Before you think [that] I’m about to write something on POTUS, please check the title again. It says potus, not POTUS, the latter being the President of the United States. I wouldn’t know why it’s abbreviated POTUS instead of POTUSOA (of America). Anyway, that’s by the way. Also, considering that since Donald Trump left office, politics in the United States has been less comical and so less fun to follow. I now see why many people, including the media, preferred Trump to SNL- drama and content. But as I said, that’s by the way.
I recall when I began my clinical rotation in internal medicine in my 4th year of medical school. As students who were just beginning to learn the ropes of applied clinical knowledge, we would always go through the clinical records of patients and memorise some medical terminologies to impress the attending or residents. So, when asked what we thought about a patient, you’d hear things like alvo regolare, canalizzato a feci e gas, diuresi normale, Babinski negativo, murphy positivo etc.
One of those medical expressions that I memorised is “nega potus.” So, whenever I came around to clerk a patient, I’d go through my pre-written set of questions and once I asked the patient if he drinks and the response was something like “no” or in the neighbourhood of no, the next thing I’ll do is to gladly write “nega potus.”
Potus is a Latin word that means to drink, which could be any liquid really. But in the medical context, it’s always used with reference to alcoholism. Basically, potus would mean that someone is a habitual drinker or has a compulsion to drink alcohol.
Negare on the other hand is an Italian verb that means to deny. So, when you say nega potus, that’d literally mean that the patient denies being a habitual drinker or doesn’t drink. And those two last words you just read is what made me write this blog post.
I’ve often wondered why you would say that someone denies drinking alcohol, as though you caught him red-handed drinking or you had a witness who reported that he drinks, but now he’s denying it. Why not simply say, ‘he doesn’t drink’ (non beve) instead of ‘he denies that he is a drinker’ (nega potus)? I mean, if he has alcoholic liver disease, that’s ok. But if you’re clerking him as someone who just got admitted for who knows what, why write nega potus?
It’s like saying that Caleb denies that he is from Ethiopia. I love Ethiopia, at least the few times I’ve visited the place in my head. But I’m not from there. So, whosoever insinuated that I come from Ethiopia should be asked to bring strong evidence to corroborate his point. But if no one told you that or you don’t have an inner feeling in that regards, please simply write that Caleb isn’t from Ethiopia; he’s Igbo as he told you.
The bible said that Peter denied Jesus three times, but that was because the two ladies who questioned him had some evidence of seeing Peter with the Master. Also, Peter’s speech betrayed him as one who was concerned about the fate of Jesus Christ. Matthew 26:69-75.
So, if there’s no evidence or thought of evidence or smell of evidence or perception of evidence or divine revelation of evidence, please it’s not a denial. It is simply what I told you it is. I’m innocent until proven guilty and not the other way round. Stop suspecting.
And yes, I’m Igbo… it’s hard to be Nigerian these days.
Do have a beautiful day and see you tomorrow morning with another dose of inspiration.