Monday, July 09, 2007

Five card draw.

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…..”

5 comments:

orchidea said...

Hmm... I shall bear the above in mind when I take my daughter for her first gynae consultation.

I'm hoping she has enough poise to ask me to wait outside.

Your young patients (and their mums) sounds night-marish. I hope they don't all turn up en bloc on a Monday morning. Pass the Ativan, please.

Doctor Jest said...

orchidea-- the ones I find the hardest are the young men I remember seeing as little six year old moppets with snotty noses and the like, turning up again in their early twenties with monkeys on their backs. I can never figure out if it's a slap or a hug they need first, though arguably they will end up needing more than a little of both...

I feel sure your daughter will be self posessed enough to need no motherly input beyond the Taxi service to and from the appointment ;-)

Nostrumdammit said...

Now I know you've heard this before Dr J, but when I was a young man, not too many decades ago, we had National Service.
An excellent thing since it not only took Mummy's Boys away and de-nancified them but also put a bit of backbone into the spineless ones who couldn't resist letting their standards down. If that didn't work, they did some time int he Glasshouse and were then drummed out.
Marvellous.
Don't tell me it's never crossed your mind that we should bring back conscription, and flogging, and the stocks.
Harumph

Doctor Jest said...

nostrum'-- quite right, a spell in khaki would do 'em all a power of good, and after all there is a war on.... and I'm sure there's nothing wrong with a bit of light flogging or judicious use of restraints between consenting adults;-)

But, seriously, I do agree there are whole cohorts of young men and women who appear to have lost their way, and for whom some sort of structure, externally applied, might well be at least a part of the answer. My pinko pacifist leanings just lead me to balk a little at the militaristic model National Service used to offer.

Wendz said...

I suppose you do see it all. I'd have trouble keeping a straight face, tbh. Lots of stifled giggles and hasty coughs from me.

And my Mom ALWAYS came into any consultation with me, refusing to believe I had a mouth and a brain. It's stupid - kids don't talk in front of their parents.

How can you go to a GP with your Mom and tell him you've missed a period and are worried you may be pregnant?

I had a D&C twice, which my doctor did as a sort of pre-emptive abortion, I suppose (although I didn't think of it that way until years later). My Mom was told I had 'problems' that the op would sort out.