Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Diagnoses at Denny's

I've mentioned before that I tend to diagnose the passers-by that I see around town and on the road. I was eating breakfast at the Denny's in Moab, Utah this past week when a middle-aged couple lumbered to their seats.

They were both quite wide in the middle, carrying way too much visceral fat packed around their waistlines. Doubtless two cases of metabolic syndrome, a high risk constellation of central obesity plus two of the following: high blood pressure, low HDL cholesterol, diabetes or elevated fasting blood sugar, and elevated triglycerides. Of course, I have no idea about their lab findings, but he no sooner sat down but he pulled out a ziplock baggy jammed with pill bottles.

He was unnaturally red in the face contrasting with his pale arms and legs sticking out from t-shirt and shorts. Sunburn? Shoot, that's a med. student's diagnosis. Idiopathic erythema? Rosacea? Polycythemia vera? His legs, however, had none of the swelling or skin changes associated with venous insufficiency which is a good sign, but his calves and thighs were scrawny which may be a bad sign per a recent report that a low thigh circumference is associated with a higher risk for heart disease!

As they sat, unaware of my clinical musings, she leaned forward, grinning, and said something to him in a low voice. His face immediately crinkled with amusement and softened with affection.

My final diagnosis? They were in love!


kenju said...

You were probably right about all the other stuff too.

So, I need to be concerned because I DON'T have big thighs? That's a laugh!

Anonymous said...

I've shown your photo to my beloved and advised him that if we see you anywhere we are to turn our round, red-faced selves as deftly as possible and head in the other direction:)