Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Double Dipped Deaf Dude

Coming to the end of a very busy 18H00 we've already seen 140 patients between the 5 of us on duty,and there's still 4 hours to go before we close.

Fresh back from my dinner break,-an M&S 'Goan Prawn Curry' low-calorie ready meal-,and sucking a polo mint to hide the garlic smell,I call in the next patient who is a middle aged man who is ,inexplicably,accompanied by his sister.

Both have been dressed by the Salvation Army and neither have visited a shower or toothbrush for a very long time.The sister has clearly been drinking...indeed, I think that if I go off right now and suck an olive,then from the fumes coming off of her alone,I've had my 2 martinis for the day.
She is clutching a cell phone in one hand;and a packet of cigarettes and a cheap disposable lighter in the other.

"Right Sir...what can I do for you today?"

The patient stares at me blankly...but happily and pleasantly.His jacket is old and well worn and he is dressed in several layers of different track suits that were fashionable in the 1970's.

He can't hear you...he's deaf, shouts his sister. He's been deaf for 4 days.

" you know what might have caused the deafness?"

Well...I don't know what the doctor said on other sister was with him...but the nurse this morning thought his ears were blocked with wax...

" he saw his doctor on Thursday...and saw a nurse this morning...hummh"

I electronically page through his virtual file and see that one of my colleagues had seen him at about 10am this morning...and told him...and his other sister...that he had lots of wax in his ears...told him to use olive oil to soften it...and then to see his GP in a few days to have his ears syringed.

I re-examine him just in case something has changed...and because I don't necessarily trust all of my colleagues and see that his external ear canals are jammed solid with wax.

"Well Sir",I shout at him,"if it doesn't snow soon you'll be able to make a snowman with all the wax in your ears "

Alright, he shouts back cheerfully,giving me a thumbs-up sign.

Well...what are you going to do?

" first of all he was here with your other sister this morning...maybe you could talk to each other at some point...frankly this is an abuse of the system...and secondly...he's been seen by three people who have told him that his ears are blocked and what to do about it...thirdly...I'm not really sure why he's back here this evening ? "

Well...he's back because he's still deaf...

"But he's going to be deaf for a few days until the wax is syringed out of his ears...has he started to use the olive oil?"

He can't afford the olive oil!!

" doesn't need to be a cold pressed , extra virgin olive oil from're not making tapas...just go to the pharmacy and get some bog standard stuff "

You're just saying that because he's poor!

You're really rude!!


"I'll try being nicer if you'll try being more intelligent."

It's a thankless job, but I've got a lot of Karma to burn off!

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