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Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Asteroid Hyalosis. No, really.I had a patient the other day with Asteroid Hyalosis, an ocular condition which enables you to see Halley's Comet more than once every 75 years. At least, that's what I told him. To be honest, the man might have had stars in his eyes, but he had a far from heavenly body, so I asked him not to hold it against me.

Anyhoo, as shocking as it may sound to anyone who hasn't actually seen me work, I didn't really know what I was talking about. I might be a rising star in the world of retinal screening, but Asteroid Hyalosis was an alien concept to me. So I looked it up on Wikipedia this morning, where I had a close encounter with the following fact:

"[Asteroid Hyalosis] is known to occur in humans, dogs and chinchillas".

Humans, fine. Dogs, fair enough. But chinchillas?? Next they'll be telling me hamsters get glaucoma.

That wasn't the only eye-opening bit of information I received today though. One of my tasks is to check that each patient's GP hasn't changed since their last visit. So whilst chatting to a nice lady at Lewes Hospital this afternoon, I said "Are you still with Dr Barker?". To which she replied "No, he's dead". I followed that up with a startled "Really?", and she said "Yes, he was hit by a train".

I was tempted to refer her for psychiatric treatment on the spot, but as it turns out, she's right. I'm glad I asked now. It might not have looked good if we'd sent the results letter to a dead man.

In other work-related news, I had a patient yesterday who was old enough to be my father, and who arrived wearing a shirt identical to one I used to wear at the pharmacy stores. Bearing in mind that it's taken Lisa two years to stop reminding me that I have the dress sense of a Weymouth pensioner, the chances of her letting this one lie are slim. Which is more than I can say for the patient.