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.