My partner and I have alternated falling asleep during bedtime routine every night this week, so didn’t have a proper conversation until Friday evening. Clearly neither of us can hack the London pace these days.
It took great effort to stifle some yawns during my consultations, not that they were in any way boring. This week, I had perhaps the most rewarding consult so far. A patient who presented with some on-going and developing physical symptoms, which I thought may be linked to some psychosocial issues from their past. I felt comfortable to explore some of these with the patient and to my relief, they were quite receptive that perhaps there could be a link. We still agreed to run some tests for reassurance, but at least I had broached the idea that their symptoms may not be able to be explained medically. The GP commended me on my thorough review of the patient’s notes beforehand and on having the courage and sensitivity to approach and handle the issue, with a positive outcome. I felt a great sense of accomplishment.
This made up for the second time that I missed tonsillitis and laxity in a patient’s cruciate ligaments the following day!
I saw two patients with prolapses this week and we chatted about how having babies takes its toll on our bodies, but that it was worth it. I always find a surge of resentment rise through me towards the menfolk during these conversations. Nature really has an inequitable approach to reproduction. I did see a patient with extremely swollen testicles however, and given the grimace on his face when I mentioned the word ‘examination’, I was relieved not be wearing his shoes.
My biggest sense of relief this week was not being greeted by a swollen, blotchy tear-stained face when I collected my one-year old from nursery on Friday. What a breakthrough! Maybe next week we can hope for a flicker of a smile.
The week culminated with Daddy going out for a boozy Saturday (that didn’t end until Sunday) and me having a girl’s night in. Except at bedtime I noticed a weird yellow lump in my son’s conjunctiva that I thought (after googling) was a pingueculum, or the neurotic me, a foreign body (aka sawdust from Daddy’s electric saw in the garage this morning). So I called 111 to see if the out of hours GP could help me fish it out…but of course was instructed to go to A&E on a SATURDAY NIGHT (with both boys as I was alone).
After 2 hours of exposure to infective gastroenteritis spores, we were sent home with some chloramphenicol for ‘phyctenular conjunctivitis’. Who has even heard of that?! Note to self: Don’t call 111 again. Well, at least not until I’ve used my brain first. A child with a foreign body in its eye would have been going bonkers all day.
They do want to review him in six weeks however, JUST to make sure it isn’t a bird mite that has crawled in to his eye whilst he was sleeping and is now enveloped in pus. Yes really. Those little guys again.