Unexpectedly Intriguing!
14 March 2007

Now that we've discussed why actually being sick provides legitimate grounds for choosing to call in sick to work, let's consider just how sick you are. Better yet, let's have Geek Logik author Garth Sundem discuss the factors that may ultimately determine if you will seek medical attention for your affliction (we've added the boldface emphasis for dramatic effect):

The potential seriousness of the issue drives this equation, with consideration given (in the bottom part) to pain, duration, and potential improvement. However, your decision to go to the doctor is also affected by your embarrassment. To increase your chances of going, the issue needs to be more noticeable than embarrassing, with additional weight given depending on just how embarrassing.

So it really isn't just a matter of actually having a condition that potentially requires medical treatment, but one of how noticeable the condition is as well as whether or not the condition, or perhaps the explanation for the condition, may be embarrassing for the potential patient.

Now it's time for you to weigh the factors that may influence whether or not you may seek medical attention for your situation. Will pain be the driver that sends you to the doctor? Or will the embarrassment factor weigh against your seeking treatment? Find out now!:

Describe Your Condition
Input Data Values
How many days in the past month have you been incapacitated?
(Missed work, school, or even play.)
Does the issue seem to be getting better or worse?
(-10 to 10, with -10 being "circling the drain" and 10 being "dramatic improvement")
How much pain or discomfort are you currently experiencing?
(1-10 with 10 being "currently holding detached toe in Ziploc bag")
How embarrassing is this issue?
(1-10 with 10 being "slipped on ice and fell on 1972 Mecerdes-Benz hood ornament, which is now part of my body.")
How noticeable is the issue?
(1-10 with 10 being "fell asleep on waffle iron.")
How serious does the issue seem?
(1-10 with 10 being "may well have nail embedded in frontal lobe.")

Should You Go to the Doctor?
Calculated Results Values
Prescription to Seek Treatment Factor
The Bottom Line

In the tool above, a "Prescription to Seek Treatment" factor greater than 1 indicates that yes, you should go to the doctor.

Disclaimer: Obviously, if you're actually going to use the cute little tool above to make the decision of whether or not to call a doctor for you, you're primarily worried about the potential for embarrassment more than you are about the need to treat your medical condition in the near future. This is, of course, no substitute for seeking out real medical advice from a real medical professional about a real medical condition in a real timely manner.

Instead, think of this tool more as a psychological self-study exercise into what may motivate you to seek care for an embarrassing situation, such as if you should ever find the head of a plastic "Ken" doll embedded in your nose, having gotten there by means you would rather not discuss....

And if you're reading this, Johnny Knoxville/associates/fans: (A) No, you shouldn't have, and (B) Go to the doctor. Now.

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