Stand and deliver

October 19, 2011 6:50pm Published by Jules Smith in The Art Philosopher 24 Comments

I’m not a fan of anything medical, it makes me squeamish.  If I have to visit anyone in hospital I’m the worlds worst visitor. A Florence Nightingale I am not.  I cannot watch any medical dramas on TV as they make me feel ill.  This is particularly unfortunate since one of my favourite programmes is’ House’ and when they do something visually horrible I have to shut my eyes, stick my fingers in my ears and go “Blah. Blah. Blah.” until it’s over but I endure the rest of it as I love the character Dr House.  However, since watching it I am convinced I have lupus.  
Fortunately my local GP’s are fully aware of my foibles and meet me in their surgery with an exasperated sigh and rolling of eyes, knowing I’m highly unlikely to do anything that I find traumatising.  A while back I had stomach pains and deduced from my medical knowledge and research that I had an ulcer. The Doctor suggested an endoscopy.  
“If you think for one minute, I am having a hose pipe shoved down my throat you can think again Dr Death.  This procedure is medieval and barbaric and without you knocking me senseless it wont happen”  I said in my serious tone.
I convinced the Doc to give me some medicine first to see if it worked.  Thankfully it did.  
Now my medical knowledge came about from some intense reading.  Some spiteful friend found it funny to buy me a medical book for a laugh knowing full well I would look up every ailment and fear for my life. They didn’t laugh so much when they had a cramping pain in their arm one day and I asked:
“Is it dull or sharp?” as I  flicked through the pages of my book looking concerned.
“Err, dull ish”  they replied.
“Oh dear…are you breathless, can you smell burning?”  I queried.
“Burning? Why burning?” they breathed in deeply trying to smell (it’s a good idea at this stage to have just burnt some toast in your toaster) 
“This could be the onset of a heart attack” I offered gravely. (it’s a good idea at this stage to say “JUST KIDDING!”  incase you give them one.)
Anyway, said medical book became my bible.  A cold was no longer a cold, it was pneumonia.  The pain in my muscles and the constant fatigue were not me overdoing it, they were the result of fibromyalgia. The swelling in my leg was not because I had slammed it in the car door but because I had deep vein thrombosis. I was terrified yet compelled to self diagnose.  I was the only woman to have suffered a dropped testicle. 
One day I woke up with small spots on the inside of my hand.  According to my medical book I had ‘Foot and mouth’ disease.  I called the Doctors immediately.
“Help!  You need to get me in today I’m extremely contagious and currently wearing gloves.  I also live near cows and may be a danger to livestock!  I can’t possibly touch anyone without risking plague like conditions!”  I urged.  You have to be this dramatic to doctors receptionists or you will not get seen until a week on Thursday.  She bought it.
I was ushered straight in to the surgery and I sat down in front of the Doctor, ripped off my gloves, my palms up in her face and said “I have FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE”.
She laughed. Loudly.  Whilst it was hand, foot and mouth disease (so, I was right then) it wasn’t the same as the one cows get and is actually a common virus that needs no treatment.  The Doctor told me to get rid of my book as “A little knowledge is dangerous.” 
The book magically disappeared one day as I believe my friends and family threw it away. 
But, since reading it I have to be very careful not to read the leaflets on any tablets (for I will get the side effects) and not listen to peoples symptoms of illness incase I start to empathise. I am careful to avoid all issues relating to anything medical unless absolutely necessary and then the other day some bright spark sent me an e mail with a link saying:
Sitting down kills you.  I immediately stood up and carried on reading.  Because I sit down at my computer for most of the day I am 40% more likely to die 15 years before people who don’t.  I could get deep vein thrombosis (again) plus diabetes and never get out of my chair alive. I spent the rest of the day doing star jumps and learning to type and walk with my ipad. 
Now I have to stand to deliver and it takes me twice as long to do any work.  Great, just great.


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Sitting down is only dangerous if you sit on a poisonous snake – if you sit on a horse it actually tones up the buttocks. Have you ever heard of a cowboy (or cowgirl) getting deep vein thrombosis?

I don’t approve of horse-riding, though, it’s a lewd and immoral pastime. Climbing trees is how we keep in shape in my neighbourhood.

Every time I have a pain I think I have cancer. I understand you completely. Great post!

What I find amazing is how quickly I manage to recover from all the ailments I self-diagnose myself with! The perils of the Internet…

(love your sense of humour…)

When we were searching for a diagnosis on my daughter’s JRA… someone told me she might gave Parvo. As far as I knew it was only a dog thing. I was offended and pissy until we went to the Dr and they tested her for Parvo. I could have used the dang book! Do you now surf WebMD? That place is a great source of details for calling in sick to work! 🙂

Mr Gorilla Bananas: also you could catch something nasty from a horse or worse, get thrown off. But cowboys did get a nasty case of chafing!

Belle: I know exactly what you mean. Don’t get a medical book.

Beth: I know Beth, I have also recovered from many life threatening illnesses. Now I’m standing up more I think I’ll be ok! ( and thank you..)

Angie: Parvo! Wow, I missed that one! Angie! Don’t give me another site to get embroiled in! Oh, no.. I’m going to have to go and check it out…I can’t resist it…

he is the best!

nice blog btw! 🙂

Coneforce: Thank you!

It’s all biology. I’m amused by the things humans decide must attend science.

Why is a British doctor’s office called a ‘surgery’ when surgery is the last thing that would be performed at that location?

The beeb series, Doc Martin had his ‘surgery’ at Port Isaac in Cornwall. A place that nice to look at had but a single physician. I think I must personally explore this inexplicable place known as UK.

Getting rid of the book is futile know as you could just Google every symptom.

Most times I have Foot IN Mouth Disease ;P

The problem with medical shows and places like Google is that while they may help some with self-diagnosis… they’re usually the exception. Most people get it wrong though and their health issues and cases are much more complicated. My cousin has lupus and it took a long time for them to diagnose it. I hope you’re not the same… well I hope that it isn’t bad whatever it is and that you get better in no time!

Clark: It goes back to medieval times where one would be slapped on the table and surgery would be performed without anaesthetic! As you can see, we’ve not advanced much as we still use hose pipes. Doc Martin is in a little fishing village but it’s rural Cornwall so they have pixies to treat them too.

Tony: True, but I try to avoid the temptation.

Azra: Yes, I too have foot in mouth, regularly. The only thing I have wrong with me is a massive case of hypochondria!

I started itching and I think my eyes got blurry just reading your post.
I hope your satisfied missy……what’s that ringing sound in my ears….do you smell that????

Life 101: that’s conjunctivitis, tinitus and OH MY GOD get to the hospital NOW!


Apologies for the off-topic comment, but I couldn’t find a contact email for you.

I recently put out an ebook of my writing, called ‘The New Death and others’. It’s a collection of short pieces, mostly dark fantasy.

I was wondering if you’d be interested in doing a review on your blog.

If so, please email me: Let me know what file format is easiest for you, and I’ll send you a free copy.

You can also download a sample from the ebook’s page on Smashwords:


James: H
mmm… Interesting. Is this because you value my personal opinion? If so, I’m flattered. Is this because you’ve seen my review on Bats Blood? If so, I’m flattered. I like the fact your an anarchist, I like a bit of anarchy so that helps your calling. Well, I shall e mail you then but if my review brings you fame and fortune I will expect royalties in hard cash! Just kidding… Honest..


Thanks for your email. I haven’t seen the review you mentioned. I found your blog via another blog,

Yeah call me crazy but I’m not to fond of the idea of them shoving tubes down deep into may body, and possibly putting something in there while they’re at it, just for shits and giggles.

Elliott: I concur Elliot. I’m right with you.

Yeah you got to keep an eye on em.

Biff: oh I do Biff. I do..

its good that you’re aware of your body through all these tv shows and books. the knowledge helps you to help a doctor for an accurate diagnosis.
if i wasn’t aware of my body through observation and reading, i wouldn’t have known that i had chronic extertional compartment syndrome.

nice post. Very good read.

Jaya J: true, it makes us more aware and in my case a little crazy. I hope that’ an easy thing to keep under control Jaya.

Ind. Batik: why thank you so much!

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