Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tales from Residency: Preggo Brain

Preggo brain is a very real phenomenon, I can vouch for that.

When I was a resident, I was doing an H&P on a new inpatient who was somewhat demented. After I finished interviewing him, I was going over his therapy schedule for the day. He told me he was having trouble reading the schedule because he needed his glasses, but he didn't know where they were.

This happened to patients all the time. During pretty much every patient encounter, I'd end up searching for their glasses at some point. Usually they were in the bedside dresser, so I checked there first, in all the drawers. No glasses.

Then I checked the windowsill. No glasses.

I was wracking my brain to think where his glasses might be. Then the patient said, "Oh wait, I'm wearing them!"

I looked at the patient and realized that he was, indeed, wearing the glasses I had just been searching for.

"Boy, I feel dumb," he said. "I thought my glasses were lost but I was wearing them all along!"

"You feel dumb?" I retorted. "I was the one looking at you wearing your glasses."

Luckily, the patient was sufficiently confused that I don't think he was able to relate this embarrassing story to anyone else.


  1. I've put on a patient's glasses after doing an ophthalmoscope exam on them, but usually my prescription is so much worse than theirs that I catch it right away.

  2. Reminds me of a time I did that back when I was eight or so. Lost my glasses on my face, was getting quite frustrated and couldn't understand why everyone else kept laughing at me until Mom told me, "Look in the mirror, dear." XD

    ... but that was back when my vision wasn't so good that it wasn't immediately obvious whether I was or wasn't wearing my glasses. Now, it's more like, "Can I see stuff more than 6 inches away from my nose? Yes? I must have my glasses on, then."

  3. I tell people (of both genders) that each University degree you get and child you have drops your IQ by 10 points.

    Some years ago I worked with someone who had a BS, two Masters and a Ph.D., and his wife was at month 8 with their 5th kid. When I informed him of my IQ-dropping factoid, he responded, "Oh no! I'm about to go NEGATIVE!!"