Nelson's Column, Bolg, Blog, whatever...

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your lab created ears

Time for the booze to flow

‘Mixed messages’ my arse! Why shouldn’t private patients be given alcohol with their hospital food? Nothing nicer than a glass of a robust burgundy with the evening boeuf en croute (or, indeed, with the breakfast cornflakes, but I suppose there have to be some limits). Can’t see what all the fuss is about, it’s not as if they want to give booze to the oiks in the NHS wards. That would be cause for concern – the last thing you want are drunken chavs falling off their bedpans (assuming they can find a nurse to give them one – a bedpan, that is…oh, you know what I mean).

No, the PPs know how to handle a glass or two of an evening; the men will just get quietly sozzled and proposition the nurses, possibly exposing themselves in the process – nothing wrong with that. The women will presumably do what middle class women do when pissed (although in the ex Mrs Nelson’s case, that would mean cutting up a chap’s clothes, smashing the windows on his jag and making importuning and frankly obscene phone calls to Alan Titchmarsh, which I suppose could be a problem). I see the trust’s Chief Exec said that patients would only be given plonk if it was ‘medically appropriate’. It’s always medically appropriate, you silly woman*. And while I’m at it dear**, why only between 10am and 10pm? There’s bugger all to do in hospital, so why not let them just drink themselves into oblivion every night? That’s what their surgeons will be doing.

Topping oneself

Of course, it’s very sad that anyone should feel the need to resort to suicide, but I can’t say I was that surprised to read that in our chosen profession (well, yours, to be exact – thanks GMC), the specialists most at risk were anaesthetists, community physicians, GPs and psychiatrists. After all, knowing that you lead a purposeless existence must be a bit of a downer. Although it does reflect rather badly on me that, in 15 years of persecuting Dan the Fat Gasman at the MBoE Trust, I never succeeded in persuading him that it just wasn’t worth going on. Not that I necessarily wanted to come in to work and find him collapsed and blue on the end of a Boyle’s machine – I would have settled for a few weeks respite from his inanities while he coped with his nervous exhaustion. Must be losing my touch. Perhaps it was time to retire, after all.

Is that the best they can come up with?

What a bunch of plonkers. I mean, if you have the expertise at your disposal to manufacture spare organs, surely you should also have the imagination to come up with something more useful, not to mention stimulating, than an external ear? I mean, what good’s that, unless you happen to be a retired rugby prop forward? You will not be surprised to learn that I have  a list of candidate organs which features ears at fifteenth, just above ingrowing toe nails. Decency, and the Editor’s red pen, preclude any mention of my top of the appendage pops, but I don’t think I need to spell it out, do I? And for chaps like us, and for those bibulous patients at Basingstoke, livers and pancreases would be a damn sight more use than a slab of unattractive pink cartilage.

Oh – really?

Now I know you all look forward to each month’s example of researchers touting the bleeding obvious as ground-breaking news. And this one is a potential winner in the fatuousness stakes. You expect this sort of nonsense masquerading as news in The Guardian, but I’m disappointed to find it in The Torygraph. So, hangovers ‘impair the way your brain holds and processes information’ – who would have thought it?

Look, you ‘researchers’, if you wanted to know about hangovers, you only needed to come and have a chat with yours truly. There were mornings during my NHS career (in fact, most of them, now I come to think of it) when holding and processing information were the least of my problems; getting dressed and managing to get the key in the ignition of the jag were more pressing concerns. Fortunately, operating is like driving, it’s a mindless process carried out at the spinal level.

In fact being pissed, or hung-over and awash with Neurofen, just helps to get the tedious process over and done with more quickly. And no-one came to any harm. Except the odd patient.

Down in the mouth

So – clean your teeth, or twenty years down the line you may find you’ve forgotten where you left them? That’s a gift for the toothpaste advertisers if ever I saw one.

*   Hope that’s permissible Ed?

** and that

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