I understand that when the scripts are delivered for Eastenders the whole cast scrabbles through for the last few lines to see whose turn it will be to get the"Doof Doofers". In other words who will get the cliffhanger line bofore the terrible '80's style synthed drumbeat that heralds the closing titles.
Every now and again you get a consultation that has the same quality. Yesterday I had two in rapid succession. To keep the theme lets call them Phil and Grant.
Phils tummy had been feeling "wibbly" for a few weeks. Not painful and not really sick, but something in between the two. You know. Wibbly. We went through the usual questions and no he had been neither sick, nor had loose stools or constipation. The family had sent him because he had been abroad some while ago and might have "picked something up". His tummy was soft and non tender and gurgled just as it should down the stethoscope.
Cue the trademark Dr J quizzical look *?*.
(A very handy device for hinting without actually coming out and saying to a paying punter "I have no clue what's the matter".)
Then he let the cat out to play with the pigeons when he said "Would stress have anything to do with it?"
Within ten minutes a tale of loss, bereavement, and reaction to same, emerged and the wibble made rather more sense. We agreed - after a more detailed assessment of his mental state - that he was not depressed, though still having some sad days, and that anxiety was the likely cause of his symptoms. I did offer medication but on the whole he looked so much better for having had the chance to talk through and explore his feelings that he may well not need any.
Grant was another matter. He came in after a "note for work". Or put another way, a sick note to certify him as unfit for work.
He was "upset" after leaving his wife only to find that his boyfriend then left him.... there was a lot of other stuff besides but already the mental synth drums had begun "doof doofing". This being real life and not just soap opera, of course there were no closing titles, but after a simlar assessment we were able to decide that Grant, unlike Phil, has been made depressed by his stressors and so he went away with a note, a script and an appoitment for review in two weeks. In other words, to be continued.....
So maybe life is more like a soap than I like to pretend.