Caught in a Flap!

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-01-16
  • Publisher: Textstream
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ABOUT THIS BOOK For those of you adult readers who have ever wondered about what it would be like to aspire to become a gynaecologist, well now is your chance to find out! Desmond Parunia, in writing 'Caught in a Flap', tells a story seen through the eyes of a young schoolboy, Mikey Jones. Mikey who emigrated to sunny Rhodesia in the late sixties, becomes fascinated by the mystery of female anatomy after spending most of his free time frolicking in swimming pools surrounded by bikini-clad beauties. Having only two brothers and no sisters only added to the intrigue! Nothing like this ever happened at Epsom Baths! Desmond takes us through the frustration and excitement of a young man growing up in a world where there appeared to be an endless supply of new experiences. A world where one was about to discover rude films, pop music, stereo Hi Fi, candy-coloured super fast Japanese motorcycles, driving cars, drinking beer and of course.....girls! Mikey has a reasonable shot at most of the material things, but the girls remain elusive, particularly from the point of revealing their dark secret! In desperation, Mikey tries to impress them with his ambition to become a gynaecologist. The story then goes on to unravel a disjointed and sometimes hilarious escapade of life sketches capturing mainly the highs but sometimes the lows of what it was really like fulfilling that ambition. Please note that the author does not recommend you reading this book to your children at bed time!


CHAPTER 1 WHAT HAPPENED TO OUR PROFESSION? Dear reader, this is a story about a young man who went to medical school and through no fault of his own ended up as a gynaecologist. I have decided to conceal my identity and call myself quite simply, Mikey Jones. I would like to tell you about some of the funny experiences I have had, but just as importantly about some of the marvellous friends that I have made along the way. My story begins with why I felt a need to tell you all about this in the first place. Are you sitting comfortably.........? One day I found myself sitting in a really dreary antenatal clinic somewhere in the south east. The first patient in the morning was sitting in front of me with a face as long as a horse. "Good morning", I said. "Ugh", she grunted. "What can I do for you?" I asked as politely as I could. She took a deep breath through her heavily nicotine-stained teeth and then said: "Its doin' my 'ead in." I looked at her quizzically and asked, "What's doing your head in?" She took another deep breath and said, "This facking baby!" At that point, while I looked at this 36 week pregnant woman with seven other children (all in various states of disrepair), I forlornly asked myself, "What am I doing here?" I refocused on my professional commitment to this patient. "Well, is there anything I could do to help you?" I asked as helpfully as possible. "I wannit owt nah", she blurted out decisively in her combined Swanley-cross-cockney accent. "How do you want it to come out?" I asked, quite taken aback. "Scissorian setchun of course", she said. I queried, "Caesarean section?" "But you have already had seven normal births. Why on earth do you want a Caesarean section and take all those risks associated with major surgery?" She took a slow pause and looked at me very intensively. "I've seen it on the inner net", she said. "You've seen what on the internet?" I replied. "I've seen everything there is about scissorian setchuns." "What do you mean 'everything' there is about Caesarean sections?" "Well for a start", she said, "I've read that scissorian setchuns are less dangerous to the muvver than having a pissiotomy." At this point I felt I was losing the worst consultation battle of my entire career. Here was a woman telling me that the commonest surgical procedure performed throughout the world by literally millions of practitioners every day (using local anaesthesia and a pair of surgical scissors), was now deemed more dangerous than major abdominal surgery, in the form of a lower segment Caesarean section! At this point I had an overwhelming desire to end the consultation there and then. Unfortunately the National Health Service pays me to listen to these people and to continue as best I can. I really wanted to say that the consultation must close on the grounds that it was doing my own head in! So I did the honourable thing; the same thing that anybody else put in this awkward and ridiculous situation would do. I said to her, "I think you need a second opinion." Later on that day, while I was having my usual three and a half minutes lunch break, which included the inevitable dried up 'NHS pre-packaged, prepared-five-days-before sandwich, (usually sawdust flavoured), I looked at my computer screen. I aimed to clear my mail box before going on to the next clinic which I'm already late for. On the screen was the usual barrage of e-mails, the vast majority of which I would never need to see anyway. The ones I really hate are about people leaving their car lights on in the car park. For example one would state: "To the owner of a really tasty metallic blue BMW M3 with soft-top and alloy wheels, please note that he has left the headlights on." Why can't he just tell us the flaming number plate and call it a day? I continued reading the e-mails and became more and more agitated about their content. It drives me mad to think that so many people in this hospital have got nothing better to do than to send complete loads of drivel through my computer, to inform me about things I never really need to know. I don't give 'a monkey' about whether they are going to test the fire alarm bells at 3 o'clock in the morning on Saturday 15th July. I certainly don't need to know about the woman down in pathology who works in the specimen cut-up room who has lost her black Parker pen. This was given to her on her graduation day and had very high sentimental value: 'weep, weep!' I suppose the worst e-mails of all, are the ones arising from the Patient Complaints Department. The patient complaint is probably the fastest growing aspect of the NHS infrastructure known to man. Patients are encouraged to complain about absolutely anything they wish. The one currently on my screen is all about a woman who is accusing me of frightening her before taking her to theatre to do an emergency Caesarean section. I recall the case well because these things do tend to stick in your mind. She had come on to the labour ward at 38 weeks of gestation with a rock hard uterus, vaginal bleeding and a very difficult to detect foetal heart beat. I was very worried that she was having a major maternal bleed behind the placenta and was just about to lose the baby. I asked her if she would think about having a Caesarean section as a matter of urgency to save the baby and she had candidly asked me why was I in such a rush! I remember replying that if I didn't hurry she might lose her baby and if she was really unlucky, there was a good chance that she would bleed excessively too. The essence of her complaint was the abrupt and brusque way in which I explained the situation to her and that I should have given her more time to reflect and think about it, rather than 'frightening her to death' by rushing her into the theatre. "What a load of bollocks", I think to myself as I stare at the line on the screen stating: "When would it be convenient to organise a local resolution meeting with this woman and her family, so that I could explain myself and offer the appropriate level of apology?" I think again to myself, "How low have we stooped?" I rush upstairs to do the usual antenatal and gynaecology ward round. I remember in the old days that the consultant ward round really was quite an impressive event and to the best of my knowledge most people really enjoyed being there. Oh, how things have changed! I arrive on the ward to be greeted at the nursing station by a gaggle of student midwives, a staff midwife and a ward clerk. "Good morning ladies", I said as professionally as possible. A little chorus of cartoon voices saying, "Hiya, hiya, hiya, hiya", comes from the group of ladies assembled in front of me. If I'm really lucky I can persuade one of them to come with me on the ward round to see my patients. I can't remember the last time a junior doctor was in attendance with me, because they are all on shift systems and therefore required elsewhere in the hospital. The luxury of a registrar on the ward round is such a long forgotten memory that it doesn't even bear thinking about. I proceed to the first patient's bed only to find her 19 year old spotty boyfriend lying on it having a quiet kip. I introduced myself to a rather frail looking 16 year old who is some 31 weeks pregnant. She's a well known patient of mine having been admitted no less than 46 times throughout this pregnancy with vomiting of unknown origin. I tried to point out to the staff midwife that we are trying to run a hospital, not a film set from a 'Carry On' film! I politely asked the boyfriend whether he would like to sit in the chair next to the bed. He replied with a completely unintelligible grunt, which I assume implied the reluctant acknowledgement of my request. After the ward round I proceed to my theatre list where the latest government proposal inflicts itself upon me. The consent forms have been changed! When I was training the junior doctor obtained consent from the patient and he was ab

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