“Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
John 18:37 (NIV)
My family physician for many years was also a wonderful personal friend. Many times we were in each others homes for meals and fellowship. I recall an occasion when I described to him my one and only attack of appendicitis.
I had been taken to the emergency department of the local hospital with significant abdominal pain and nausea. My white cell count was “through the roof” according to the attending surgeon. Hence we knew that there was something very wrong in my body, perhaps a serious infection. The pain was under my sternum and never did locate in the area of my appendix.
The doctor wanted to wait until the pain moved to the area of my appendix before surgery. After about 12 hours of severe pain in the hospital I was desperate to have the doctor operate anywhere. When I related the story to my family physician friend he laughed and said he had seen the occasional “I don’t know what it is” scar on some patients’ abdomens. The surgeon who is in doubt as to where the problem is sometimes makes several incisions until the source of the problem is found.
No patient wants a doctor to operate when he/she is hesitant about a firm diagnosis. We wish a confident and precise form of action by the attending doctor as the problem is diagnosed and resolved.