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letter to a doctor

Dear John, it has been a long time since I last left your surgery, about forty years – and I remember the day very well. How excited you were about sailing the islands for the next couple of years. What wonderful therapy.

You may have forgotten about the problem you were unable to assist with for so long, the one you were also quite unable to name but were more than happy to treat, in your fashion.

How could I forget the look of delight on the local chemist’s face as he read the prescription for two hundred Serepax and one hundred Valium. Have a good weekend he quipped, no doubt more than happy with the volume of business you were directing his way and the weekends’ pleasures he imagined I was preparing for. I think he was hoping for a small and unconditional offering of the prescribed medication, he certainly looked like he needed one. His face was pale, his eyes bruised and his manner a little manic.

What would you diagnose here John, on the run so to speak.

Benzodiazepine = Serepax.

This drug has been used since the sixties to treat insomnia, anxiety and alcohol withdrawal. Valium is its true sister. Take one every couple of hours when the wrenching persists you said, John, and come back in a week or two. The Wrenching…?

It persists John, and has for the last forty years, this wrenching.

The Serepax and Valium habit you prescribed took quite some time to master – I remember that the hospital medical staff at North Shore thought a little poorly of yet another shaky dependant trying to get the wrinkles out of his head that Christmas day. Would it surprise you that they sent me home with a 20 tab slip of Diazepam? Four years to obtain a medical degree and for most medical problems you don’t have to get out of your chair.

You never visited  John, perhaps it was your sailing weekend, though we did ring the surgery and leave a message.

We found out what the problem is John, years ago now, and nothing can be done to make it go away. So it looks like you failed on all counts old fellow, failed first class. The irony of course is that you medicos have very short memories, and there is no drug that can cure that, not one that can provide you with a comfortable income anyway.

So happy sailing Doctor, and break a leg.

(written on behalf of ***** B)

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. davo's liver #

    The cure that keeps ’em coming back for more. Tell me what you need and I’ll tell you what you want.

    August 6, 2012
  2. David Plumb #

    http://lareviewofbooks.org/article.php?type=&id=812&fulltext=1&media=#
    Thought you might find this an interesting read.
    The charming coastal village I live near welcomed a new doctor a few years ago.
    Unfortunately all the shall we say , older residents started fronting up asking for their repeat prescriptions of Mother’s Little Helper but instead received an understanding chat about trying to decrease their dependence on drugs.Support was offered and help was on hand…..
    Well , the language these people used to describe the Dr would turn your hair purple!How dare he they raged, we demand our drugs!
    He never relented and the residents deserted him and now there isn’t a Dr in the village.
    During a consultation with this very experienced and rather plain speaking D he mentioned to me that everyone in the village was an addict of some sort – booze , ciggies, drugs ……usually all of them.

    August 10, 2012
  3. I needed that half-hour to get through the link David .. so it looks like the only way to be really crazy is to be really crazy, and with enough income to buy the drugs – or have the govt do it for you.

    August 12, 2012

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