Plain tales from the surgery

Marital allergen

I visited an elderly couple at their home to give the flu jab. They were in their late seventies but coping quite well.

As a matter of routine I asked the wife if she was allergic to anything. Promptly her husband replied: 'Only me.'

Dr Siddique Ahmed, Wolverhampton, West Midlands

High-pressure job
I think it is impressive how much interest everyone has been taking in the American Presidential election, but perhaps its influence is sometimes too far-reaching.

A letter arrived from an orthopaedic consultant about one of my patients, a Navy diver with a damaged foot. The specialist mentioned several possible causes of his injury, including one his secretary had typed as 'hyper Barack osteonecrosis'.

I realise being president of the US is a high-pressure job, but surely not in this context.

Dr Ewan Gerard, Whale Island, Portsmouth

Not at my age, thanks
I was discussing with a patient of mine, an 80-year-old gentleman, whether he should spend Christmas with his daughter in Derby or with his son in Kent.

'Any more children?' I asked.

'I don't expect so, not now,' he replied.

Dr Kerry O'Connor, Salisbury, Wiltshire

Dying to go
A gracious old lady requested that I visited her at home.

She was very breathless due, it transpired, to not taking her diuretic tablets.

'Well,' she explained, 'taking the tablets makes me need the toilet frequently and my toilet is upstairs. I am afraid doctor that I can't keep going up and down all of those stairs at my age.'

'Well perhaps you could look into having some facilities installed for you downstairs?' I suggested.

'Over my dead body,' came her prompt indignant reply.

I didn't like to point out that this might come sooner rather than later, if she continued to not take her diuretic medication.

Dr Sheila Edwards, Chinley, Stockport

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