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Liver scan saps the festive spirit

Dinah's looking out for gifts and looking ahead to 2008

Dinah's looking out for gifts and looking ahead to 2008

Monday

Booked two hours for Christmas shopping. Massage kit for brother with new wife; gardening books for sister with old husband (maybe massage kit would be better?). Daughter easy to buy for; sons: why are guitars so expensive? Not to mention i-phones. Cost a bomb but all penniless students seem already to have one. And for the man in one's life? Browse shops anxiously but find nothing suitable and run out of time.

Call in to PCT – must sort out PBC meeting: we promised to fit alcohol in before Christmas…

Surgery: Mrs S with her husband, in tears, she has ‘failed' a DSS incapacity medical. Oh dear, what's wrong? Turns out she was deemed fit for work – so doesn't that mean that she ‘passed'? Confused, but I understand my mission: find something wrong with her so that she can avoid work. ‘She's terribly upset Doctor, this has really knocked her back' (Back pain?). Tentatively suggest that getting a job might be beneficial but doesn't go down very well. Eventually settle for ‘depression'.

Next patient has primary biliary cirrhosis, has been to the hospital for her annual review although there's nothing wrong at present. Suggest having review in surgery instead (hoping to save cash). She indignantly disagrees - she's been seeing the consultant for 5 years and looks forward to her Christmas visit. He's such a good looking young man too, just like Mel Gibson.

Rack my brains but can't think of any consultants at our local hospital looking like that. (Note for PBC Group – only good looking staff allowed in primary care in future, must be competitive).

Home to write a mountain of Christmas cards.

Wednesday

PBC Group – go through alcohol strategy plus we have a demo of the ‘fibroscan' which non-invasively measures liver elasticity and can detect early alcohol-related change. Who volunteers to have their liver scanned? An embarrasingly long pause… eventually one brave soul steps forward and turns out to have the healthiest liver ever scanned. Everyone else looks worried (Note: New Year's resolution: give up alcohol).

Late night shopping: find a decision-making aid: a ball that flashes, beeps and randomly lights up red or green – ‘yes' or ‘no'! The perfect gift for NHS managers; will give the same outcome but much more quickly. But what about the man? Can't find anything suitable, thrown out at 5 to 10.

Friday

Surgery: Mrs S again – she's been thinking. Perhaps it would do her good to get out of the house. Leaves Christmas bottle (ideal for the man?).

Christmas cards posted

Reflect over past year. Not so long ago I desperately needed the small stipend earned for my weekly Pulse contribution; now I find that glamorous forty-plus single mothers are welcomed on the conference circuit and with new practice business manager on board we're ready to fly. Tesco: look out!

Off on leave now: Set ‘out of office' message: Thanks to all my readers. Here's to 2008, may all your horizons be bright. And remember: non illegitimi carborundum.

Dinah Roy

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