Monday, 14 June 2010

Your foot,your foot,your arse

The patient was wider than she was tall...and she was 1.6m tall.She was dressed in a tracksuit and was wearing running shoes and was holding a bottle of a popular high energy drink in one hand.In her other pudgy hand she was holding the ubiquitous cell-phone-and-packet-of-cigarettes...indeed this is such a popular combination that the main cell phone providers here in the UK offer cigarettes as an option on any phone that you buy.

(Sometimes this blog just writes itself!)

She walked slowly into the Unit,swaying from side to side,bouncing off the walls like an untethered blimp...limping first on the right foot...and then on the left.

"Good morning...what can I do for you today?"

Well...obviously...its my left foot ,innit?

"And whats wrong with your foot?"

Well....I saw my doctor on Monday cos I had a problem in my right heel...and he told me that I had something called ...plant?...plant something??

"Right...did he say you had a plantar your heel?"


"So...what can I do for you today...?"

Well ...what it that I've got the same pain in my left heel now...what are you going to do about it?

"Well...lets have a look shall we...could you please take your shoes and socks off...?"

What...both of them...?

"Ah...jah...its an odd thing but legally I'm required to physically examine you before making a diagnosis..."

She proudly displayed her feet...flexing her toes in the air...clearly she was the model for the original Hobbit's feet.

After my usual diligent and exhaustive examination I decided that she had plantar fasciitis in her left foot as well as in the right . And told her my diagnosis.

Sneeringly she would that happen? And what are you going to do about it?

"I think that since the pain started in your right foot that you have been over-compensating and taking more weight (cough*cough) through your good foot...that's caused a flare up of the same condition..."

Well....I've never heard of that...but what are you going to do about it!?!

"Essentially...nothing.I will give you a stronger analgesic and perhaps increase the dose of the ibuprofen...but mainly...its a self-limiting problem and will sort itself out in a few days..."

You're not going to do anything else for me ?!?

"Well...ideally you need to rest your feet....I always think that icing the heels will could also get some of those gel shoe-inserts from the pharmacy...if that doesn't settle it down,go back to see your doctor...he will either refer you to a podiatrist or will give you a shot of cortisone into your foot...but...jah...theres not much more I can do for you today"

So you're not going to do anything for me!?!

" I've just explained...there is not that much to do the first time that the problem happens...give it time,ice your feet and rest them...and take the pain-killers "

So all you're going to do is give me some pain tablets?!?

"Pretty much....jah"

So you're not going to do anything for me...???

(Well I could strangle you with my stethoscope but that's generally frowned upon)

"There is nothing to do ma' I've explained....and as it says in the information sheet that I've given you...this is a common problem and will usually resolve by itself after a few days of pain medication..."

So ...nothing than...nothing???

I stood up ,left my room and fetched the Language Line Interpreter card.

This a card we give to non-English speaking has the phrase...Ask the person who gave you this card to telephone someone who speaks your language written on it in the same language that the person speaks...and in our Unit it covers some 20 common and widely spoken does assume that the person can read which is not always the case.

"Okay ma'am...please look at this card and tell me what language you speak and I'll phone the translator..."

What do you mean...look at the card...its all foreign innit...

"Well...clearly you don't speak any English otherwise we wouldn't have had a 15 minute circular and one sided conversation about your feet!!"

You're really rude you are!!!

"Well ma'am...what I lack in bedside manners I more than make up for in sarcasm"

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