Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Greetings from Ambridge-sub-Aqua. Once again the Am has broken it’s banks and is lapping at the back door of the surgery whilst the Koi Carp are disporting with the Mallards on the car park, the bigger ones with a decidedly hungry look about them, making me worry if there are such things as “man eating cyprinidae”.

On a side note apparently Koi is Japanese for carp, so in back translation that makes them “Carp-Carp” which sounds a bit like a stammer. Apparently Koi is also a homophone for the Japanese word for love, which must make for some interesting conversations in Japanese fish mongers and the like.

But, as usual, if you can have a “usual” in a journal as infrequently updated as this, I digress, even within my digression.


I’ll try to get back on track.

Despite the recent downturn in the weather, nothing is keeping the faithful of Ambridge -s-A from our door, and those that can breach the sandbagged parapet and make it “over the top” continue to delight and challenge in equal measure. A week or two back saw two consecutive consultations with diabetic patients about their med's. Both are proper old-school Type 1 diabetics, the sort that go from well to desperately ill and needing insulin in a matter of a few days.

Sophie, the first of the two, is a veteran, having been diabetic for almost as long as she can remember. She has her med's all figured out, is supremely confident to adjust dosing according to her sugar levels, which she monitors by finger prick four or five times a day. By all accounts, and looking at the lab bloods for confirmation, her sugars are near perfect and she is completely well. She has even had her flu jab and made the point that, as with insulin, if you relax the muscle injected, it doesn’t hurt at all—a tip worth passing on the 750 or so punters that will be in this Thursday for the fourth round of our flu campaign this year. I’m thinking of getting some “Sophie Says Relax” T shirts made.

Nick came next. He’s rather less self assured than Sophie. He hates testing and injecting, but then he’s only been at it for a couple of months, having been rushed in to hospital acutely unwell at the onset. He knows what he’s taking and the dose is still changing. Understandably his sugars are all over the shop when he tests them and he’s finding it all a bit demoralizing. He needs his flu jab, so we sort it there and then, but he winces despite my admonition that he must relax. (Easy to say when you’re the one holding the needle eh?)

We are being encouraged to put new patients in touch with more experienced “expert” patients to improve their knowledge of their condition, its impact and treatment in the hope that this will yield better outcomes. Diabetes is at the forefront of this approach and Nick could certainly do with some of Sophie’s wisdom.

The only problem is, that despite being diabetic for almost half a lifetime, Sophie is only six years old, and Nick is in his early twenties. 

(Oh, and yes, Sophie did come in with her Dad, but she did all the talking and was plainly in total control of her condition and its treatment.)


hyperCRYPTICal said...

Sophie sounds like one clever gal - but I'm quite sure that Nick would take Ambridge - sorry umbridge meeting this expert patient.

Anna :o]

hyperCRYPTICal said...

Oops - umbrage!

Doctor Jest said...

Oho, Anna, I see what you did there! Have an unsolicited EVCHN!

In Rude Health said...

Dear Dr Jest,

My name is Robbie, and I'm editing In Rude Health, a book of humorous medical anecdotes that will be illustrated and published at Christmas-time by Freight Books, a small Scottish publisher (www.freightbooks.co.uk). In my research for this book I've been reading through blogs such as yours, and I was wondering if you would have any you'd like to contribute. Naturally, the more risqué the might be the better, but what I'm aiming to do is make something funny and enjoyable, but which also shows Joe public just what sort of things you folk in the NHS have to deal with.

Naturally all stories submitted will be treated as completely anonymous. I do hope you will consider submitting a story or two. The email address to send them to is inrudehealth@gmail.com.

Best wishes,


CNA Training said...

Been a long time since this post.