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Please begin with an informative title:

Okay, for years I have applied a test whenever I meet a new doctor, whether it’s as a colleague, socially, or as a patient.

“Got time? Got a reflex hammer? Wondering if you can help me with this symptom I’m having,” it starts.

Almost any implement will do if a reflex hammer is not available. Most docs don’t seem to carry one these days.


You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

crossposted from my other blog. I am in Nepal again, teaching critical care nursing skills, and if you want to read about healthcare in a country with no national system whatsoever you can check out my blog. www.joeniemczura.wordpress.com

I did this on a transpacific flight too, once, for a gorgeous babe across the aisle, who giggled and said "I have that too! Does your migrate like mine?!?!?" After which a nine-hour flight seemed to be over in a half-hour. But I digress.

It's a test of the sense of humor. If the doctor in question does not laugh immediately, I make a mental note never to seek assistance from that person no matter how dire.

So, I sit.

And tap the right  patellar reflex zone, upon which

the left leg jumps.

Get it?

Last evening I was introduced to a young veterinarian from Galway, here to volunteer with an NGO that spays and neuters the many stray critters of this town. Mostly dogs.  ( Nepal needs this.....yes it does).

"You learn about large mammals in vet school, don't you?" Sez I.

"Yes,  mainly cattle, pigs and horses."

"Well, I wonder if you can explain this symptom I have been having? Got a reflex hammer?"

"Vets don't usually use that tool," he sez warily.

"Watch." And I showed him my reflex.

He laughed, an unselfconscious Irish laugh. With a wide grin he said:

"Saints be praised," he said, then turned serious, "I'm afraid you're going to have to be put down. Wait right here. I'll be back in a minute with a syringe."

Simply not on the list of  answers any family practice doc ever gave me.


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