Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bomoh's Sorrow

Saw this 60 year-old man in ER early morning, who alleged was knocked by a cow's horn at left sided chest.
On examination by doing a gentle chest spring, the crepitus can be clearly felt. So I told the man that he's likely to have sustained rib fracture.

His response was of kinda dramatic one.
He actually turned angry, "Doc, how sure are you that I'm having fracture? *pats on his chest a few times* If my ribs are broken, how come I don't feel much pain?"

Then the story gets interesting.
"I tell you, I'm actually a Bomoh (traditional healer in village). I used to treat fractures! This morning I was "demonstrating" how I could be knocked by a cow without getting injured (now I get to know the true history), now you're telling me that I've broken my ribs? This is ridiculous!"

In view of his hyper-emotion, I told him that why not we look at the Xray.

It shows fractured left 3rd & 4th ribs.

Then he really got into deep denial, "This is not my Xray! I DON'T BELIEVE IT! Doc, I'm a Bomoh! (he mentioned this not less than 5 times) You don't try to cheat me OK! I have no fracture! I will not get injured!"

Then the next thing is he refused all treatment including painkillers, then took an AOR (at own risk) discharge.

Think it's the end of the story? I thought so but apparently it's not. Since I was on call that day, so I got to see the 2nd half of the story at night.
Around 10pm, a man was pushed in for complain of dyspnea. I had a glance on the patient, OH MY GOD it's the Bomoh again! The first thing that came into my mind was he must have massaged himself at home and self-induced some pneumothorax or lung injury.

But luckily it's not. He came because he really couldn't stand the pain.
And the first thing he said when he saw me was, "Doc, I'M SO SORRY. I shouldn't act so rude this morning. Pls forgive me. Pls admit me to the ward for treatment. Thank you."

A 180-degree change.
But I'm glad that he came back for treatment though.
And what a special experience on my encounter with a Bomoh! ;)


Zzzyun said...

at least the bomoh didnt make himself worse.. and he became so polite summore haha!

oh is it possible to have rib fracture without extreme pain? i tot it's painful to breathe also?

Darren Lee said...

No la it IS painful. Just that he was in denial initially..but in the end still couldn't stand it..

Michelle Mak said...

thank god he came back...
and didnt self treat at home..
i wonder wat happen if he did not come back eh?

*no eye see*

J2Kfm said...

hahaha .... glad he learnt his lesson, well.

to be run over by a cow to prove his idiocy.

confessions of a medical student said...

and i wonder how this bomoh (in his own words) 'used to treat fractures!' !!!

Ning said...

bomoh vs. cow! hmmm the cow kena rib frac too ar? =P

Yew TW said...

padan muka

Anonymous said...

There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also.

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