Smarter ‘n a 5th Grader

        There is some show on T.V. these days called ‘Smarter Than a Fifth Grader.’  I have to confess I watch little television, so I haven’t seen it.  Maybe I need to watch, though.

        Not long ago I saw a patient with malignant hypertension.  I was very worried about her.  When we started out her BP was 240/120, and I was afraid she’d have a stroke before I got it under control.  It took some time, but I began to breathe a sigh of relief once we got down to the 150/90 range. 

        She was on two meds.  As much as I hated to do it, a third was indicated. 

        “Tell you what Ms. Little.  I hate to have you on so many pills, but we still need to be a bit lower.  You still following your diet?”

        “Yes, sir.  I ain’t had no salt a’tall.”

        “O.K.  Let’s add this- one twice a day.  I need to see back in two weeks.  We’re getting there, though.”

        When she returned in two weeks as instructed, she was weak and dizzy.  Her blood pressure was 90/50.  “Gee, Ms. Little.  I’m sorry.  I guess I overshot it, maybe we better cut this one pill down to one a day.”

        “Could my dog have anything to do with it?”

        “How’s that?”

        “My granddaughter said I needed to get a dog.  She said ever since her Paw-Paw died I ain’t got nobody to look after, and a dog would help me.  She read it on the Internet.”

         “Hm.  Well, I sure don’t see how it could hurt.  What kinda dog didja get?”

        “She’s a mutt.  A real sweetie, too.  I love that little dog, I tell ‘ya.”

         “Well, Ms. Little.  I do believe that is a good idea.  How old is your granddaughter?”

        “She’s in the fifth grade.” 

        Dang, scooped by a fifth grader.  Maybe I’d better watch more T.V.  “O.K. Ms. Little.  Tell you what.  You cut out that last medicine.  And hold onto that dog, too.”

        I saw her back in two weeks.  She is 118/74 and feels great.  From now on, I’m gonna remember two scripts and a dog might trump three meds and no pet therapy.  I can’t afford not to be as smart as a fifth grader.  It might be bad for my reputation.

Dr. B





Explore posts in the same categories: Advice- Five Cents

16 Comments on “Smarter ‘n a 5th Grader”

  1. Byron Says:

    That’s pretty funny, however, there could be a reverse affect: I walked outside this morning to catch my Beagle, Gus, wallering around in my wife’s flowerbed. My blood pressure shot through the roof! 😉

  2. drtombibey Says:


    Whew- if your wife likes her flowers as much as mine does, Gus had better be glad you were running interference.

    This may be a case of Man is Dog’s best friend.

    Dr. B

  3. mrschili Says:

    Along the lines of Byron’s comment, I feel the same way about my cats. I love them and they make me happy when I get to pet them and they purr their appreciation, but I’m not so wild about them when they bring dead things to my door or they scratch the furniture. It’s a give and take, I guess, just like anything else. The best we can hope for is that the give side wins out.

  4. drtombibey Says:

    True chili. If we only keep the perfect relationships we won’t have any.

    Dr. B

  5. pandemonic Says:

    Good story! That fifth grader knows her stuff. I’ll bet she makes a good doctor too!

  6. drtombibey Says:

    I need to put the child on retainer!

    Hey Pande, check out the comment section on the Fish Camp Jam story. Smitty from Mississippi commented on your good taste re: how to fix catfish.

    Dr. B

  7. amberfireinus Says:

    Kids are so perceptive – that is a great story and it made me smile! Its nice that her family listened to her very wise advice…

  8. drtombibey Says:

    As we say in bluegrass, she’s a good’un.

    Dr. B

  9. Fran Rizer Says:

    Hi Dr. B,
    Thanks for your comment on my guest page. Sooner or later, I’ll get that guest page so I can reply directly, but that’s down the road.
    I do hope you enjoy the book. It’s meant to entertain and, as Randall Hylton used to say, “give a few chuckles and an occasional belly-laugh.” I’d love to hear your opinion of it after you read it. I had a lot of fun writing it.
    Your blog is genuinely interesting and I enjoy checking in to see what you’re writing about.
    Aquariums also help blood pressure, but I believe a dog is easier to pet and hug.
    Thanks again and have a great day!
    Fran Rizer

  10. katkmeanders Says:

    Hee! And some people scoff at those who are mourning a beloved pet… I’m glad the patient thought to mention it, pets really do help calm a person, and help them get well. Something to nurture and interact with.

  11. drtombibey Says:


    The bluegrass road is a long and winding one. I have no doubt our paths will cross.

    Dr. B

  12. drtombibey Says:


    As the old saying goes, I wish everyone in the world thought as much of me as my dog does.

    I too am convinced of the benefits of pet therapy.

    Dr. B

  13. Ted Lehmann Says:

    Sheesh…that’s cheatin’ writin’. You put a sick woman, an animal, and a kid in the same story. How can you miss? – Ted

  14. drtombibey Says:


    The great Jethro Burns said your act should never follow dancing animals or small children- no way to compete with ’em.

    Dr B

  15. katkmeanders Says:

    Heh, thought I’d stop by to state I’m wearing my “Please God, let me be the kind of person my cat thinks I am” t-shirt today. *smile*

  16. drtombibey Says:

    Ms. kat,

    Animal lovers are the good guys!

    Dr. B

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