Most doctors were brought up with the aphorism 'If you don't put your finger in it, you'll put your foot in it'
Tuesday 20 May 1997
There's a lot of it about ...
So I went to see my GP and he said ...
"It's probably a virus ..."
Look, will you shut up. He said I had "Query Appendicitis."
No, in the letter I took to hospital. "Dear Surgeon. This irritating man complains bitterly of right-sided abdominal pain. Query Appendicitis."
Well, it serves you right for opening it.
But what about the Freedom of Information Act? I'm allowed to read my notes.
Yes, but only after we've censored the insults.
Well, I wasn't happy about Query Appendicitis. Is that the same as Gay Bowel Syndrome?
No. Gay Bowel Syndrome is a presumptive medical term for symptoms that can result from anal penetration (pain, bleeding, infection, poor wind control), irrespective of the sex of the recipient. Query Appendicitis means that your GP thought you might have appendicitis, but wasn't sure. It's normally written as ?Appendicitis.
Shouldn't that be ?Appendicitis?
Perhaps. But too many ?s can look as if the doctor knows nothing, rather than not a lot. So we tend to economise.
I'll say. I had to wait four hours for a doctor and six hours for a bed. In fact, the only thing they didn't economise on was the internals.
Yes, that's one perk of being a doctor. You can stick your finger in somebody's backside within a minute of meeting them. And they'll be grateful.
I wasn't. And I'm not sure it was necessary. I mean, I was hurting in my right lower abdomen not my rectum, so why put me through that?
Most doctors were brought up with the aphorism "If you don't put your finger in it, you'll put your foot in it."
I know you people have got to learn, but I draw the line ...
Meaning that it's easy to miss something important. For example, 60 per cent of colonic cancers occur within one finger reach.
So they were checking if I had cancer?
No. In your case they were checking to see if you had had an inflamed appendix in a pelvic position, which would make the rectum tender high up on the right-hand side.
It was after the fifth time.
That's teaching hospitals for you. To be fair, there are realistic plastic models of the pelvis that allow medical students to feel a rectal growth or a large craggy prostate without troubling real patients, but alas there's no model that says "Ooh, it hurts, doctor." "Where?" "High up on the left- hand side." "Your left or my left? "Your left, my right." "Well, actually I'm behind you, so your right is my right and your left is my left. So which is it ... ?"
But why do it at all? I felt grotty. I was flushed, I was off my food, I had a temperature, it hurt to move, my tummy was acutely tender over my appendix - it was fairly obvious I had appendicitis.
And did you?
No. But the point is that I was sick enough to need opening up under anaesthetic without being sullied while I was still awake.
There are some doctors who think internal examinations aren't necessary in the diagnosis of appendicitis, and certainly many GPs don't do them.But that's because we GPs are kindly souls, and we think that if anyone does it, it should be the person who has responsibility for opening you up.
Him and his four mates. And even then, they got it wrong.
Well it's a very difficult diagnosis to make. Half of those who are told they have appendicitis don't, and half that are told they don't, do.
They told me mine looked normal, but they took it out anyway and sent it to the lab. And the lab said the tip was inflamed but not infected.
That's because the surgeon will have squeezed it with his forceps to try to trick the pathologist into thinking it really was appendicitis and he hasn't opened you up for no reason.
Well they said all my internal organs looked healthy, so I suppose that's something.
And what did you say the diagnosis was?
They weren't sure. The letter to my GP said "Appendix Normal. ?Viral."
See, I told youn
Life & Style blogs
10 ways we damage our teeth – without realising
'Cheeky' Nando's under fire for apparently coming onto a customer on Twitter
Facebook Messenger sends 'creepily' precise location data, as revealed by Marauders Map Chrome extension
What do the emoji on Snapchat mean?
iPhone 'effective power' text: how to be safe from iOS bug that lets people crash your phone
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'
- 1 'Cheeky' Nando's under fire for apparently coming onto a customer on Twitter
- 2 Saudi Arabia mosque bombing: Two volunteer security guards hailed as heroes for stopping Isis suicide bomber reaching worshippers
- 3 Playboy model April Summers speaks out about being a victim of revenge porn
- 4 There is something wrong but very right about this Bible illustration
- 5 iPhone 'effective power' text: how to be safe from iOS bug that lets people crash your phone
£16500 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the leading Mercedes-Ben...
£27500 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£19500 - £23500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Experienced B2B Telemarketer wa...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This global company are looking for two Showro...