Plain tales from the surgery

Liquid strength
A new patient had signed up with our surgery, having just migrated from Poland.

She requested investigations for her severe nosebleeds. These happened about once a month, for less than 10 minutes and she informed me they had been occurring since she was a little girl.

As I reached for my blood form, I casually asked: 'So have you tried anything for it?'

'Oh yes, I take iron,' she replied, matter of factly.

'How many tablets, how often?', I enquired.

'Oh no, I don't take tablets,' she enthused, 'I use liquid iron'.

'Do you have trouble taking tablets?' I enquired.

'Well you see, I take a tampon, dip it in the iron liquid, then stick it in my nose,' she explained.

She has since been strongly advised about the dangers of unlicensed use of medication, as well as the inappropriate insertion of devices into the wrong orifices.

Dr Adrian Song, East London

Bum note
It took a few seconds for my patient, the chaperone and me to realise that I had in fact got my words muddled up when shortly before performing a rectal examination I declared: 'So this is not supposed to hurt - I just need to examine your finger with my bottom.'

Fortunately the patient saw the funny side of it, and I was the only one who blushed.

Dr Tom Nichols, Wantage, Oxfordshire

Getting satisfaction
A while back I received a call from an MP. In rather an angry tone he said: 'Doctor, I have with me a family supposed to be your patients with a complaint of head lice infestation in the children's school. I don't think this is a parliamentary matter - what should I do?'

I could not think of an immediate answer and so I replied: 'Sir, as the election is coming soon, you will lose their votes if you do not satisfy them.'

'Oh yes you are right - thank you, I will send them to you to collect some medicine to keep them quiet,' came the reply.

Dr Hari Nawal, Bedford, Bedfordshire

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