By Tedler D. Depaynos, MD
The patient is just 38 years old and used to work in a foreign Arab country where he met his wife. Although his wife is from Benguet, they settled down in neighboring Pangasinan, which is his home province. They appeared successful and eventually they bought a lot where they built their house.
It was just two to three months ago when the patient started complaining of migrating body aches which may transfer from the back to the abdomen and even to his nape or shoulders. He was even observed to be limping from time to time. He consulted several medical clinics and hospitals and had several lab tests and work-ups. He had several x-rays and ultrasounds and even underwent colonoscopy. He was diagnosed to have “liver parenchymal disease”, kidney problem, arthritis and even “perforated left ear drum”. He was given various medications by the different MDs he consulted and one of them even advised him to go on diet “without protein”. Despite the various medical treatment, however, the patient seemed not to be improving and begun just staying at home and doing nothing because of his “sickness”.
When his father-in-law learned of his condition, he became extremely worried especially when he heard that his son-in-law was selling their house. He then went down and saw that his son-in-law had lost significant weight and looked very pale. His son-in-law was strictly following his doctor’s advice to be on “non-protein” diet despite his wife’s cooking and encouragement to eat. He then brought his son-in-law to his old family MD for a second opinion.
Based on the thick lab and medical procedure results that they presented, the old family MD simply concluded that they were all within normal limits. Any abnormalities in the different values were not very significant. The loss of weight however was obvious especially the paleness. On further interview, the MD noticed that the patient appeared to be under “severe stress”. He jokingly then inquired if he had been visiting Thunderbird or any cockpit arena which the patient denied. He extended his joke by asking if his wife is returning abroad and he would be left alone with their children. When he asked if he took time cultivating the area around their house, the patient then started to talk about the problem of the lot that they acquired. Apparently, there was a problem in the transfer of the lot that they bought because of the objections of a sibling of the seller who came from abroad. They were not in agreement on their inheritance.
He was under severe stress and when he started talking about his problem, he was non-stop as the old MD encouraged him to express his feelings. It was his wife who cautioned him that he is in an MD clinic and not in an office of a lawyer. The patient then voluntarily diagnosed himself to have a “psychological sickness” for he seemed to have a little relief when he partially expressed himself openly.
The MD then referred them to his coffee-mate lawyer friend.
It was then after 3 or 4 months when the father-in-law returned to the clinic of his old MD giving thanks with a bagful of mangoes they harvested from his son-in-law’s lot. He was very much impressed with the lawyer they consulted because he was very influential and respected. Just a phone call to his younger colleagues in Pangasinan made them work double time in facilitating the transfer of the title of the lot. They respected him much not just because he used to be their “professor” and adviser but because of his honesty and low profile personality.
His son-in-law apparently has fully recovered and became busy planting eggplants and tomatoes. He plans to pass by the lawyer’s office with a bagful of mangoes also to express his thanks but the old MD suggested that an imported Canadian bottle could be added to make the lawyer feel better.