16 Comments

  1. He doesn’t know what he’s hearing, but it sounds like eels slithering over each other. If it’s not that, the patient is in trouble.

  2. I am not very good at medical stuff yet — I passed my EMT training, and own a stethoscope, but am not good at using it yet. However, I have been given to understand that, If you auscultated something that sounded like a bucket of eels, and it wasn’t a bucket of eels, it probably wouldn’t be great.

    If there’s something in your torso, probably your digestive tract, that sounds like many large slimy-ish cylindrical-ish objects actively sliding alongside each other, there aren’t a lot of things it could be that would be good. I don’t know what all of them would be; I don’t even know what ANY of them would be.

    I just can’t imagine any of them would be signs of wonderful health.

  3. I am also not very good at medical stuff – I haven’t taken EMT training, although I have played with a toy stethoscope. However, I have been given to understand that if you eat eels, your body should digest them, and that if the eels remain alive and intact in your body, and are able to find the space inside your body to swim around and make sounds, that probably wouldn’t be great either.

    So really, not too great either way.

  4. I think the point is exactly what we’re doing–you imagine the sound of a bucket of eels, then you try to imagine what could make that same sound inside a human body.

  5. In all the (dozens of) times that we’ve taken our kids to a pediatrician (including several off-hour visits to the children’s care unit at the local hospital), I have never seen any doctor use a stethoscope to take a pulse rate or listen to heart sounds(*). If the kid had cold symptoms, the doc would listen to the lungs; for other unspecific illnesses, the doc would also listen around the gut, and would sometimes report that it was “really rumbling”, with a warning that we should watch out for stomach flu symptoms (vomiting and/or diarrhea, etc.)
    P.S. I’ve also never seen a pediatrician take a kid’s temperature. They only rarely ask us whether we have done so, and they never write down the number we report, although we have occasionally been instructed to give or hold back medicine (Ibruprofen/Tylenol) depending on various temperature levels.
    P.S. @ Bob Peters – I think he picked eels because a bucket of live ones would have a superficial similarity to a writhing mass of intestines.

  6. “I have never seen any doctor use a stethoscope to take a pulse rate or listen to heart sounds”

    My doctors (well, usually nurses) use a stethoscope to listen to pulse when they’re taking my blood pressure.

  7. @ Arthur – Well, OK, but these are pediatricians, and the kids aren’t anywhere near the age where blood pressure would be an issue. They’ve never put the pickup anywhere on an arm.

  8. I guess it was less a guffaw for me than for WW because I spent so long living in places where eels are actually food and not a punchline. So my mind went to what could be wrong with the eels.

  9. My father’s end-of-life request was to, once more, eat some eels. Like I was gonna to find ’em in Yuma, AZ. I know that my grandparents, in Amsterdam, would get them live from a traveling cart. All I could think was, ‘EW.’ (Of course, I pictured Moray Eels, with which I’ve swum, but I doubt those are edible.) (Jellied eels are mentioned often in Martha Grimes’ Inspector Jury series of mysteries; that sounds even MORE ‘EW’.)

    Speaking of quoting scripture:

    (and if the above doesn’t work, try https://www.comicskingdom.com/baby-blues/2020-02-05 )

  10. Seems odd to me Kilby. Every time we take the kids in, the first thing the nurse does is check weight, BP, and temperature (and sometimes height, mostly at the annual physical checkup). It’s true that the Doctor doesn’t usually do these checks, but they are done and recorded every time. Depending on why we are there, the doctor will listen to and check various parts of the anatomy. Listening to lungs and heart are standard part of annual checkup (to make sure there are no issues with heart valves or heartbeat or asthma or similar, I suppose).

  11. @ Wendy – Weight and height are part of the periodic “development” checkups that German kids are supposed to get every year or two, BP may be a part of that, but I don’t remember seeing it happen. The difference may be that since the American system doesn’t mandate any regular checkups (if the kid is healthy), the docs end up harvesting the data whenever they get the opportunity.

  12. Gee, I have never taken or any had any interest in being an EMT, but I have been to the medical school of ER, St Elsewhere… Chicago Med, New Amsterdam…

    As any good 18th century housewife I know how to deal with sorts of medical emergencies. When Robert hit his head on the bottom of his sliding saw (the frame not the blade) and had a CUT above his eye that would not stop bleeding – he drove me to the 24 hour CVS for supplies (I can’t drive him he gets car sick and did not want to leave him home alone) and I stuck his head back together with butterfly strips (okay, for about a year a hair was growing out the middle of the healed cut – but it eventually disappeared).

    Hit his head hard (well that applies to the above also) – check that the pupils are even, don’t let him sleep for at least 6 hours – if he is drowsy go to the hospital (per ER and doctor when my kid sister was dropped on her head).

    Cut thumb open with carving tool – that we went to the free standing emergency room (as they were called them) for.

    Twisted my ankle outside the bank in the old days when out alone. Forced myself to stand up and go into the bank -sat on their sofa – if I am in the bank injured they have to do something with me, if I am outside they can walk around me. When I felt better I did the banking, went out to the car, stopped and bought lunch, went home and put ice on the ankle. Cold for injuries to help stop swelling, then heat for pain relief.

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