Plain Tales from the Surgery

Love sick 
I recently examined a patient who complained of breathlessness and heard a loud systolic murmur.

I asked her whether she had any childhood illnesses.

'Yes,' she replied. 'When I was 12 I had romantic fever.

Dr Sonal Shah, Harrow, Middlesex, London

Emergency tipple
Recently a patient came into the surgery asking for an emergency appointment.

Last time, she had asked whether she could drink with her new BP tablets and I had, jocularly, remarked that she could have the odd gin and tonic.

The emergency was that she wanted to know, since she was fed up with gin and tonic, whether she could move on to white wine.

Dr Chris Green, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria

Bovine is best
After finally persuading a mum with poor English that her baby had nothing more sinister than a cold, she then requested for me to prescribe him some 'Iffy Cow'.

Fearing she was dosing her child with some dodgy bovine supplement from her home country, I decided to explore further but the language barrier prevented that.

A quick call to her eldest daughter, who spoke better English, clarified the matter.

I was most relieved to give a prescription for Infacol.

Dr Adrian Song, Newham, London

Tedious transcription
I received a letter from a consultant neurologist, who recommended starting a patient on 'the gabapentin tablets once daily, gradually increasing to a tedious dose'.

I wondered how many tablets it would take to become tedious, then remembered the dictaphone condition.

Even the best medical secretary may not be fluent in Latin abbreviations, and a medical degree is probably needed to hear 'tds' as 'three times daily'.

Dr Janet Perks, Plymouth, Devon

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