Plain Tales from the Surgery

Crap knees

A lady came to see me about her worsening 'crap-it is' in her knees. Apparently she had seen our senior partner years ago and the original diagnosis had been made. Now it was getting worse.

I quickly reassured her about her crepitus.

  • Dr Jeremy Welch, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire

Giving him the needle
While at a function, an elderly male collapsed and we were asked to help. Flapping over him was a lady in a yellow outfit who was neither friend nor family.

After repeatedly asking her to move out of the way, we started CPR, during which she said: 'Thankfully I have some needles in my purse.' She then pulled off the man's socks and performed acupuncture to his feet.

After a while, the paramedics turned up and took him to the hospital where he recovered.

At a party the following day, the lady announced that she saved him. Who are we to argue?

  • Dr Cindy Cohen, Southwark, south-east London

Unplanned GI issues
At my patient's request, I dictated a letter to her boss asking him to supply her with cotton gloves to wear inside her rubber ones, as the latex was causing a troublesome dermatitis.

Our secretary typed out: 'I wonder if there are any special, non-allergic gloves you can provide for her with her dermatitis, or at least a good supply of cotton innards?'

  • Dr John Ogle, Bridgwater, Somerset

Driving the point home
One of my patients is recovering from brain surgery. He is keen to start driving again so I wrote to the neurosurgeon. He replied and copied his opinion to the patient. He advised a conservative approach and added: 'I would be grateful if you would contact the DVLA as the sooner you get the wheels moving, the sooner it will make a decision'.

My patient brought his copy in to discuss this confusing sentence. I speculated that maybe the surgeon was trying to drive home his point.

  • Dr Mark Hayward, Plymouth, Devon

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