Thursday, July 22, 2010

One Hand

I met a man with one hand the other day. I was sitting in with a specialist, and was looking down at my folder when the patient came in.

When I looked up, there he was – a big fat man slouching on the chair, and his right arm (on the other side to me) ended at the elbow. The sleeve of his dirty green windcheater wrapped neatly around the stump of the elbow, and I couldn’t walk around to inspect more closely, so I had to be content with sneaking discrete glances every now and then.

This man was a long way down the Autism scale, and I quietly tuned out of the consultation to ponder his situation. How did he lose half of his right arm? With his mental condition, he probably hadn’t had a dangerous job or hobby (his parents were present and over-protective, even in the consultation). Perhaps it was congenital? Was he born with half an arm? What other congenital problems did he have? What a puzzle.

And then the consultation was over, and the man reached for his Medicare card – with his right hand. It was there all along, just bent around at an awkward angle. I was kind of disappointed.

2 comments:

PTR said...

This is hilarious. I would have loved to see your face. But I still can't figure out his arm was positioned such that you couldn't see it!

Pink Stethoscopes said...

I think his hand was just hidden behind his back, but it seems an awkward position to maintain for a whole consult.

I should have mentioned though - I was a little distracted because his Dad looked EXACTLY like Doc Brown from Back to the Future.