Plain tales from the surgery

Hairy decisions
We all get bombarded with silly requests from patients from time to time, but I think the prize for this year’s silliest request goes to a patient who insisted her husband get the car out of the garage to give her a lift to the surgery, which is only four doors away.

She explained that she thought she might be coming down with a cold but had come to the surgery to ask me whether she was well enough to go and have her hair done. With some hint of irritation in my voice I told her that, since I do not have any hair, she would have to make this decision for herself.

Dr David Jenkins
Ferryside, Carmarthenshire 

A knock-out request
One of my patients came to see me recently to ask for some drops for his conjunctivitis.

‘Can you give me some of those chloroform drops that the doctor gave me last time?’ he asked.

I tried not to laugh and agreed to give him some chloramphenicol drops instead.

Dr Marelize Yorke 
Bournville, Birmingham 

Bending backwards
While working through my telephone triage calls of the morning, I phoned a young mother with acute-onset back pain.

‘I’m quite booked up this morning but I’m sure I can squeeze you in,’ I told her.

While I called up the appointment screen to book her, I then added: ‘Are you fairly flexible?’

‘Oh yes,’ she replied, ‘that’s part of the problem, my partner and I were trying a new position.’

Not quite what I meant.

Dr Rob Rosa
Downton, Wiltshire

Brain teaser
I telephoned a delightful old gentleman who has recently started on warfarin, to let him know his INR, dosage and follow-up arrangements.

I made him an appointment for the phlebotomist and he was anxious to write down all the details and read them back to me to make sure he had taken them down correctly.

‘So that’s an appointment next Wednesday at 10am with the lobotomist then doctor,’ he said. ‘Is that right?’

I must remember to warn the phlebotomist that she needs to enhance her skills a little prior to his appointment.

Dr Janet Paton
Bo’ness, West Lothian

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