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Independents' Day

Dinah finds a fad diet that’s more appealing than most

Our columnist's week is dominated by sex. And blueberries.

Our columnist's week is dominated by sex. And blueberries.

Meet practice manager. We chat about revamping website. My eyes casually alight on some old magazines I've brought in. Right on top of the pile, headline on Glamour screams ‘The orgasm diet'. Practice manager follows my gaze and we exchange a look. Oh no, that can't go in the waiting room. Not before we've read it.

We inspect the text in detail. Ah yes, fish oils, black chocolate, strawberries, blueberries – great! But – what? It says no alcohol. That's too bad. If it's a choice between sex and alcohol take the chardonnay every time.

Interrupted by phone – first patient has arrived early, better get started. It's Ms F, a 47-year-old who's heard about the cervical cancer injection, can she have it as she's just started a new relationship. Sorry, it's for nine to 26-year-olds, how about a smear test instead? Next Mrs H, who started an SSRI last week for another episode of depression. Excruciatingly embarrassed, she blurts out a confession that she can't take them because of side-effects. I launch into my encouraging spiel about headaches settling down but she politely interrupts. ‘Yes Doctor, but the problem is I've stopped having orgasms. Sex means an awful lot to us – well it does to everyone, doesn't it?' Yes, of course. Throw out those poisonous antidepressants. In fact – why not get some blueberries?

Home via Tesco. Fancy a G&T tonight.


PBC meeting. Children's health. Teenage pregnancies are not reducing in our area. There are huge cultural issues. Some years ago I visited a 14-year-old with acute abdominal pain – the diagnosis was advanced pregnancy and I had the job of telling her mother. Far from being upset she was overjoyed. Things haven't improved – nowadays it might be ‘I'm so glad, I thought it was obesity'. We decide to concentrate on those at risk and the conversation turns to HPV vaccine. Some practices are already immunising girls despite the current public health department advice. Why is the UK so slow in implementing the immunisation programme? (Note: get kids done.)

Call in to surgery on way home to check progress on website. Staff all seem to be nibbling on chocolate; most unusual as they are all normally on diets.


A busy surgery but mainly reviews. Mrs H is back, thanks me for listening. She's radiant, far from depressed, recommends blueberries and has bought ‘kegel exerciser' off internet. Ms F returns too, this time with her 12 and 14 year-olds – can they have the cancer jab then, please? Certainly, I oblige.

Eventually struggle home. Call at Tesco as usual. Maybe I'll get some chocolate.

Dinah Roy is a GP in Spennymoor, chair of Sedgefield PBC group and co-PEC chair of County Durham PCTMonday


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