Plain Tales from the Surgery

Bangs for your buck

A 73-year-old man came in recently to discuss his erectile dysfunction. He was quite bashful but open, and the consultation concluded with a discussion regarding possible medication.

He was surprised to discover that he would need to pay for this. I explained that to keep costs down I prescribe the stronger strength of tablets and advise to try a half dose first, and only if not effective to use the full dose.

'This tends to work out cheaper, as the full strength tablets tend to be similar in price to the half dose,' I said, and as I paused for a suitable conclusion to my sentence, he piped up with a knowing grin: 'So more bangs for your buck then!' Quite.

Dr Simon Hodes, Watford, Hertfordshire

Canine saline
Mrs Smith came in her for usual medication review.

'I see that you've been prescribed a saline spray. Has it been useful?' I enquired.

'Very much so,' she replied. 'Although I still have this problem with my sinuses.'

'Oh,' I replied in surprise. 'I thought the spray was helpful'.

'I didn't find it did much for me. But it's been great for stopping my dog rip up the newspaper. One squirt of that and he behaves himself very quickly.'

Dr Andy Cohen, Hertfordshire

Lick that problem
A recently retired gentleman came to see me with the usual opening patient gambit: 'I've got three problems doctor'.

The first two were menial and dealt with easily which most likely were an excuse to come in to discuss the third. He lost his wife to cancer four years ago and had recently found a special female friend. He had had a vasectomy 20 years ago and hadn't been active for over six years so his main concern was whether or not everything would still be working when the time came.

After ruling out any particular health issues I said (without really thinking about the meaning): 'Well I guess you'll have to suck it and see.'

There was a very brief pause and then we both burst into laughter.

Dr Nicholas Thomas, Witney, Oxfordshire

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