This week's show was a rebroadcast of our funniest show from last season on the 'Unmentionables'. That didn't stop many of you from taking the time to send us your comments. Here is what you had to say:
Eleanor Thorel of Bracebridge, Ontario sent us this: "As an RN I have heard many interesting stories in the ER department due to patient embarrassment. I have had experiences where patients had no idea what "stool" was, and had to resort to using the basic "poop" word. Enjoyed the show!"
We received this email from E. Susie Sims: "I listened to your program this morning and burst out laughing at a memory. When I was seven years old, we lived in rural southwest England. I had to go into hospital to have my tonsils removed and every morning (I was there for about seven days), a nurse asked me if I had had a bowel movement. I had absolutely NO idea what a bowel movement was so made up a 'yes' or 'no' answer based purely on a whim. It was probably another seven years before I found out what a bowel movement actually was. Never would it have occurred to me as a 7-year-old that it had to do with "pooping"!! Cheers - love your program."
See more of your emails, after the jump...
Not everyone found this show amusing. J. Schmid sent us this: "I was left disturbed: because while you asked for examples, you generally did not receive clear illustrations of the issues that cause patients to be embarrassed. To me this suggests that the professionals interviewed indeed themselves remain quite uncomfortable about certain information that patients disclose. Being on the receiving end of health services rather than a health professional, it would have been useful to me to hear some 'matter-of-fact' discussion. At the same time, the doctor spoke about the zucchini incident and the community worker said that while she couldn't come up with an example, she would sometimes have a giggle with a co-worker about something that was out of the ordinary. We as patients are very aware that our 'conditions' get discussed and that the 'odd' stories even make it to family and friendship circles of the doctors and nurses. This very fact would inhibit me from discussing it, as I would know that it might be discussed beyond the consultation room. I work in a sector where confidentiality is required. I have found myself in the situation where one professional is sharing a 'non-identifying' story with someone else and where the story was indeed identified despite no name etc being shared."
One detail in our interview with Drs. Susan Abbey and Shelia Wijayasinghe made one of you downright angry. Patrick Charron of Marion Bridge, NS sent this email: "There was one thing that struck my family though, which you seemed to completely miss. Near the end of the show, there was a brief comment that some people have two family doctors - one for routine medicine, one for the "private" things. I find this appalling - my family hasn't had a family doctor for a decade, due to the Dr's not having any room in the patient lists. What are authorities doing to address this problem? How can we regulate the consumer, so they don't manipulate the very limited supply of doctors simply because they're embarrassed to talk about some things with their "normal" family doctor?"
Ken Westlake of Penticton, BC picked up on the very same theme. He writes: "We have had to fight tooth and nail to get access to one Family Doctor. We ended up with me and my wife having one doctor and my daughter and our two granddaughters having another one. And she waited something like half a year or more to get this! I have heard from various people that a third to a half of the people here in Penticton may not have a Family Doctor. So, other than the Walk-In Clinic (which doesn't do anything too tricky) what are people supposed to do BESIDES go to the Emergency."
Susan Stasiuk of Calgary was annoyed by something else that was mentioned in passing. "I was somewhat taken aback by your very flip comment that implied 'everyone' is on anti-depressants. I know I'm not. It might be an interesting show to look at just how many people actually are on anti-depressants, and how we reached a point where a significant number of people are living a chemically mediated reality."
Susan, you're in luck. This week, psychiatrist Daniel Carlat talks about his book 'Unhinged', a work in which he discusses how the practice of psycahiatry went from talk therapy to pill pushing.
Thanks as usual for your many emails.