Plain Tales from the Surgery

Breathless moments

I visited an older women whose son had telephoned for her because she was breathless.

'I didn't want him to call you, doctor,' she apologised. 'I don't want you to think that I am an aphrodisiac'.

I gently corrected her. 'I think you mean a hypochondriac, but don't worry, if you need a visit it can't be helped.'

Dr Sarah Ashley, Camborne, Cornwall

Purple haze
Scanning a patient's notes before making a referral, I came across a referral letter for the patient's history of 'purple psychosis after her first pregnancy'.

Sounds like it wasn't just the patient who was deluded.

Dr James Hinksman, Rochester, Kent

A vet on the side?
We received an entertaining clinic letter from a consultant orthopaedic surgeon recently: 'I reviewed this 52-year-old sheep who is complaining of a 10-11 week history of pain in his right knee. It all started after a long walk out in the hills.

'He did not sustain any particular injury but he noticed at the end of the day his knee was very swollen.'

We imagine he meant sheep farmer, but it paints an interesting picture.

Sally-Ann Hudson, medical secretary, Church Stretton, Shropshire

Funny tummy
A mother brought in her six-year-old as she was concerned the child was not eating well.

She was giving me a lot of irrelevant details, so I asked: 'What is her main complaint?'.

The daughter then patted her abdomen and said 'tummy tummy' and went on colouring.

It was easy to see who has more neurons.

Dr Sudhir Sarnobat, Treorchy, Rhondda

Cartoon disease
I struggled to control my smile when one of my patients complained of having 'disney spells'.

I certainly wouldn't mind one of those.

Dr Kamal Sidhu, Hartlepool, Cleveland

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