Vets often talk about how easy human doctors have it. Their patients come in and tell you their symptoms. Even a brief “it hurts right here” would be very helpful to us sometimes. But now I’ve changed my mind.
The husband had a sore spot on his back last night. Over the course of several hours he described it to me. Here are some of the highlights. Spaces between conversations represent long periods of time when we weren’t discussing his health and then the conversation would spring up again.
Him: All day it felt like my back had to fart. Like there was gas in it, you know. Like someone took a straw and stuck it in my skin and blew.
Me: Has that ever actually happened to you? Has someone stuck a straw into your skin and blew? How do you have a frame of reference for that?
Him: (puffs out his cheeks) Go like that. It felt like that. What disease is that?
Him: Where are my kidneys?
Me: Towards the back
Him: Like where I’m sore?
— 15 minutes of tv watching later —
Him: So do you think I’ll need a kidney transplant? Why are you laughing? You know you’re always wrong about my health. Like when I said I had something in my foot and you called me a whiner but I had something in my foot. Maybe I really do need a transplant.
Him: Where’s my spleen?
Him: I was hot earlier. Is that a sign of kidney disease?
Me: Look, pee in a cup tomorrow and I’ll take it to work and test it.
Him: Test for what?
Me: Infection, blood in the urine, stuff like that
Him: And if you find it, I’ll need to have my kidney taken out?
Me: No, you go to the doctor and get put on antibiotics.
Then this morning he decided that his back felt much better. No further testing was necessary I guess.