have a lot to learn from chiropractors. Never has a group of professionals believed in bullshit so fervently and advocated it so well! (Okay, well political parties, but you get the point. )

You have no need to worry about that Workplace Avoidance Disorder it will be gone in no time with a few spinal adjustments! And here we see the beauty of Therapeutic Nonsense: If you believed it enough your workplace avoidance really could be cured with back cracking, magnets, or Doctor D's Supper D-licious Sugar Pills!

Doctor D said...


For your family members Dr. D has amazing natural cures!

Uncle Al's leg ulcers simply need a daily application of a mixture of Acia Berries, Peanut Butter, and Gorilla Scrotum Extract.

Aunt Adelaine's appetite would improve if she could just smoke some healthy marijuana. Sure most demented people who won't eat have already been given the pill form of cannabis, but as any Dave Matthews roadie can tell you there is no substitute for smoking the straight herb. If that doesn't work there is always Cocaine. Yes the all natural extract from the coca plant will pick her right up out of her demented doldrums! Then if she still insists on remaining demented you can use the all-natural Greek concoction of Hemlock. Just a little of this amazing herb in Auntie's tea and you'll never have to worry about any of her symptoms again!

Yes, the earth has given us all sorts of wholesome natural cures! If it wasn't for the horrible propaganda of the Medical-Industrial Complex with all their randomized double blinded trials your loved ones could have these treatments to make them one with nature.

Nurse K said...

I would like to try Option #2, but I have been told by other females throughout the metropolitan area that I need to "wait in line, sistah, cuz you're not the only one" wanting to receive this sort of treatment. Apparently, the treatment is so popular that there's a selection process that one must go through, similar to a transplant list or something to that effect. Something about compatibility and blood types, I think. I guess I'll just keep suffering until some cure is found or I'm matched with someone compatible.

DrSnit said...

I've been writing all day and my wrist hurts. Do you think I should stop writing and rest it? Probably not right? I should probably amputate like the similar amputation method above huh. I'm SO GLAD I read this blog. I was going to just rest... but instead I'll write until I hurt more then amputate and just write with a bloody stump!

oh... wait-- YOU'RE THE DOCTOR... what should I do Doctor D? Please help me - YOU'RE MY ONLY HOPE ON THE INTERNET!!!!!

Doctor D said...

No Dr. Snit! Please don't go cutting off your typing hands!

All you need is a several bags of bright orange, deep-fried Cheetos to reinvigorate those wrists. After your fingers and tongue are good and orange from the Cheetos immediately drink a pint of Jack Daniels.

You will be amazed at the results!

Linda said...

I had the same affliction as cardiogirl so I tried your cure. Except I didn't have a saw so I used a machete. And I didn't have any whiskey so I used chocolate milk. And my iron was in another room so I just plunked my stump in the swimming pool. Otherwise, I followed your instructions exactly. Now I have an uncontrollable craving for a new BMW to replace my Geo. Can you write a prescription so insurance will cover my purchase?

Anonymous said...

OK, I'll bite. I have a problem that doctors can't fix. I'm a 60 year old guy and I've had stomach trouble for 30 years. Every night my stomach gets really bloated. It hurts and keeps me up until 3 or 4 am burping until it feels better. Don't pin it on my darling wife's cooking. This was a problem long before I met her. It's worse after I eat in restaurants. It was totally fine one time when I went backpacking in Maine for a week. Sometimes it gets a little better but most of the time it drives me crazy. Otherwise, I'm in good health: slim, fit, good cholesterol and blood pressure numbers and all that. Please give me your best nonsense cure. I'm sure it will be better than what I've heard from other doctors. ("Don't eat broccoli")

Doctor D said...

Linda, congratulations on your successful amputation!

Here is you BMW Prescription:

Name: Linda
Dispense: One Black BMW two-door convertible.
Directions: Drive twice daily.

-Doctor D

Just print it out and take it to your local dealership. Hope it soothes the pain, but I have to warn you they may or may not accept the prescription. Insurance companies are so finicky about paying for luxury sports cars these days, even when your doctor recommends one.

Let me know if it works and I'll prescribe one for myself too.

Doctor D said...

Anonymous 11:27:

I can only think of one diagnosis to make sense of your mysterious pains: You have an alien spawn gestating in your abdomen! All this time it's been down there causing trouble and eating all your wife's delicious cooking. This is a rather serious parasite since it has the nasty habit of bursting out of your stomach and killing your friends.

Any off-planet travel around the time this started? If not they probably abducted you in your sleep and inserted it via a rectal probe.

I have to warn you that these extra-terestrial parasites can be difficult to treat. You really have two options:

1) Switch to a diet high in uranium and plutonium. You'll loose your body hair, but you'll probably fry that abdominal alien too.

2) Travel to Arizona and tell them that you have located an illegal alien. The local police department will organize a swat team to capture and interrogate your little abdominal freeloader before they deport him for lacking proper immigration papers.

Until you've done this you may want to carry a hatchet with you so you can chop off it's head if it decides to try and chew its way out to attack you or your loved ones.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I think I love you. You are sending me secret messages through this blog attempting to seduce me aren't you! I saw it the first time you typed the word "and". That's a codeword for "leave your husband of 20 years and meet me in Timbuktu". I'm sorry, but we'll just have to admire each other over the intertubes. I'm allergic to reality.

On a diagnostic note, perhaps you can tell me why I can't quit having an affair with chocolate?

Anonymous said...

@ Nurse K
I'm barely even a med student (allegedly) but I'd like to try my hand at giving a moderately well-informed diagnosis.

I think you are exhibiting positive signs for a condition know as being hot for the hotter-than-hot-ER-hottie. Or it could be a heart defect. Take your pick.


Anonymous said...

Whoa, Dr D! I think you're really on to something! I'm the guy with aliens in his belly. Your diagnosis explains a LOT. For one thing, the rectal probe probably was covered with microbes from outer space and that must be why I have hemorrhoids. I hadn't told you this, but at night, when my stomach gets bloated, I am nearly always reading science fiction! I think that hearing about their homelands must get the aliens riled up, and that's why I bloat at night and not during the day. (During that trip to Maine, when I had no symptoms, I wasn't reading any sci fi!) I think that until I can source the uranium and plutonium or get my butt to Arizona, I should stick to reading thick British novels. But I'll keep a hatchet by my side, as you advise. I look forward to telling my regular doctor how I got cured. Thanks, Dr D!

Anonymous said...

Awesome post Dr. D.


Doctor D said...

Anonymous 9:51:

Of course, I'm sending you secret messages through the blog!

I'm glad the subliminal seduction is working. In fact the real purpose of this blog is to recruit beautiful women to leave their men and join the exclusive Doctor D's Harem of Hot Sweaty Love!

You have been selected to join, you lucky girl!

Don't let your fear of reality stop you from joining me. I promise you it will be better than chocolate. Doctor D's pleasure therapy is guaranteed to satisfy!

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