Plain Tales from the Surgery

Raised nymphocytes

A young woman was seeing me for the first time. After taking a history and performing a physical examination I suggested a few screening blood tests.

'Have you had any blood tests recently from your previous doctor?' I enquired, explaining to her that it would take some time to get the medical case notes from her previous doctor.

'Not recently,' she said. 'About six months ago I had tests.'

'Did he say they were all right?' I asked while filling the pathology form.

'Yes,' she replied adding hesitantly, 'but he did say I had a slightly increased nymphocytes in my blood.'

For a moment I wondered if the haematologists had discovered a new amorous cell called nymphocyte. Happily, when I got her blood test results, her lymphocyte count was normal.

Dr Anand Deshpande, Westhoughton, Lancashire

Justly miserable
An elderly female patient of mine came to see me without her husband.

I was pleased about this, as her husband has a habit of claiming that she has various ailments.

On this occasion she simply told me her husband had got a medical book from a charity shop and had diagnosed her with having 'Dr Parkinson's Disease.' His diagnosis was based on an incident when he'd seen her fall over in the garden.

She handed over a note he had written saying that she had the signs of Parkinson's; a miserable face and a rigid wrist.

I proceeded to check her. While her face certainly looked miserable - especially when I tested the movement of her right wrist - she did not have Dr Parkinsons's disease, but a fractured wrist caused by her fall.

Dr Pete Rowan, Norwich, Norfolk

Those flippin' drugs
I recently saw a patient at the out-of-hours centre. He had been held by the community mental team. He was accompanied by his brother, who I asked what medication the patient was taking.

He replied: 'Flipin texol.'

It took me a few moments to works out he meant flupentixol.

Dr Ramesh Patel, Chadburn, Peterborough

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