Physician, nag thyself

I had occasion to interact with the NHS again recently. A small cut had turned septic. Normally a case of ‘slap Germolene on it and forget it’ but this one had started burrowing in.

I ignored one of these before, 42 years ago, and still remember it very clearly. It ulcerated, I had weeks of visiting the school nurse to get the dressing changed and I still have quite a deep scar. The stuff I had that time was a topical powder antibiotic called ‘Cicatrin’. It worked really well but apparently they don’t get that any more.

This time I thought I should maybe catch it early before going through all that again. So I phoned the medical mobsters and told them what was up. I told them the cut happened about a week earlier, didn’t hurt, just looked nasty so if they had an appointment for sometime later in the week it would be fine.

However, I used the magic word ‘septic’ and had an appointment within hours. They seemed to think I was going to spontaneously combust or something.

Well, okay, I had time so off I went. The local medical centre is just across the road. I didn’t even have to wait long, which made me a trifle concerned. They don’t see you this fast unless you’re nearly dead and they want you to sign the organ donor forms.

In I went and sat in a chair for The Questioning. ‘When did you cut yourself?’ to which the answer has always been and will always be ‘Which time?’ There are more recent ones than the septic one.

Before taking a look, The Questioning has to pass through its Inquisition phase. Even before the Inquisition, there was an evil look and ‘Oh, you haven’t had the flu jab’.

‘No, I haven’t, and I’m not going to.’

‘Oh go on.’ It was turning into an episode of Father Ted.

Anyway, we got past the flu jab nonsense and I was recorded as a refusal. I would have preferred to have been recorded as a ‘feck off’ but they probably don’t have that option on screen. I should have asked. Being recorded as ‘He shouted ‘feck off’ and threw a cup at me’ would have been wonderful.

The septic cut festered merrily away while all this was happening and yet the urgency of that seemed to have faded somewhat. It was now far more important to determine whether I live the approved lifestyle.

I don’t. Never have and never will.

The doc didn’t get as far as diet. I suspect he was concerned for his blood pressure. The smoking question was badly phrased this time.

‘Do you mind if I ask you if you smoke?’

I replied ‘Yes’ and fell impassive and silent.

There were a few moments of eye blinking and then ‘Er… does that mean you smoke or you mind me asking?’

My cigarette case and lighter were in my shirt pocket. Doctors used to be observant in the old days, but this one required clarification.

‘I like a smoke,’ I said, ‘and I don’t care who knows it’.

I might have gone into full sepsis by this time but The Questioning continued.

‘How many do you smoke a day?’

‘I have no idea.’

‘Well, are we talking one pack, two packs?’

‘I smoke tubed tobacco and rollups. I make them when I want one and never bother counting’.

‘So… an estimate?’ The poor bugger had to put something so I said ‘about 15’ which was the second number to come into my head. I wanted to say 13 just to see the confusion at my sudden precision but felt sorry for the computer slave. Also I wanted this damn septic cut sorted out. I seem to be smoking less now the tension in my life has eased and also because I’m model building and writing again, but actual numbers… no idea. Don’t care.

Then the drinking part of The Questioning. ‘How much?’

‘Oh much less than I used to. I used to have one whisky a day.’



This time the eyes closed tight and there was a fist at the mouth. ‘How much now?’

‘Oh I can go a week with no whisky at all. Just beer.’

A big sigh. ‘How many beers?’

‘Two or three’.

‘A day?’

‘A week’.

There was a shaking of the head and the eyes went wobbly. ‘That’s not possible’.

I couldn’t help grinning. ‘I do it anyway’.

I suspect this is why we didn’t get to diet. Chocolate pop tarts for breakfast would have had me calling an ambulance. And haggis pakora would have had me telling them to hurry up.

Finally we go to the septic cut. That part took minutes. I have some strange gel and huge plasters and it seems to be healing fine now. I shouldn’t have to go back to the doctor about this.

I think the doctor might be even more pleased about that than I am.


71 thoughts on “Physician, nag thyself

  1. I heard recently that the average age at death for male doctors was only 67. So a shortened lifespan due, at least in part, to the stress of the job.

    I cannot, in all good conscience, help but feel that customers like you are helping reduce the pensions bill for the NHS. You’re clearly a patriot.

    Perhaps we might use your tactics to thin the MD herd of the gullible ones that believe all the current goodthink spouted by the righteous seeking to rule our every action?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Drove my mother to the doctor for her routine blood pressure check yesterday. Despite having been a patient since….oooh, must be when Queen Victoria was on the throne, or dinosaurs ruled the Earth, or something… they had to go through a checklist.

    When told she’d been driven here by her daughter, the doctor brightly asked “Is she your carer?” which got the tart reply “Not yet!”

    “Oh, but we have to ask now, it’s a government initiative!”

    Liked by 2 people

    • When I had to speak with a Doctor at my GP surgery back in the summer (note, speak to on the phone, not actually get an appointment to see), we had a ‘discussion’ about smoking. I told him, if I come for a check up don’t want to be lectured about smoking. Apart from his “personal belief” that smoking is bad for you, he told me they gave paid by the government to get stop people smoking. Like that was a clincher to stop make me stop…

      Anyway, I told him what was ailing me. He sent me for blood tests but didn’t specify checking for what I said was the problem. A second blood test, which I insisted on, was later taken and guess what?

      Well, not everybody’s, Clicky


      • When I was asked about smoking, I refused to answer, but I asked how much the surgery makes out of people who sign up to their ‘cessation’ programmes. The information was not known by my interrogator.

        As for Christ, just as you mentioned Him, in the wrong context, you might want to check out my new website. Much still to add, but first to demolish the Theory of Evolution, which is easy:

        Liked by 1 person

        • Cool! Nice to see you back πŸ˜€

          I don’t necessarily disagree with you, but if god made everything, then everything is god… and looking for a saviour with only enslave ya, which is why I’ll use whichever con-text that I please… like Kirk πŸ˜‰


  3. I cut my finger rather badly quite a long time ago and had to have it stitched. My first and only stitches. After that, every time for about two years I broke my skin it went septic. I have never been near a hospital since.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Which is why I tend to avoid the medical profession wherever possible …

    Plus, stuff like manky cuts are easy fixed without going anywhere near em. Next time it happens, gimme a shout, I’ll give you the receipe for a neat wee ointment, fixes damn near anything!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Would that be the special Anglo-Saxon one involving field leeks and garlic?

      If so, I really must get around to brewing myself some of that. Wonderful stuff; self-sterilises in the bottle, too.

      Liked by 2 people

      • No, it’s one of my own devising, came up with it about fifteen years ago. Aloe vera gel base, with a couple of essential oils. The boglins call it ‘mums magic cream’ because it really does fix just about everything. Including septic dog bites. It’s also good for taking the itch out of insect bites and very soothing on bee stings. It’s just a very simple anti bacterial cream.

        I’ve read about the Anglo-Saxon one, sounds very effective, although I doubt you’ll find the NHS using it on MRSA; big pharma can’t slap a patent on it!

        A lot of the old stuff is very effective, and easy enough to make up yourself at home πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

            • This is my own receipe, one ‘invented’. Feel free to share it around with other people and mix it up yourself as often as you like. But no flogging it or otherwise making money from it!

              Aloe Vera Gel
              Lavender Oil
              Tea Tree Oil
              Wheatgerm/Vitamin E Oil
              Some sort of pot with a lid*

              The ratio of active oils (Lavender & Tea Tree) is 1 drop to 1ml. So If your pot holds 50ml of gel, you’ll want 25 drops each of the active oils, plus about twenty of the Wheatgerm/Vitamin E. Just fill the pot halfway with the gel, add the oils, start mixing. Once they’re roughly combined, put the rest of the gel in and mix thoroughly. It’s a little like custard in texture and consistency when it’s properly mixed. Apply as required.

              It’s good for bites, stings (plant & insect), scrapes, scratches and cuts. When it comes to infections, I usually clear the granulation, clean (usually by soaking in boiled, cooled water with added salt & garlic juice), then pack the infected area with the cream and cover. I’d check that sort of thing every day until it begins to heal properly without any sign of infection. If it’s a really nasty infection, I’d recommend taking echinacea & probiotics, but haven’t had to do that yet, not even with the infected dog bite.

              Happy to answer any questions πŸ™‚

              *Boots Pharmacies sell 60ml dark glass jars at a not unreasonable price. I reuse such things too – just give them a good wash and rinse with boiling water.

              Liked by 1 person

  5. My GP retired at the very earliest date that he was allowed to under the terms of his pension scheme. I asked why, and he told me that he’d gone into medicine to help and hopefully cure sick people, not work to meet the demands of the latest bright idea from the government and even be offered a bribe for each patient where he carried out these demands. He was totally fed up with all the paperwork, with each crisis causing even more to be required. So we lost a good doctor who probably would have worked on for a few more years if only he had been able to deal with patients his way
    I sympathised with him; I retired as an Electrical Engineer for broadly the same reasons, jobs were taking at least twice as long because of all the paperwork than they did when I’d started work some 40 years previously.

    Liked by 2 people

    • When I started in science, you could get funding for really wild ideas that had no obvious immediate practical use. Those things often led to new inventions.

      When I gave up and left, you had to demonstrate how your project would be applied in the real world. They wanted us to skip straight to the invention part. Science doesn’t work too well that way round.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. When I had to renew my HGV licence at the age of 70, I had to undergo a searching medical interview with my doctor – and pay a hundred quid for the privilege. The very first question of the eight or ten page questionnaire was “Do you smoke?” I’ll leave you to imagine the responses I felt like making!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You won’t go far wrong if you treat your visit to the GP like a call to a call centre. Most of the time they’ll be following a set menu and ticking boxes which are not of their making on a screen. The boxes will mostly concern initiatives from Wastemonster that they have to satisfy to get paid. If you’re really lucky you’ll get one who listens rather than speaks.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. So, when you were a child, and thus were not on a bottle of whiskey a day, you had a cut go nasty and had to be treated medically. And now, after decades of sepsis free bottle-a-day consumption you’ve cut down to 2 or 3 beers a week, it happens again.

    Well….. it’s quite obvious what’s gone wrong here isn’t it.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I’m surprised you succumbed to their interrogation. It just encourages them to go even further. Last time I was questioned by a GP about my ‘lifestyle’ was about 2 1/2 years ago and I totally refused to answer him. It was just about smoking, but now they’re interrogating about drinking (at least, where you are). Next it will be eating and eventually your political views.

    As for throwing cups around – I advise against it! Someone mentally distressed and extremely confused at our local hospital threw a cup at a wall – not at a person – and the police were called and he was locked in a cell overnight to appear in court.

    Don’t tell these state snoopers anything. Don’t trust anyone in the NHS – it’s the government, tightly controlled by the Dept. of Health and the minions are terrified of breaking the ‘rules’. I have seen it myself when a GP did something for me he strictly shouldn’t have but it didn’t really matter a monkey’s in the scheme of things. I could see the fear in his eyes as his humanity rose up from his soul as his duty to help me overcame the chains imposed on him by the State.

    “They don’t see you this fast unless you’re nearly dead and they want you to sign the organ donor forms.”

    Funny, but sadly rings of truth.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s true what you say, but there are some in the NHS who can be trusted, getting harder to find though. But the point stands,refuse to give information that is not relevant to the encounter. ‘It will be take down and may be used in evidence against you’.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Indeed. It looks like GPs will be adults’ ‘named persons’.

        Just think about this. You go to see the doctor about a routine matter and get asked personal information about your private life which is none of their business (unless it directly affects the condition), of course.

        Their impudence is compounded by the fact that they ask you what the government orders them to ask before they enquire as to your reason for being there at all.

        You could be in mortal agony for all they know or care (yes, there are a few left who care). Basic manners and instinct dictates the order in which these things should be done.

        Sign the petition against ‘named persons’ for children or adults will be forced to have an extra parent as well and if they’re going to be GPs then we’re done for!

        And for our friends outside Scotland, remember – Scotland was the guinea pig for the smoking ban and poll tax.

        Liked by 1 person

        • NP is something we’re fighting now, even up here in out of the way and off the mainland place. Our 12yr old son fell for the first questionaire, but filled it in regarding school, not home. Despite him telling the ‘guidance teacher’ this, we still got a phone call about his answers – and she got a fairly substantial flea in her ear. He didn’t fall for the most recent questionaire though. He looked through it and decided that what they were asking was none of their business; it was questions about drinking, smoking, taking drugs and having sex …

          Letters have been composed and await the resurrection – or replacement – of the printer. They will be sent to the schools, hospital, doctor, dentist and hospital. To be followed up with subject data access requests, just so we know whose arse to drag into court when we find out confidential information has been shared. Aforementioned teacher has been advised to a) look up the Milgram Experiment b) understand that ”I was just following orders” is not acceptable as a legal defence c) be aware that we will hold her, personally, responsible for any breach of the DPA or HRA and will take legal advice as appropriate.

          Son, and his little sister, is going to be given the appropriate CYPA section to memorise. The one about children having a right to privacy.

          Almost 16yr old daughter, who has Aspergers and PDA, has been given our full permission to fantasise, make things up, lie, have fun, and turn any question she likes back on the issuing teacher. She has no internal dialogue whatsoever and I’d do dark deeds to be a fly on that particular wall!

          We will not, now, attend the doctors at any time and will avoid hospitals unless it’s a full blown life or death emergency. We didn’t spend much time at the GP’s anyway, but given that any one of three people can now access our medical records on any spurious excuse they care to dream up, we’re not going to give them anything to read …

          Liked by 1 person

          • Holding them personally responsible is the one that terrifies them most. Tell them you’re not going to prosecute the organisation they work for, but them personally.

            They know the organisation will cut them loose in a heartbeat, rather than get dragged into any kind of prosecution.

            Liked by 2 people

            • That’s what I told her, with emphasis on ‘personally’.

              The act doesn’t actually apply legally until next year, assuming all the appeals fall flat, so they’re jumping the gun anyway. Not entirely sure where that puts them in legal terms, but from our perspective, it’s square in the ‘opposing’ section of everything.

              If one more troll or idiot in a position of perceived authority tells me that GIRFEC is a wonderful thing and will protect all the children from all the evil adults – read ‘parents’ there – I will not be responsible for the consequences they face, which will include verbal broadsides and, if possible, legal and expensive to them actions.

              The new ‘class action’ legislation could be very useful here …

              Liked by 1 person

            • That wasn’t my experience, Leggy. I threatened to sue an NHS consultant and he simply ignored me and carried on as if I didn’t exist.

              Actually, when it comes to the NHS, I believe employees are covered, i.e. that their employers will cover the costs of any legal action, so they can continue to be oozingly arrogant in the course of their duty as deluded, self-important incompetents.

              If the Named Person scheme comes into force it’s going to be difficult. Sure, they’ll be just obeying orders, but how many Nazis were tried after the war? I think only about 11 were hanged after the Numerberg trials. No, Goering committed suicide first so only ten were hanged, I think.

              The masses seem more afraid of the ‘authorities’ than the people, so I think most NPs will likely do as they’re told, believing that the State will protect them and afraid not to comply with every jot and tittle of the legislation.

              It’s a flock of scared, dumbed down sheep out there.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Mmm, but which legislation? GIRFEC, HRA OR DPA?

                My telling the teacher to look up the Milgram Experiment was deliberate. It’s certainly applicable to her current position, and that of every other NP.

                I will find a way to hold her personally rresponsible. I’m stubborn like that!

                Liked by 1 person

  10. Why not lie? Tell the quack you don’t smoke or drink, even though they can see the bulge of your hip flask and smell tobacco and booze on you (Tell him it’s second hand smoke and you spilt someone else’s drink).

    Liked by 1 person

  11. My recent experience of a GP was an eye-opener. I was sent to see some child-like young man, freshly released from wherever they breed or hatch such creatures, who was very good at the box-ticking. So I’m now listed as a heavy drinker (nearly true) & smoker (untrue), but they will not test for, or even consider the possibilities of some conditions if you say you don’t indulge.
    He sent me for some tests but seemed baffled: as a non-medical fellow I have helpfully interpreted them for him.
    And I too got the cold look when I refused the flu jab: perhaps my question about “whether it was the right mix this year as that would be a first” didn’t help.
    The rest of the world fall about laughing at the “NHS, envy of the world joke”

    Liked by 3 people

    • Try looking up some of the epidemiological research on effectiveness of influenza vaccines. There isn’t much on over-65 patients, but for normal adults the evidence is quite clear: with the exception of pandemic flu, approximately 70 inoculations are needed to prevent one case of flu.

      Basically, the problems with complications out-weigh the effectiveness of the vaccine, and will continue to do so until a much, much more generic flu vaccine which works on all strains of flu is developed.

      Liked by 1 person

          • Or maybe because what is in the flu shots causes detrimental longterm side effects like aspartame is said to do, or helps to keep the population docile, like fluoride supposedly does (while lowering IQ).

            It’s not as crazy as it might sound. At a time when many sick people are being kicked off benefits and soldiers with mental illness left to live on the streets and the Middle East bombed to bits for pleasure and profit, why should anyone believe that the Government cares if we get the sniffles or not?

            Liked by 1 person

      • We tend to view the immune system as being similar to a muscle; use it or lose it. Consequently, we’re all pretty healthy. None of the kids have had flu jabs, and, despite the best efforts of NHS Scotland, will not be having them, not while we’re in the position to make the decision.

        The boy got a very bad cold + chest infection + stomach upset earlier this year. He ended up in hospital on a drip – the Doc said ”here, have some hydration you can’t throw up, fair enough – as well as oxygen/nebuliser to help with his breathing. I had anticipated a massive row about antibiotics, as most Docs I know tend to hand them out like sweeties. I was very pleasantly surprised to find that they agreed with my ‘support his system to fight the virus/bacteria and see what happens’ position. He was home the same day, and is none the worse for the experience.

        About ten years ago, I got chatting with a mum in a waiting room. There because toddler, 18mths, had a perpetually upset stomach. She couldn’t understand why, ”because I sterilise everything, his cutlery, cup, plate, bowl, toys.” One of those very rare occasions when words failed me. I stopped sterilising at about five months, about the time they were big enough to roll around on the floor and try to eat the dog and cats…

        Liked by 2 people

  12. For cuts of whatever depth or indeed any broken skin any of these three work on the four bodies in this household in no particular order or preference.
    Honey, ozonated coconut oil or colloidal silver and one others swear by but have never tried oregano oil.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I like tea tree oil, a few drops kills most bugs I find. If it doesn’t sort it out, things are dire indeed.

    When are you going to fisk Jamie Oliver and his ‘sugar tax’ then?

    *ducks out of the way to avoid flying object*

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Absolutely bloody brilliant stuff. When I was asked by the practice nurse about drinking I went into lecture mode about units being plucked from the air, American units being nearly twice UK units and then she changed the subject. LMAO!

    Liked by 1 person

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