Dear Pulse Editor,
I am writing to complain. Yes, complain! I visit your site many times during the day (and night) to keep abreast of the latest developments in the ‘fancy’ world of medicine, but all I ever hear is GPs banging on and on about how hard done by they all are and how hard life is. Well, newsflash everybody, life’s a bitch!
Let me give you an example. Last year my wife and I went swimming in our local canal (a hobby we’ve shared for many years and curiously it’s how we first met) when she took ill. She developed the peculiar feeling that her entire body, from the top of her head to the tips of her toes had been wrapped up in wet bandages and no matter how hard she tried she couldn’t dry herself out.
How many GPs have had all these problems I ask you?
Nobody took her symptoms seriously and in fact her condition is so advanced and so out of reach of modern day science that she remained undiagnosed. Yes undiagnosed, in this day and age! Maybe the doctors on your site should quit whingeing and get on with some research.
After spending yet another night wafting a hair-dryer over her I was exhausted and at the end of my tether. So I Googled ‘Wet in Spain’ and ‘Top docs in Spain’ the first site was horrendous but the second gave me a link to someone who was prepared to listen.
After we arrived in Mallorca my wife was so ill she had to spend the first week lying flat on her back on a sun-lounger sipping fruit-based drinks from a straw, whilst I was left to arrange things. But things didn’t improve, in fact they got worse.
I was in our hotel room, stapling together paper work and medical reports when I got my finger trapped in the air conditioning unit. Despite my yelps it took several days for the fire crew to arrive and a further ten minutes to cut me free. By which time my once proud finger had withered to little more than a black stump which fell off en-route to the ambulancia. I later learnt that a cat, no doubt sensing its opportunity for a good meal, ran off with it (to add insult to injury it was one of those scrawny Spanish cats, not the plump, well groomed kind that you get here in the UK). It’s not nice to know that my once innocent finger has been digested in the gurgling innards of a feral cat and deposited behind a plant pot in some anonymous Spanish courtyard somewhere. I bet that hasn’t happened to your average whingeing GP!
My wife made a remarkable recovery, she tells me that the kind Spanish doctor diagnosed her with ‘Wet Bandage Syndrome’ or ‘Señorita Hysterica’ and recommended that she spend at least two weeks in the Mallorcan sunshine each and every year. But now I’m one finger down, I panic every time I see a cat or an air conditioning unit and previously simple tasks have been rendered much more difficult; it took me 10% longer to type this letter for example!
How many GPs have had all these problems I ask you? Not many I bet! And yet there they are on your site, whingeing on and on, with their ten fingers and their perfect lives! I hope this is a lesson to you all. I have included a picture of events for the benefit of those who cannot read and for those who simply refuse to.
Dr Kevin Hinkley is a GP in Edinburgh