Hemorrhoid venn diagram

Nov 23, 2011

This past week I was shackled by a, um, condition where it was painful to move and difficult to concentrate, and Boost nutritional drinks were my friend, and solid foods were my enemy. (TMI?) I didn’t even know this was an issue for people under 30. My caring wife, the ER doctor, looked it up in her medical dictionary, Hardwood-Nuss’ Clinical Practice of Emergency Medicine, and this is what she found.

I guess venn diagrams are used for other things besides song lyrics and comics.

Take your fiber this Thanksgiving holiday. Thank me later.

Chart Type Used

Venn Diagram

An abstract visualization method to show the intersection between categories.


  • Maybe I’m forgetting how to read a Venn diagram, so please correct me if I’m wrong, but I really don’t see how it’s possible for hemorrhoids to be at the intersection of “pain” and “no pain”. In fact, I really don’t see how it’s possible for there to be an intersection of “pain” and “no pain” at all. Isn’t that logically impossible? Why do “pain” and “no pain” (which are mutually exclusive) overlap, while “bleeding” and “swelling” (which are not mutually exclusive) don’t? Am I completely forgetting how Venn diagrams are supposed to work, or is this one drawn incorrectly?

    • No, you’re not forgetting how Venn diagrams are supposed to work, but it seems that this one was built to fit the diagnoses (the labeled intersections) rather than the symptoms (the circles). In that light, it makes more sense. “hemorrhoids” may or may not be painful, and may be swollen or bleeding. And while swelling and bleeding aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive, the underlying conditions causing those symptoms may be — at least on this particular chart.

      On a decidedly more… juvenile… track: I’ve always thought that Venn diagrams looked like butts, so having having one for “anorectal complaints” with “hemorrhoids” in the center makes the adolescent boy in my giggle. I also don’t think that this connection is accidental, if one catches my drift.

      • Yep. I probably should have mentioned that this is from the doctor’s perspective – as in a doctor would use what a patient says and apply it to this.

  • Nathan, I’m sure your doctor wife has told you that your sitting in front of a computer all day has/will exacerbate your condition. Maybe some standing desk time (plenty of info on the web about it) or time for a butt inner tube until said condition abates. (I got to use ‘exacerbate’ and ‘abate’ in the same post.)

  • I’m afraid to ask, but does D/C stand for discharge?

  • I’m unreasonably excited to find that a fellow nerd whose blog I read has an ER doc wife. Represent!

  • I love this. Is everything in the book represented as a Venn diagram? This is the only instance of a Venn diagram that I actually appreciate (Jessica Hagy excluded). I’d love to get a copy of that dictionary.

  • This is the only instance of a Venn diagram that I actually appreciate.


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