Monday, January 12, 2009

Learning to take the smooth with the rough.

Such is the perversity of human nature that I am starting to fret a little. I’ve become accustomed to a more or less steady diet of woe and misery over the last couple on months. The problem has been another winter of intractable cough bugs, with flu like illness chasers, that seem to have been doing the rounds in Ambridge for ever—or at least since early November.

There’s no denying they have been pretty miserable for the poor blighters who have been afflicted. Problem is they’ve also been pretty un-amenable to medical remedy. This has two effects. First it fills surgeries with a lot of miserable people, all lining up to be told, in so many words, there’s nothing we can do for them. Second, and almost more pernicious, it leaves one with a gnawing feeling of clinical impotence which, left unchecked, can lead to an appearance of uncaring dismissal when presented with yet another poor bastard with the lurghi.

The end result of such a downward spiral is a whole bunch of miserable patients and their miserable medical attendants, all moaning to and about one another. So if there’s anybody out there with a miracle flu remedy they can share there just might be a hob nob or two in it for them from this oppressed and downtrodden GP at least.

And then, today, for no clear reason that I can fathom, all the punters have been being especially nice. You know the sort of thing…

“You’re looking well today Dr J, have you lost weight?”

“I swear you’re looking younger now than the last time I saw you!” (Which was five years ago by the way).

“Thank you for your time. I feel so much better just for talking…”

So why do I sit here waiting for the next bombshell I wonder?

As an aside I heard on dear old Radio 4 at the weekend that the good burghers of Brisbane are teaching relaxation technique to toddlers. I feel vindicated. Someone in Oz has obviously been listening to my inane ramblings. Just remember, you heard it here first. Dr J the visionary!


Elaine said...

... and a Happy New Year to you, Dr Jest. We don't hear from you nearly often enough.

Swiss Missus said...

Flu remedy? Haha! The doctor jests, methinks?


- Painkillers
- Plenty of fluids (unless flu is of top-and-bottom kind, in which case best to proceed with restraint)
- Two weeks bedrest

Honestly, Dr J, and without wishing to negate your patients' suffering: I had flu in 2004 (no, I don't keep a diary and yes, it was that memorable). I couldn't have dragged myself to the doctor's surgery with the best of intentions - it took me all my energy to get to the bathroom.

Swiss Missus said...

PS. Love the Italian spelling of lurgy. Classy, doc! ;-)

Swiss Missus said...

Actually, you got me thinking. Here's a simple* Hausmittel as used around these 'ere parts:

Take approx. 100cl Schnapps (doesn't matter which kind; I'd use Kirsch 'cos that's what we have to hand). Stir in a teaspoon of sugar until sugar dissolves, boil mixture briefly and then take, spoon-wise.

If that doesn't knock you out, repeat prescription until the desired effect is achieved.

It tastes like sh*t, which, I think, is a requirement of any self-respecting efficacious remedy?

*Fancier remedies involve chopped onions, raw eggs and, no doubt, bat droppings. Don't go there.

Swiss Missus said...

Crikey! That sound have read 100ml of course...

~faints with embarrassment~

Doctor Jest said...

elaine-- thank you kindly and a very Happy New Year to you. Sorry to be so sporadic-- one of the reasons I resist the rare offers of syndication, I'm afraid I can't ramble to order.

Swiss Mrs-- shorrrryy wash the litre of schn- shchn- kirsch a typo *hic* ?

I knew it shoundeddd tooooo gud t'be trooooo.

Seriously tho' you are quite right Flu tends to be both poleaxing and memorable. We've had a mix of that and the more usual Man-flu to be sure, but even the flu vic's need to come and regale us with just how close to death thay came. They're just doing so a week or two after the fact, when the aches have abated a tad.

Anonymous said...

Interesting to an Aussie how the word I always took to be a truncation of allergy has metamorphosed.
Once in Kalgoorlie I recommended to a patient who was a radio announcer on the local commercial station that all I could think of to make him feel better with the flu was a long cold beer and a short hot blonde. (It was in a less politically correct time). He repeated this advice on air, and gleefully reported back to me that he had over 90 calls in the next hour asking for the name of his doctor!

Doctor Jest said...

Dr Anon'-- G'day. I think my standard What-to-do-with-the-flu advice has just changed ;-)

Thanks for sharing!