Plain Tales from the Surgery

- A close run thing

A patient came in the other day to ask for her usual repeat of imodium. 'I need them as I'm running out fast,' she told me.

What a lovely mental image that gave me.

Dr Steve Ollerton, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire

- To treat or not to treat

I recently received an interesting letter from the consultant respiratory physician concerning a patient of mine who had been complaining of difficulty sleeping. It was suspected that the cause was sleep apnoea.

In the letter, the physician suggests repeating the sleep apnoea study because the initial test proved inconclusive.

In the letter, he goes on to state: 'If this test confirms the same problem, we could consider supplemental oxygen overnight; although there is a theatrical risk that this could worsen his apnoeas.'

Dr Alan Young, Hull, East Yorkshire

- A bad head for names

A patient, Mrs Smith, came in to see me and told me she was having her grandson shorn for the holidays.

I asked whether he had developed nits again and pointed out that a shampoo is kinder than shaving his scalp. She laughed when she reminded me that her grandson's name was Sean.

Dr Bill Davis, Bridgnorth, Shropshire

- Disturbing the peace

I was running ahead of time for the first time in a while and called an elderly gentleman into my room who was also early.

Unfortunately, it transpired he had turned up early so as to have some time to himself without his wife presenting him with a list of household chores so was rather upset with me for disturbing him.

Not only that, but he felt it necessary to list (in some detail) the occasions over the previous decades that he had been made to wait over an hour for his appointment.

Indeed, so detailed was his narrative that the next patient complained about being made to wait for so long.

Dr Andy Cohen, Bushey Heath, Hertfordshire

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