Plain tales from the surgery

Night and day rates

I was explaining to a real character of a patient that he had a urine infection. I said he was feeling unwell because when I dipsticked his urine it showed a possible infection. We call these nitrates.

'Nitrates doc,' he answered, 'don't tell me about nitrates, I can't afford your day rates.'

Dr Rob Rosa, Salisbury, Wiltshire

A matter of interruption
I recently received a letter from a hospital colleague which claimed that one of our patients attended with his 'interrupter'. I am not quite sure whether it was a case of misspelling or an intentional take on the interpreter's performance.

Dr Kamal Sidhu, Hartlepool, Cleveland

No delay here
The other day I was walking past the receptionists' room, when I heard her laughing out loud.

I asked her what was up. 'Mrs X wanted an appointment for a blood test and I asked her if it was a fasting one. Of course it's fast, it's only calcium.'

Dr Nihal De Silva, Croydon, south London

A Nordic temper
I practice on the windswept north-east coast. It has always fascinated me that some of the elderly in this area refer to their hip area as 'my lisk'.

A quick bit of research has shown that the word 'lyske' is Norwegian for groin. Recently I was telling an old lady that her husband refers to his painful lyske because his ancestors are surely Vikings.

She looked utterly unimpressed and said: 'That explains his bloody temper.'

Dr Neil Brownlee, Saltburn-by-the-Sea, North Yorkshire

Late-night lessons
I saw a 20-year-old to carry out a mental health assessment. I was asking general questions and said: 'When did you finish school?'

Perhaps my grammar was affected by the consultation being in the early hours but he was more on the ball when he answered: '4pm most days, sometimes 3.30pm if it was gym.'

Dr Neil Metcalfe, York

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