Monday, September 24, 2012

Beaten with a reflex hammer

When I was checking a patient's reflexes last week, I apparently gave her a little tap on the olecranon. I've never seen a person react that way to being tapped with a rubber hammer. I mean, occasionally people say "ow" or something. But this woman asked for an ICE PACK, which I gave her and she used for all of 30 seconds. She showed me her elbow and complained that it was all red (it wasn't).

Then at the end of the visit:

Patient: "Is my elbow still red?"

Me: "No." (it never was)

Patient: "Can I see that hammer you used?"

Me: "What?"

Patient: "I want to look at it. What is it made out of? Steel?"

Me: "No, rubber."

She wasn't satisfied until I took out my reflex hammer and showed it to her. I think that needing an ice pack after having your reflexes checked should count as a Waddell's sign.


  1. I thought she was going to try to hit you back with it :-)

  2. If the elbow was red it was probably from the ice pack. Did you diagnose her with fibromyalgia?

  3. Seriously, how did she make it this far never having her reflexes checked?

  4. I am very sensitive to pain (just ask the last surgeon who operated on me. I found out when the gass-passer came in to check on me and said that he had to give me extra), but this lady take the cake. Firbro is a good presumptive DX, however.

  5. ...was so funny !!! I really have to buy your book Dr. McFizz...