Often in normal conversations you will hear a person remark “usiniulize maswali ya clinic”. Of course people imagine that doctors ask the most irrelevant, most useless and most straight forward questions. But more often than not, patients have no answers to these so perceived straight forward questions.
So why do doctors ask these questions? Well what non medics don’t understand is that, these questions are very important when it comes to making a diagnosis. See what we fail to understand is that doctors don’t just look at you and know what you are suffering from. That is why you have to answer the questions.
Here are some of those clinic questions and how the patients answer them;
Doc: So, how old are you? (You think people have always known their ages until you hear their answers.)
Patient 1: Kwani si it is written there? Or
Patient 2: My ID says I am born ’77, how many years are those?
Doc: When was your last period
Patient: Last month
Doc: Which date of last month?
Patient: Mmh around twentieth
(Well, it is said that only two in a hundred women are able to tell when they last had their period. Most will simply tell you, ‘I don’t remember’)
Doc: what is the color of your stool
Patient: I have never checked
Doc: Is there blood in your stool?
Patient: But I don’t know
(See most people don’t like being asked questions about their pooping patterns. No one looks at the toilet seat before flushing it down the drain; no one looks at the tissue paper either.)
Doc: Have you lost weight?
Patient: Sijawahi pima
(Very few people will notice when they change a loop in their belts (what with the current price of unga?)
Others will never realize when their clothes become ill fitting, we have too many pre-occupations we rarely notice weight changes.
Doc: How many sexual partners have you ever had? The answer to this varies depending on whether the person answering it is a male or female. One thing is sure before, there is always a change in the facial expression
Patient: Tusemeee, about three.
Well, these questions rarely sound very serious. But these and many more questions are what guide doctors as they work towards making a diagnosis.