it’s just all coughs and colds

…isn’t it? Being a GP?

I wish it had been, yesterday. I had a nice man with all the symptoms of acute coronary syndrome (off to the Emergency Department for him), a home visit to a man in his 90s whose 88 year old wife couldn’t cope with him any more (call to Social Services to arrange emergency respite for him in a residential home), three new diagnoses of depression, a mystery rheumatological condition in a previously healthy 25 year old man, a family poisoned with carbon monoxide after a council subcontracter replaced their boiler, who were off to the solicitors after seeing me “to sue the bloody council”, a new diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, a heated discussion with a hypertensive patient who thought our reminder system which called her back for a blood pressure check was “tantamount to harrassment”, chickenpox in a 5 year old which became a little more complicated when dad revealed that mum is eight weeks pregnant and has never had chickenpox, some aches and pains, funny rashes, lumps and bumps, and, of course any number of febrile children. Phew.

This is what I love about general practice. The door handle turns, and you could be dealing with someone who thinks they have cancer (and don’t) or someone who probably has cancer and doesn’t know it. It gives me the greatest buzz to be able to get to the nub of the issue in just ten minutes, and still have time to find out about their life, and send them on their way feeling that someone has taken them seriously. When it’s going well it feels like the best job in the world.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “it’s just all coughs and colds

  1. alhi

    Welcome back! I love hearing those sorts of stories.

  2. If you diagnosed the CO poisoning you were very clever and quite possibly saved a couple of lives. I have only diagnosed it once and on the same day I failed to diagnosis it.

    I was called to see a patient one very cold night in a hospital not far from a well known port near the white cliffs. He had been working in the docks as a contractor and had stayed overnight in a portacabin. He was a middle aged man with central chest pain. It didn’t take me long to diagnose an inferior myocardial infarct. The ECG was typical. The diagnosis was clear.

    In the next cubicle was a man with headaches and vomiting. He too had been working in the docks and had been staying in the same portacabin. Two previously fit men admitted together seemed odd. So I enquired about the heating in the portacabin. They had taken a gas ring into what amounted to an airtight box and as a result they had both poisoned themselves with carbon monoxide. One had an MI as a consequence and the other had more typical but non-specific symptoms. I missed the diagnosis in the first case and probably would have missed the diagnosis in the second case had I not realised that there must have been some common factor that had brought these two patients in together.

  3. sf

    well stop whinging then!

  4. SW

    That is exactly why I love general practice too, I can’t wait to start my GP VTS scheme in August! I’ve just stumbled on your blog and I love it, thank you!

  5. rosieposy8

    Crikey, all in one day? That sounds mental..

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