Diagnoses

Bromhidrosis.

That’s the medical diagnosis for foul underarm odor. I learned that today at the doctor’s office.

It wasn’t my diagnosis, mind you. But the doctor did point it out, among the list of hundreds of ailments and diseases that lined the computer printout he has been compiling for years.

“I once had a patient with it, and I couldn’t remember what it was called,” he said, as he scanned the list for the insurance codes for my own diagnoses. “Now I know I have it right here, along with all the others I put in the database.”

His arthritic fingers glided over the wide, green and white paper with the perforated sides, the kind with guide holes to lead it through an old dot matrix printer (the ones that were around before computers became personal, and knowing how to use one meant writing code). New discoveries were marked in red ink.

I don’t have Brohmidrosis (at least not often) but I do have, as the good doctor noted on my prescription for a chest x-ray, a “musical noise with respiration.” As well as “pain over sternum… dyspnea.”

He took my blood pressure four times on his little machine. He listened to my breathing with his stethoscope. “You’ve got a pretty serious lung problem,” he said, as he looked at me through smudged reading glasses, the price sticker ($3.50) still covering the upper third of the left lens.

The doctor was the closest one to the University on the list of doctors who accept my new health insurance. I went today because the cough and chest pain have been so persistent, and I’m tired of hacking and clutching my chest.

The closest available doctor is a very old man and, bless his heart, he suffers from elderly ailments. The arthritis pain makes him rest between writing prescriptions, and jotting down insurance codes. He takes aspirin and calcium supplements by the handful.

Now I have four carefully, and painfully, written prescriptions, only one for drugs (a refill on a drug I regularly take). The rest are referrals. I need to see other people before I’ll know what my chest is really singing as it makes all that musical noise.

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One thought on “Diagnoses

  1. Willard Duff

    Maybe if you can record it we can figure out what Key it is in and write lyrics to it you may have a hit on your chest. Sure hope it is not serious,
    Dad

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