Plain tales from the Surgery

Careful, mister

I went to visit a pleasant elderly woman whom I was told was having pain in her back passage.

When I went in she said, 'Doctor, I am having really bad pains in my back passage and I think it is all due to that mister thingy.'

Rather puzzled, I asked her to explain a bit more.

To my relief, she explained: 'I think it's that mister medication you started me on a few weeks ago after I had to go to hospital.'

It was Asacol MR and she read the MR as mister.

Dr Arathi Shanmugam, Erdington, Birmingham

P for self-prescribe
An elderly patient came for a medication review recently. I hadn't seen her for a few months and noticed that her face looked rounder and puffier than usual.

I checked her notes to see if any of my colleagues had prescribed any steroid tablets but none had been.

When questioned, she thought a moment and then said she had been taking different tablets for the past few months.

'I ran out of my blood pressure tablets, doctor, so I looked in my Harry's tin of medicines and saw he had a 5mg tablet beginning with "p" so I started those to use them up. We always like to save the NHS money,' she explained.

Instead of her own perindopril she was taking her husband's prednisolone tablets prescribed for polymyalgia rheumatica. Fortunately she had not stopped them suddenly and we were able to reduce the dose slowly with no ill effects.

She thought it was rather funny and did not realise how unwell she could have been.
Dr Paula Newton, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire

I do drive people mad
I recently met a 25-year-old woman who came for review of her anti-epileptic medications. She was getting on well but had an episode of fit at night recently causing her to wet herself.

As a routine I asked whether she is driving currently. She said no, but, being cautious, I asked her again: 'Are you sure you are not driving.'

She replied laughing. 'No, I don't drive, but I do drive people mad.'
Dr Priank Gupta, Buckley, Wrexham

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