Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

A stimulating chat with your medic

I revel in conversation, most of it mano e mano but not from choice. Certain of my behavioural traits generate an antipathy that is most noticeable among wives (female partners, female co-mortgagees) of friends and acquaintances. Mrs B offers an explanation which I more or less go along with and I accept the failing as ineradicable. But how to widen the field?

Doctors are one answer. They’re articulate, they listen and at my age encounters are always just around the corner. I start the ball rolling with a carefully prepared and – most important – unexpected question. The links between vasectomies and prostate cancer forced one GP to admit he’d had a vasectomy and he wasn’t worried. Another GP explained why the labyrinthine diagnostic procedures in the TV series House are fraudulent.

The subjects must be technical (fine by me) and the talk limited (other patients waiting). But doctors are full of stuff that is of no interest to most patients and enjoy discharging it in short bursts. The House GP, above, got carried away and had to close an ever more recondite discussion of molecules with “But that’s telling you more than you need to know.” When I published a community magazine he allowed me to sit in on one of the practice’s bull sessions as the basis for an article.

It helps if you’re curious about things. The man who paved the area in front of our house with bricks was keen to talk about his wide-ranging skills. As are some car mechanics although here the initial question must be designed to appeal to their amour propre. I’m sorry about the wives but as they say up north, “I’m making do.”


herhimnbryn said...

Have you read any of 'Polite Dissent'? A Doctor who reviews the House episodes.....


Hey, BB just keep talking!

Plutarch said...

Any thing to to do with medical conditions and my curiosity is permanently supressed. Mention a symptom and I develop it.

Sir Hugh said...

My philosophy with medical matters is the less I knopw the better.

Barrett Bonden said...

HHB: Just taken a look at Polite Dissent. It's astonishing to see all those ailments - normally muttered by the cast members over the moribund patient - spelled out in all their medical complexity. My doctor's reaction was that the tortuous to-ing and fro-ing between the diagnoses was a bit of a con and that the ailment was often self-evident.

Keep talking? That's what got me into trouble in the first place. I was born to take advantage of the internet's cordon sanitaire.

Plutarch/Sir Hugh: In cutting down this post to size I got rid of an admission that these conversations are never extended discussions about my symptoms. Ask 'em about the anti-MMR insanity or, if you like, molecules.

Lucy said...

I'm glad we are indulging in a roughly once yearly orgy of Handel hereabouts as I type - since even the mention of that Gluck aria, without even having to hear it, generates an earworm usually of many weeks duration... (the Handel will drown it out).

I'd still challenge you to go head-to-head with Tom on alternative theories to the Big Bang; you could well be the one begging for mercy by the end...

Barrett Bonden said...

Ah, the Handel operas. People standing around, doing nowt, simply allowing glorious music to pour out of their mouths for ages. Handel obviously wrote with recording systems in mind.

Head-to-head with Tom? Good grief, I left school aged 15. My talent - which is constantly my downfall - is for asking questions. I'd aim to wear him out that way.