So this lady comes in and says her periods have been irregular and she doesn’t know why. She’s worried she has an infection that is causing the problem. After a number of questions I couldn’t get to the root of her complaints.
“Which is the problem?” I ask. “Do you believe you have an infection or it is your period you’re worried about?”
“My period is the issue but I think I have an infection so I need antibiotics” she replied.
I scratched my head in frustration. She was giving me evasive answers, expecting me to prescribe medication without a diagnosis. This is a ccommon problem Nigerian doctors face; patients who don’t know the difference between symptoms and diagnosis.
Glancing at her folder, I noticed her age was not recorded. All that was written was adult. I decided to tread carefully. This was obviously someone who was sensitive about her age.
“Roughly how old are you?” I asked, pretending to be looking at the folder.
“Em….. I’m not too sure” she murmurred. “Is it because of my period? My mother still saw hers at my age and my older sister is still menstruating”
“Do you have children?”
“Not yet. I’m believing God for children”
“Why didn’t you just say so when you came in, rather than going on and on about infections?”
“I believe that if you treat the infections I will conceive” she stated.
“So is it possible you are 35 years old?” I asked slyly.
“Could you be over 40?”
She nodded again.
“Do we just conclude that you are 50?”
“It’s not really about my age”, she argued.
“I’m not trying to embarrass you but you have not had a period for 3 years, you might be headed for menopause. That does not mean you cannot conceive but you have to admit the truth first”
The story is too long to relate here, but why would you lie to a doctor you expect to help you? I rest my case.