I tried taking a nap today, but, as usual, my attempts were thwarted. My pager went off telling me a patient couldn't afford his meds, so I had to call back to see if we could get a different med covered, then I finally fell asleep after that one and my next door neighbor started banging on the door.
This old couple lives in the apartment next to me. They're both retired and around 75. They're really nice but they try and talk to me any time I go in or out of my apartment, which drives me crazy. Then I think the man is suffering from some sort of early dementia because every time he talks to me, he puts his hand on my stomach. I don't know if he's trying to feel the baby kick or something, in which case he's going to have to hold his hand there for a few years, but it's a little weird. He also has not yet figured out that if I'm home during the day, it's because i'm sleeping. So pretty much any time I'm postcall and trying to nap, he'll bang on the door. In the beginning I opened it because I thought he was going to tell me that the old lady broke a hip or something, but the last time I did he started telling me about how he broke his shoulder 2 years ago and he didn't have surgery, but now he wants to know if he should have etc etc etc. I know they're lonely old people and I should be nice, but I really do not want to be their default medical source and i wish they didn't try and come over every time I was at home.
Anyway, the old man started banging on my door today. He has not yet figured out that if he bangs 10 times and I don't answer, he should just give up, so he kept. on. banging. (they know which car is mine in the parking lot so he knew I was home) So I dragged myself out of bed, opened the door, and he thrust a letter at me and said "I got a letter from my doctor but I can't understand it so I need your help."
Me: Uh, are you sure you want me to read this?
Old Man: Yes, I need you to tell me what it's about!
Me: This is about your penis rash.
It was a letter from his urologist detailing their visit over his penis rash. As far as I could tell, the urologist wasn't sure what was causing the penis rash and wanted to order some labs to look for inflammatory conditions.
Me: It says here they did a biopsy of your penis.
Old Man: What's that?
Me: They take a small piece of skin off and send it to the lab to look at it under a microscope
Old Man: I don't remember. They did that?
I really feel like a penis biopsy is the sort of thing you would remember, but I'm also of the camp that you shouldn't ask your next door neighbor to interpret your penis rash paperwork for you, so maybe I'm just weird in that regard. And, quite frankly, I guess I got off easy that he didn't try to show me his penis rash.
He was probably hoping you'd ask to see the penis rash.ReplyDelete
Get a noise machine and turn it up REALLY LOUD so you can sleep through it when he knocks.
Can you approach the building manager about this? My concern would be that if he doesn't remember getting a biopsy on his PENIS- he may not remember the stove is on or water is running etc. The behavior seems like not only an annoyance but a potential safety concern. Have you tried explaining that you are asleep during the day? Maybe this would help...but he may not remember that either.
I know Dr Orthochick is a surgeon, but still. Dementia at 75 is no early dementia, by any standards.ReplyDelete
I assumed early stages of, rather than early onset...Delete
My bad. I translated poorly.Delete
Might I suggest a sign on your door that says SLEEPING - DO NOT KNOCK in very large letters? While it bugs me no end when people take advantage as your neighbors are doing, I still admire you for being patient with them. Getting old is no picnic.ReplyDelete
If the neighbor can't remember if skin was removed from his penis (!!!!! I mean really, who forgets that?), I highly doubt he'll be able to understand a "sleeping - do not knock" sign.Delete
I had neighbors that would do this, to the point of bringing their kids over, asking me if I could look in their ears. And it was always while I was trying to sleep post call. They just hear doctor and think free medical advice, no matter how many times I explain that anesthesiologists don't have otoscopes.ReplyDelete
"And, quite frankly, I guess I got off easy"ReplyDelete
With all due respect, I would not want to ask a doctor anything like this. I want to be paid for my job and I'd expect to pay for advice from a doctor. I want a doctor who knows my history, not some neighbor because doctors are like IT: all specialized and they may not have familiarity with your issue. I agree with putting up a sign and also to discuss it with the building manager. That has to stop immediately. No matter what, it is not your problem to deal with a neighbors' issue nor to have your home peace bothered for that.ReplyDelete
Random story: Asking for free advice happened to a doctor so many times he went to his lawyer friend and complained. The lawyer friend said, "That's easy to solve; when friends ask me for advice, I charge them." The next day, the doctor received a bill from the lawyer for his time.ReplyDelete
See, Orthochick, THIS is why we love your blog entries! (And the great thing about being a pathologist is that everyone assumes you only know about dead people, so I don't get this... much.)ReplyDelete