Plain Tales from the Surgery

Close shave

I was once working an out-of-hours session. The next patient on my list was a 15-year-old girl.

The triage nurse had commented that she had been to the chemist and they have established that she is 'Gillette Competent'. I was left wondering if she was requesting a morning after pill or whether it was actually a shaving emergency.

Dr Jyoti Kumar, Rossett, Wrexham

Odd fears
An anxious woman consulted with me recently. She asked how much time I had and I replied 10 minutes. She then produced a list of seven problems, the seventh being a fear of odd numbers.

When I pointed out that 7 was an odd number she was horrified and quickly replied: 'Well, I'll have to think of an eighth problem now, won't I.'

Why did I open my big mouth?

Dr Rob Rosa, Salisbury, Wiltshire

Act like a patient
A 20-year-old patient came to see me as an emergency. She was on holiday from university staying with her parents.

I needed to check her cranial nerves thoroughly to ascertain the diagnosis. While I was checking her eye movements, I asked her to follow my finger with her eyes but she was moving her neck.

It needed further instruction and a few attempts to check the eye movement.

When I examined the facial muscles, I asked her to raise her eyebrows but again she moved her neck back to raise the eyebrows.

'Let's see now if you can raise the eyebrows without moving the neck. Pretend you are an actress and just move the eyebrows upwards,' I suggested.

She understood immediately and complied with the necessary movements of her eyebrows and smiled at my instruction.

After the examination was over I was writing the casenotes. I asked casually: 'What subjects are you reading at university?'

'Drama and acting,' she replied and we both had a hearty laughter.

Dr Anand Deshpande, Westhoughton, Lancashire

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