Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Back in the saddle...

In the past two days I have seen patients aged from 0 (well ok, 2 weeks) to 102 (with her card from the Queen, sent on her centenary, still proudly on display in her flat). I’ve tried to help a number of young women to avoid unwanted pregnancies, and begun the process of helping one couple who are struggling to make a very wanted baby. I’ve held discussions with young mums about the development and well being of their infants, and one long and heart-searching discussion with the septuagenarian son on a nonagenarian mum who has become non-responsive in a nursing home and looks likely to be entering what will be a short and hopefully painless final illness.

I have seen two dozen sore throats, a handful of bad backs, more than a handful of depressed folk (two just coming back from the brink of self-immolation). I have talked with one chap about a necessary early retirement. I’ve counseled the family of a man undergoing investigations for a scan anomaly which just might be cancer, but is more likely to have been the radiological equivalent of a hair in the gate, ( “yes everything is very probably o.k. but we have to do a scope examination to absolutely sure. Right now the most we can do is hope for the best, but plan for the worst”. A platitude that reassures no-one, but at least the explanation of the process seems to have helped a bit).

I’ve made three routine home visits and two urgents (one of the latter requiring an emergency admission to hospital after a “min-stroke”). I have five referral letters dictated and waiting to be typed. I’ve petted two dogs, three cats and placated a half dozen toddlers.

A couple of my patients this past two days appear to have been left with the impression (quite wrongly) that I can do magic. A handful have left me in no doubt that I am a waste of space and not nearly as good as that nice Dr Neighbour, “why does he always have to be on holiday when I need him so I get stuck with you?”

All in all it’s been a pretty average couple of days, but it feels good to be getting my mojo back. I have no idea where it went, but right now I don’t care, and you’d be pretty hard pressed to persuade me I don’t have the best job in the world.

Except maybe for a Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Flavour Tester.


Anonymous said...

Hey Dr J

You have, in my opinion, a nice enough job. If, that is, you like working with sick, mad, sad people, and body fluids, and death (and yes, birth) and other icky things.

But still. A fairly decent job. Ben and Jerry's notwithstanding.

However, the NHS sucks. After 8 months in England I am gagging to get back to France and the decent health care they have there. (Although not just for the health care, to be sure. England saddens, and maddens, me. This has not been the best time of my life.)

Anyway, I feel sorry for you, having to work within such a horrid system. Demoralising. Demotivating. Dehumanising.


Dr Andrew Brown said...

Hey hey, Dr J! I'm glad to hear you are on top of things. Yes, it can be the best job in the world. Alternatively it can be a wearisome struggle. Like you, I've been in both places and obtained the relevant short-sleeved tops.

Anonymous: I have a similarly dual view of England: the best of countries, and a sore disappointment. As Betjeman put it: "dear old, bloody old England".

Nostrumdammit said...

Just stick with it Dear Boy and you'll find that the other end is here sooner than you think.
I should know, I overshot about six months ago and have been reduced to voluntary work in a Pomeranian Salad Bar in order to have a sense of value. I'm hoping that with some careful networking I can hold myself in that delicious place of anticipating de-mobilisation and yet still having the benefits of being employed and yet strangely detached from the flotsam and jetsam that poses as humanity and imposes on practice life.

I also find Burmese Head Massages amusing.

orchidea said...

This post is one of my favourites to date. It makes me wish I had a proper job.

o xxx

steveg said...

Good on yer Doc!

Is it a co-incidence that your good feelings coincide with the nicer weather and the trees starting to "green up"? - I am sure that everything coming back to life in Borsetshire (SP?) would give me some of the joys of life too!

I hope this also brings you back to the computer to post more - we have missed you a lot.



Doctor Jest said...

"anonymous" W-- welcome, or is that welcome back? So sorry to hear of your run-in's with the creaking edifice that is the NHS, and your tribulations in Dear Old Blighty. I hope and trust that things will look up soon. Are you back blogging perchance, only I'm afraid I rather lost touch? Do tell.

Dr B-- yes, rather like democracy I tend to end up feeling "Britain is the worst of countries-- except for all the others." Then again, having never been away from Blighty for longer that three weeks at a stretch I suppose my chauvinism is baseless, if that isn't already a tautology?

Nostrum'-- retired already? I didn't realize they let Pharmacists go so young ;-)... BTW just what defines a "Pommeranian Salad" exactly? And however did you come by a Burmese Head? (So sorry, but I appear to be in a silly mood this afternoon).

Orchidea-- I think we both know you really do have a proper job, on top of all the other wonderful things you get up to ;-)And with nasty deadlines and all... I hope and trust all's well in your corner of the globe?

Steveg-- "No worries mate", and you're probably right about the weather et al too. And we have bluebells out at Jest Acres!