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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I've been all over the place this week. In more ways than one. Having crept to Crawley on Monday, I was stuck in Uckfield all day yesterday, and then up in Crowborough today, seeing people from as far afield as Tunbridge Wells. As one of my patients said to me in Horsham last week, "You're like a concert pianist. You turn up at a different venue each day, perform on the equipment provided, and then go home again". That says a lot about the calibre of people I see in Horsham. If it had been Brighton, he'd have said gigolo.

I had the outpatients department to myself at Crowborough Hospital today, so rather than waste a receptionist on me, they'd stuck this sign on the unmanned desk...

Are the bits of blu-tac meant to look like eyes?
I've never been called a retinal technician before. It made me feel I should be wearing a white coat and looking at test tubes. I was tempted to cross it out and put 'doctor', but to be honest, most of my patients assume I'm one anyway. One lady I saw today told me that she's just recovering from swine flu and hasn't been out of the house in a week, which is not the kind of news you want to hear as you're bending over someone's face with an eye dropper in your hand. I was just praying she wouldn't sneeze.

But the prize for Patient of the Week goes to a chap I met yesterday, who happens to be the world's leading authority on Donald Campbell's Bluebird K7 hydroplane. He came in wearing a t-shirt plugging his new book on the subject. And a copy of it in his bag, in case I was interested. I have to say, when I got up yesterday morning, I didn't expect to find myself standing in Uckfield Hospital having an in-depth conversation with a grown man about a bear called Mr Whoppit, but that's the NHS for you. I should have asked him for a lift home. I bet his car's a lot faster than mine.