It's been only three days into the week, and I've already had my fill of the weird. The patient with a flea infestation, who both doesn't seem aware she has them, and went to the Tammy Faye Baker School of Cosmetology; the near centenarian who didn't know where she was, why she was here, or what the hell we were doing to her, getting her next ten years of pacemaker power; the female patient with more tattoos than most bikers will ever consider getting. But today, one little jewel shone through, even though his family was enough to make Mr. Rodgers consider going postal. An older man in his eighties, here for procedures to help diagnose his leg pain. A short word by the patient, "Uff-da" on being stuck with a needle, led to a question by the physician about being from a particular ethnic group. Which led the patient to say he wasn't, but his wife was. Which led the doc to note his wife was descended from that group, and that her parents came over after WWII, after her teenage father had spent years avoiding conscription by the Germans. Which led me to note the patient had been twenty in 1943, and saying he was probably somewhat familiar with the situation the doc's in-laws were facing. Leading to his Army Air Corps years in '43 to '46, working on Mitchell bombers, and an even better story of the two Master Sergeants, a bottle of whiskey, a bet in a bar, and a B-25 that had it's landing gear punched through its wings and nose by the end of the night.
These are my favorite patients; reading their personal accounts of their service fed my love of military history growing up in the '70s and '80s. I hate to think of them fading away so quickly.