School was still out and the twins were gracing their beds, while the baby (aka Attila the Hun) was busy cooking his teddies. All was well, until I remembered I was on call.
The prospect of being on the receiving end of patient wrath (having been denied doctor cover for four days) checked my steps, as I made my way through the eerily quiet carpark to the half-empty waiting room.
'I would go home now if I were you,' said the receptionist. Had the computers crashed or the telephones stopped working? A horrific thought popped into my mind - had the CQC come to call, when I was pretty sure I had left a half-eaten packet of cheese and onion crisps in my desk drawer?
Luckily, it hadn't. The basement was flooded, leaving us without water and - worse still - loos. 'I think we should shut up shop,' suggested one of my colleagues, cheerfully.
'Or we could use a pail of water for handwashing and just see the "urgents"?' proposed another. This was met with glares. 'Good idea,' I said, hastily. After all, Attila and I needed some time out to rediscover our mutual fondness.
An hour later, I was sailing through morning surgery, a novel experience. Every patient was triaged for urgency. Our enterprising receptionist had even found some water to make coffee.
'You'll need to do a urine sample in this pot,' I told a patient who had demanded an immediate appointment for a UTI. She returned a minute later. 'Where can I, um, do it?'
'At home?' I suggested. 'But I live miles away,' she said. 'Is there nowhere else I can use?' I wouldn't recommend the toilets in the nearby park to Jeremy Hunt, let alone patients. I shook my head, apologetically. 'It's like third world sanitation here,' she grumbled under her breath. 'That's why I always say practice boundaries exist for a reason,' I muttered, even more quietly.
- Dr Aziz is a GP partner in north-east Bristol. If you are interested in writing a column for GP, please email email@example.com.