Extra Story of the Day

Sent in by one our readers to give you a smile:

Back in the 1970s, I spent six months of my clinical psychology internship year with the department of medicine at the VA Medical Center in Minneapolis, working with the Psychological Medicine division that focused on psychosomatic illnesses. One of our weekly case conferences involved a man in his 60s who had undergone a laryngectomy and was dependent upon his wife to remind him about his medications and doctor visits.

The couple was referred to as “impossiblely  inseparable as ”—they fought constantly, but were miserable when they were apart. To communicate, he used an old-style electrolarynx, —an external vibrator the size and shape of a flashlight. He had never mastered the device, so his speech sounded like the drone of bagpipes punctuated by occasional plosives and tongue thrusts.

He and his wife, who sat by his side but faced away from him, were presented at the case conference in the hope that we could figure out a way to improve his compliance with treatment and his rehabilitation. The attending physician began by asking how he was doing.

“Mmrrghht bzzztp schlllp frnnn morrgg…” was the electronically enhanced reply that went on for a full minute, complete with gesticulations by his free arm. None of us understood a word.

When he stopped, his wife rolled her eyes and said, ““Oh, would you listen to him!””

Editor’s note – there is a section on our site called “Story of the Day” and it is from the extinct Placebo Journal.  You are welcome to send me stories like the one above as long as they are anonymous, no medical malpractice has occurred, and it is appropriate/funny.   Sorry, we don’t give anything away anymore if we use them.


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