Plain Tales from the Surgery

Breast is best

Our monthly breastfeeding seminar has been oversubscribed ever since an advertisement in our quarterly newsletter. Mind you, once I saw the wording, I wasn't entirely surprised that the turnout was unusually high, with a disproportionate number of men: 'Breastfeeling seminar, all welcome.'
Dr Philip Ting, London

Expert patient
A recent conversation with an elderly friend taught me something new. We were discussing shingles and whether one had to have had chickenpox in order to contract shingles.

'Oh no,' said my friend in a serious tone. 'Shingles is all to do with the nerves: if you are with someone who has chickenpox, and you are nervous, you will get shingles.' I defer to their expert knowledge.

Dr Judith Hunt, Bugbrooke, Northamptonshire

Armed and dangerous
I saw a 93-year-old man with mild dementia and severe arthritis in both knees in my surgery this morning. I asked him for his phone number so we could update our records.

He replied: 'My phone number and my army number are the only numbers I can remember these days, and if I ever need the second one again then we're all in big trouble!'
Dr Andrew Little, Burnley, Lancashire

Killer drugs
A patient I had recently seen in a TIA clinic contacted me a few days later to say he had run out of his 'assassin tablets'. I was relieved to hear that he was still alive to make the call and wrote out a prescription for Asasantin.
Dr Barney Tinsley, Harrogate, West Yorkshire

Freudian slip
I received a letter from the neurology team who said that they were unable to assist a patient whose headaches they felt were secondary to chronic sinusitis.

Their letter, suggesting a referral to ENT, read: 'I leave the management of the sinuses in ENT our colleagues' culpable hands.'
Dr Andy Cohen, St Albans, Hertfordshire

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