Plain tales from the surgery

Daily treat
Three years ago when I was a GP registrar, I was performing a medication review on an Asian lady who was diabetic and hypertensive. I reminded her that she should be taking one aspirin a day. 

‘One as-cream a day?’ she replied, looking pleased. 

To my surprise, her accompanying son, who was in his mid-twenties innocently asked me: ‘Can she really have one ice cream a day?’

It was a shame to have to burst her bubble.

Dr Saima Salim Mughal
South Woodford, London 

Asthma attack
The asthma guidelines are periodically upgraded but, even so, I was surprised to hear of an apparently new treatment when a young mother informed me that her four-year-old son had been treated in casualty for an acute asthma attack with an immobiliser.

In these cash-strapped days for the NHS, I wondered whether she had been charged a fee to have him released.

Dr Jon Mymin
Cockfosters, Hertfordshire

All in a day’s work
It was my first week of locum in a surgery. A frail looking woman entered the consulting room.

‘Before I forget, doctor, thank you. You saved my life,’ she said. I was almost certain that she had mistaken me for someone else, but her face did look familiar.

Embarrassed at her thanking me for no apparent reason, I tried to put it gently that I was the locum, and hadn’t worked in the practice for almost a year.

‘It was you who sent me to the hospital and they found a cancer in my bowel,’ she insisted.

Undecided yet whether I should accept the thanks or not, I turned the pages of the case notes. An entry appeared, in my handwriting, from the last day of the previous locum.

She had called me for a home visit last year.

I had admitted her to the ward. She had carcinoma of the colon, and surgical intervention had saved her life.

It was a pleasure to meet a satisfied customer.

Dr Anand Deshpande
Westhoughton, Lancashire

Trendy trainers
During one of my surgeries last week I saw an overweight lady. I asked her if we could ascertain her current weight.

As she got up I noticed that she was wearing some swish new trainers, the ones made of a super-lightweight synthetic material with a velcro strap, that fit snugly like slippers.

To my amazement, she delicately removed the trainers before stepping on the scales.

It obviously had the desired effect, as she weighed in at a sprightly 99kg.

Dr Costi Stavrianakis
GP registrar, north London

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