Monday, 25 October 2010

Matthew 7:7

Good morning,good morning Doctor...thank you for seeing me my friend...the words came tumbling ebulliently and insincerely out of the mouth of the well dressed young man.

He was all teeth and smiles and iPhone and gold and Rolex watch and D&G cologne and snappy Italian loafers...

"Good morning the way....I'm not a doctor...I'm a nurse...what can I do for you today?"

He leant over and grabbed my hand,shaking it effusively...Thank you nurse...thank you my friend...

I took my hand back...looked at it...started to finger...two fingers...three fingers....four fingers...and a thumb...good.

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

I would like you to look at these x-rays and give me an opinion...thank you my friend...

"'s not something we typically do...we are an Emergency Unit in fact and not really in the habit of offering second opinions ...have you had treatment for something whilst you've been on you need follow up at fracture clinic?"

He had handed me a large paper envelope stuffed full of x-rays whilst we were talking and...curiosity having overcome both tiredness and indifference...I pulled out a couple of films and held them up to the overhead light...

(We have a computerised PAX radiology system in our Health Authority Area and never see an actual 'old fashioned' film unless a patient has had work done somewhere in the Third World,like France or Belgium or Wales)

The films were of a right hip,with marked signs of erosion to the joint caused by osteo-arthritis.

I looked at the patient who had fairly danced into the Unit,like an about-to-be-evicted contestant on Strictly Come Dancing.

"These aren't your x-rays..." my friend....they belong to my uncle...

"Uh where is he?"

He is back home in Nigeria...

I raised my right eyebrow.

His doctor said he needs a hip replacement....

I raised my left eyebrow.

Well...can you please book him into the hospital and arrange for him to have the surgery....

"Uh huh"
I raised both eyebrows.

....and when you've done that we will fly him over for the operation...thank you my friend.

We didn't remain friends for very much longer.

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