數學遊戲兩則

我和Tina開車在路上,需要決定晚餐去哪裡吃。到最後有兩個選擇,一是BBT,二是暱稱「漫畫店」的茶棧。

「好,我知道了。我們各想一個數字,誰大就贏。你贏就去漫畫店,我贏就去bbt。」她提議。

「呃,ok好。」我說。

「想好了嗎?不能改喔。這遊戲靠的是良心喔。」

「Ok。想好了。」

「好,那你先說。」她說。

「兩兆。」

「……噗哈哈哈哈…我想九十九。」然後Tina就一直說只有我這種人才會想到兩兆這種數字。

而我就很開心的開到了漫畫店,吃之前還看了幾頁柯南。

吃飽以後,還有頗多蝦仁煎沒吃完,這時候大小姐又突發奇想了。

「好,這次只能猜1到100的數字,大的人贏,輸的人吃。」

我馬上說:100*\(^o^)/*

Tina:(; ̄O ̄)不算,你這次要用想的,還我用說的,而且你不能猜100了。

然後就連她都覺得太好笑了,我們笑成一團。

我說:好啦,我有一個遊戲。你我各猜個數字,加起來奇數我贏,偶數你贏。

然後我竟然連贏三局,真的是運氣很好。不過我很尖頭鰻,最後幫她吃完。

我說:其實我有必勝的方法,剛剛才想到。要不要試試看?

她說:好啊。

我說:好,想好數字了嗎?一二三!

我:三萬兩千…
她:二十。
我:…三百二十一。贏了。

Tina: (O_o)

我:(^з^)-☆

我:我還有另一招必勝的方法。想好數字了嗎?一二三!
Tina: 五萬四千…
我:x + 1, where x = Tina 的數字。
Tina: …三百二十。
我:我贏了。
Tina (做完加法):(°_°)那三百二十一。
我:那我x+1=三百二十二。相加得奇數。(⌒▽⌒)

最後今晚的數學遊戲就在Tina解出她的必勝數字後圓滿告一段落。試問,她要說什麼數字才會必勝呢?

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Please don’t play mind games with your doctor

I have taken this sad truth as a fact of life: most patients that I interview have an incomplete idea of many crucial aspects of their health. They don’t know what tests have been done, what they are for, what medications they are on, what conditions they have… And the list goes on.

Take for example, several weeks ago I interviewed a relatively well educated and intellectually intact patient, and this is how it roughly went:

Me: sir, what medical conditions do you have?

Patient: nothing, I have been healthy.

Me, knowing any question worth asking once is worth asking twice: any medical problems in the past?

Patient: nope.

Me: ok… What about your heart?

Patient: oh yeah, I had a heart attack and almost died 5 years ago.

So I went through the rest of his body systems one by one to help him remember other things like heart attacks that are generally considered “past medical problems”.

Me: ok, sir, do you take any medications?

Patient: no.

Me: nothing? No medications?

Patient: no.

Me: what about the diabetes and high blood pressure you told me about?

Patient: oh yeah I take metformin, metoprolol, candesartan, aspirin, Lipitor…

Me: orz…

Why did you say “no”? What did you think my question meant before? What if I was less patient or busier, and believed your answers when you so definitely gave them?

I don’t think the patients meant to do this on purpose. Usually it is simply miscommunication or something being lost in the language barrier. And sometimes we are at fault for asking unclear, ambiguous, or misleading questions.

But every so often, I can’t help but imagine a patient must be pulling a prank on me when I take a history. Maybe one day I will ask someone about their surgical history and they will say: “nothing, doc.” “And what’s this beeping in your chest?” “JUST KIDDING! I have a robotic heart! 😀 GOTCHA!!!”