Sun Oct 23 05:25:22 SAST 2016

Don't talk ill of yourself

By unknown | Apr 12, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

No one wants to be sick and it's normal that when an ailment attacks the patient will frantically search for a cure. It's human nature to fear ill health.

But there's a different breed of patient who doesn't seem to be interested in recovering.

This is the kind who knows and demands the strongest form of medicine, but comes out of treatment saying he feels worse than before.

Michael Sangweni, a medical practitioner, said: "I had one bloke demanding antibiotics so strong he got me thinking he must be a spy, out to catch me off guard.

"He would even come to me before getting ill, saying he could tell from the weather that his operation would be under siege," Sangweni said.

And the operation in question was no heart bypass, it was a mere scar on the palm of his right hand that was performed as a routine procedure to correct a malfunctioning nerve.

Then there is the woman who has bunked work more than she cares to remember, blaming it on her elbow, which "refuses to react to medication".

"I have tried taking Grand Pa and mixing it with brandy to no avail," she said.

"I fell on this arm when I was at high school and for a while it seemed okay, until I had my first child. Though doctors see nothing wrong, it is always sensitive and causes me pain."

Neurotic patients, as Sangweni labels them, are simply attention seekers.

"You might find that the woman complaining about her elbow was given what she considered too little attention at the time of her fall and holds a grudge," Sangweni said.

We have to want to heal in order to heal, he said.

"But if you anticipate pain, before it attacks, the body cannot help but steer you that way because the brain is the commander of all systems in our bodies," Sangweni said.

Does this mean that at the peak of the neurotic's performance he will find himself sick and with symptoms to prove it?

The answer is yes, he said.

"When you tell yourself you need a new pair of glasses, even though the prescription for the current ones has not expired, you can be sure your eye sight will start deteriorating rapidly," Sangweni said.

Tshepiso Tabane, a librarian, said: "My aunt falls in this category. At 50 she has had more than five operations, even a hip replacement, and all these after the death of her husband.

"Now she is on pain-killers and is addicted, but insists she needs the strongest medicine available.

"When she is not in her familiar surroundings, she forgets about her pain-killers and will realise days later that she has not had her daily dose and that's when her so-called multiple body aches come rushing in."


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