Plain Tales From The Surgery

Second helpings

I thought I would have to contact social services fairly urgently last week. I had been chatting to a rather tubby and upset nine-year-old girl who was clearly distressed about going to school.

‘Is there anything at all that you enjoy about school?' I queried.

‘Yes,' she replied with a sniffle, ‘it's the sex at lunchtime.'

Her mother then went bright pink and fortunately was able to explain that the child was very partial to ‘second helpings', or ‘sec's', of her school dinners.

Dr Alan Greenwood

Warminster, Wiltshire

Complaint confusion

Like most colleagues, Choose and Book has not been incident free for us. We had a call from our local booking management service (BMS), requesting clarification of details of one of our referrals.

When asked by our receptionist here for the patient's name, the reply from BMS was ‘Mrs Hiatus Hernia'.

When our receptionist said that she thought this was in fact the complaint, the BMS girl replied: ‘Oh no, she hasn't complained'. She must be the only one that hasn't.

Dr Clive Barker

Chorley, Lancashire

Word perfect

A smart, professional female patient was troubled by symptoms suggesting IBS.

Some routine preliminary investigations had been reassuring and I thought I had better complete things by performing a rectal examination. She agreed and, as she was lying on her side about to be subjected to my gloved finger, I said in my most reassuring voice: ‘Don't worry, we'll get to the bottom of this'.

Dr Paul Burgess

Gosport, Hampshire

Midwifery mix-up

When a 76-year-old lady attending for ‘dietary advice' answered my query as to how I could help her with: ‘Well it's my colostrum, nurse, it's too high, and doctor said you could help me get it down again,' I was taken aback.

However, a look at her notes, revealing a BMI of 29.5 and a cholesterol of 8.3, lead me to give her lipid lowering advice rather than a place in the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest woman referred to the midwife.

Sister Laura Thompson

Practice Nurse, Leeds

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