So first thing Monday morning,our esteemed leader,"BottleBlonde" and her useless deputy "Blodwyn-from-Wales" decided to be pre-emptive and set up an isolation area in our Walk-In Centre , just in case we had any patients fresh from Mexico who might think that they had swine flu.
We are 2 hours drive from Heathrow and Gatwick,with any number of hospitals between the airports and our little Ghetto...and it was raining...and to be honest I didn't think we would be using the room and had planned to catch a few minutes shuteye if there was any opportunity later that day.
So imagine my surprise Dear Reader ,when at about 10h30,a tanned and fit looking couple pitched up,-wearing freaking sombreros-,and told me that they had just flown in from Mexico and had come direct from Heathrow...because they thought they had swine-flu and didn't want to be treated by some 'foreign doctor' in London...so they got a South African Nurse instead.
(Its amazing how far you can stretch your unemployment benefits when you put your mind to it)
After a careful examination ,and much discussion with the Health Protection Agency,I explained to them, that for me to consider a diagnosis of swine flu,that they would need to have some symptoms of flu...in fact even one symptom...between them...would be nice...other than simply flying from Cancun to Heathrow ...and drinking themselves into a coma during the trip home...
Indeed they had 'wine-flu' and were sent home with a flea in their combined ear where they were promptly followed up by their GP and 27 assorted Public Health staff...just out of interest!
As the week has worn on we have had 2 patients come in feeling unwell after spending time in Switzerland;and a lady yesterday who had been on a cruise around the Scandinavian Fjords.She was concerned because there were some Belgians on board the ship.
I drew a map of the world on the wall of my consulting room showing the relative position of Mexico,Norway,Belgium...and our own little corner of heaven...she filed a complaint.
But the best was the patient who came in yesterday,fresh from her flight from Germany.She told me that she works as a civil servant for the British Army in Germany...had got the flu...and heard that the troops had just returned from Mexico...
I had to phone Germany of course just in case it was true...because we would have had to contact the airline...the troops...the people who had been on the train with her...etc
I spoke to the Adjutant...who first had to be convinced that it was a serious phone call...and then fell about laughing...who told me that wherever the troops might have been sent,no one to the best of his knowledge...in the entire history of the Army...had ever been sent to sunny Mexico for training.
Seriously,whilst he didn't know what people did in their free time,he could categorically tell me that no one had been sent to North America in the past 6 months for training.
More importantly,the Commanding Officer had switched off the central heating in the office complex 2 weeks ago, because the CO felt that 'spring' had arrived...and that most of the staff had subsequently developed colds and sniffles...including my patient...whom he knew well...because she had had a cold for 2 weeks and had complained to the CO about the heating...or lack thereof.
And of course,on examination,I could find nothing wrong with her...
Well...nothing that an enema wouldn't cure...
Honestly...everyone is entitled to be stupid but she just really abused the privilege!
* THANKS TO JON STEWART AND THE CAST OF 'THE DAILY SHOW' FOR THE TITLE 'SNOUTBREAK'