I’ve had occasion to remark before on the alarm bells that ring when young adult patients come in with their mum. The body language is often a give away as mum either storms in like a pioneer battalion securing a beach-head or lags visibly behind, looking anywhere but at their offspring, or the hapless GP. (Today we had the latter).
Then there’s the awkward “You tell ‘im..”
“ No, you tell him…”
“No-no-no, you tell ‘im….”
By this stage you know something’s seriously amiss. Having sat there like a Centre Court spectator at a tie break, swiveling your gaze first one way then the other as the points alternate to around 9-8 in mum’s favour you finally feel obliged to interject just to get the consultation moving. You just know mum’s going to make junior do all the talking (whereas the “Pioneer Battalion” mums hit you with both barrels before Junior’s bum has hit the seat).
Then there’s the reveal:
“I’m gay and my boyfriend just died from Aids…”
“I’ve got a five bag a day Heroin habit…”
“I’m really Fifi not Freddy….”
“What do you have to do to be a sex addict? ….”
“I know you’re all in league with the Martians…”
You blink twice and pray the poker face has held (sometimes more difficult than others), and then you start to earn your keep.
“Right,” you say, “here’s what we’re going to do…..”