Plain tales from the surgery

Grumpy old women
A retired teacher lived with her sister, whom she rather dominated, in the local nursing home. They shared a bedroom and relations between them were often strained.

On one occasion I visited the teacher at the nursing home. She wanted a knee replacement for her arthritic joint and when I explained to her the high risks of the operation she replied: 'Well I do not mind if I go out in a blaze of glory.'

A muffled voice from the other bed said: 'No, neither do I.'

Dr Sheila Edwards, Stockport, Cheshire

Nothing like a fireman
I recently made a home visit to a little old lady in a block of flats.

After the visit when I tried to leave the building the front door would not open. There was a button to the side, which I presumed was the door release button. I pressed it but the door would still not open.

I was then horrified when the fire alarm sounded.

The lady and her next door neighbour came out to see what had happened. They explained that you had to kick the door to open it after it was damaged in an attempted break in.

After 20 minutes they urged me to continue on my calls.

I rang after evening surgery for an update. She told me that the alarm had rung for three hours before a fire engine arrived with blue lights and sirens and the alarm was silenced.

'It was rather exciting, thank you doctor,' she continued. 'You really brightened up my day.'

Dr Emma Smith, Kettering, Northamptonshire

Ay there's the rub
I recently saw an elderly gentleman with a short history of lower back pain.

After a quick examination, I asked him if he had anything to rub in, to which he replied that he did not.

'I'll give you a back rub,' I said. To my horror, he proceeded to remove his clothes again, with a puzzled look.

I apologised for the misunderstanding, and sent him on his way with a prescription for Balmosa cream.

If only we had the time to give our patients back rubs.

Dr Alex Meyer, Birmingham

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