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.


Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected]