Patient Stories

Remembering my Grandparents.

Grandparents. I used to worry I would be sacked over mine. For many years I had seven of them, and was terrified some of them would die at once and my employers would claim I was making up their funerals to get out of work. Most grown adults have no more than four and...

Reprehensible: the passing comments that diminish us.

She was jiggling, hands in pockets, fidgeting with her keys, sniffing every nine seconds, agitated. I wondered if she was in a hurry, late for another meeting or appointment. I had been in that situation before, stressed to the hilt at the lack of urgency of someone...

Reconceiving the metaphor of ‘magic’ hospital curtains

I sleep with the window open, although the light, or darkness, outside is all but hidden by the blind that drapes the length of the glass panels. Recently sleep has been fitful, and often I’ve lain in silence in the small hours listening in delight to an owl quietly...

Remembering that kindness works both ways

When my husband was called up urgently in the evening by a consultant haematologist to come into the acute assessment unit at the local hospital, on the same day as he had had a routine blood test at the GP practice, this was never going to be ‘normal’. My husband...
Recognition of Excellence

Recognition of Excellence

For the first time in several days, the pain receded. A calmness settled on me. Calm, and cool. The fan was silent, the ward noise abated. Calm, cool, quiet. Peaceful. I could feel my body relaxing. Then came the sun. Bright, light, white and warm. It broadened its...

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Respectations – when my baby got ill

Respectations – when my baby got ill

“What are you most afraid of?” He was calm, but caring. Giving voice to my worst fear was difficult and I heard myself croak, “meningitis.” “Ok. I can see that. I can’t rule that out at this stage.” He told us to go home and that he would call in four hours, but if...

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Re-defining: lessons from the other side

Re-defining: lessons from the other side

Being ‘on the other side’ is the most valuable medical educational experience I have ever had that can never be taught in the classroom.  Having been fit and well all my life, when I started getting swollen ankles at only 19 years old I didn’t...

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Re-wondering: a visit to the GP

Re-wondering: a visit to the GP

I went with my daughter today to see the GP. At eighteen years old she has been having two years of menstrual problems and has been seeing various GPs in our Practice. We have a range of GPs, and I have for two decades managed who I see for what kind of ailment...

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Re-phrasing:that little word “we.”

Re-phrasing:that little word “we.”

“I am really sorry,” she said, head dropping, eyes clouding, as she let the needle and syringe fall back into the tray. “It’s not your fault,” I replied. “I am usually quite good at these but Sister did say it might be a tricky one.” “You’ve only had two attempts,” I...

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Re-conceptualising: psychosomatism

Re-conceptualising: psychosomatism

For so many people, the word “psychosomatic” means “all in the head.”  People with psychosomatic illnesses make things up to get attention or to avoid events they do not wish to attend, like work, or parties or family gatherings. That’s what some people think,...

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