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Brother Mark is a pseudonym of The Reverend Dr Robert Jaggs-Fowler, a clergyman, physician, writer and poet. His biography can be found at: www.robertjaggsfowler.com

Monday, March 20, 2006

Ring of Confidence

‘Doctor, before you go, I have one last problem if you don’t mind. It’s rather embarrassing and I don’t really like to mention it.’

I smiled at Molly, a pleasant octogenarian lady, and gently persuaded her to continue.

‘Well, it’s my piles,’ she said with a slight grimace. ‘They’ve been ever so troublesome recently. I managed to find some of that cream you gave me a few years ago, but it stings something awful. It never used to; I think it must have gone out of date.’

I picked up a tube from her bedside table and Molly confirmed that it was what she had been using.

‘Yes, Molly, it is rather out of date. I’ll prescribe you a new tube which will be fine.’

As I reached for a prescription pad, I put the tube of a well known brand of spearmint toothpaste in my bag for later disposal. I hadn’t the heart to tell her the truth!

(First published in GP Magazine, 6th January 2006. The name of the patient has been changed.)

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