Thursday, March 18, 2010

Survival of the drunkest.

There are certain things patients do when they enter the GP's office which indicate that the consultation is going to be interesting.

For example:

My last patient of the day, Mr V, introduced himself by politely lurching over the desk, slapping me on the shoulder and saying:

"Jammer Dokter, nuh!? Jammer nuh! Ek vra verskoning, ek wil nou nie ombeskof wees nie, en ek moet eerlik wees,maar ek het 'n paar biere gesuip voor ek nou hier gekom het."

"Forgive me Doctor,hey,forgive me for being rude,hey! But I must be honest and tell you I've had a few beers before visiting you today."
English doesn't do it justice.

Having been taught never to judge the patient I ignored his chronic pancreatitis history and did not immediately assume that he was an alcoholic.

In fact, it's probably most likely that he was just someone who has had such shitty experiences with the health service in the past that he knew he needed alcohol to survive a visit to the doctor.

I could understand this completely.

I mean, sometimes I feel like I need a few drinks just to survive some of the patients!

And that scene would go:

Goodmorning patient, I'm slightly sozzled right now, so do forgive me for having accidentally palpated your thyroid through your rectum instead of your prostate...yes?

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