Thursday, 14 February 2013

Things Not To Ask A Cancer Patient

I need a new sick note and some Laxido, so off I toddle to the GP. My diagnosing GP is not available so I take whoever's available as this is a bit of a no-brainer.

The surgery waiting room is full when I get there. It's even fuller when I finally get in, an hour late. The GP is full of apologies looks thoroughly stressed and doesn't have my notes on screen. I explain what I'm after. "And what do you usually put on your sick notes?" she asks.

"Chemotherapy for bowel cancer usually does the trick."

The poor woman is mortified that she didn't know and yet again I witness the shift in attitude towards cancer patients, where time is taken just to check how you are, treating the person and not the symptoms. It must be quite nice to do that, as a GP. But I'm conscious of her time and the consultation ends in a very English flurry of apologies (her) and please don't worry about its (me).

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