Tuesday, 8 May 2018

A flea in his ear.....

I sent my patient away with a flea in his ear the other night. (Semi) literally.

Dr Google seems to have immense faith in the ability of the humble doctor to solve - well, anything really. Take - ooh, I don't know - the moment a moth flies into your ear. "Entice it out with a bit of grass," says one website. "Float it out with olive oil," advises another. And of course, if these efforts don't work, "Go and see your doctor." But bear in mind that you've now stolen their first line of attack!

Still, I suppose I have funky crocodile forceps and an otoscope, and access to an ENT registrar in Aberdeen. What I don't have however is an iron nerve when the moth has been flattened against the tympanic membrane. Or suction. So after multiple efforts I finally admitted defeat, and provided the only option I could: a begging letter to my training practice asking them to take the patient on as a temporary resident the next morning (he was only here for a day...) and try to succeed where I'd failed.

I like to imagine that all the olive oil we'd put into his ear made the ear canal so slippery that the moth started to slide out while he slept - but I imagine the truth is that the GP who saw him was just better at this sort of thing than I am. Fortunately I'll be visiting the practice next week - time to get a quick lesson in moth removal!

At the other end of the scale, I finished my nights with a trauma call - a car crash with 2 casualties coming in together. I'd hate you to think it's all moth removal and swimming....

Meanwhile the weather is warming up and we're starting to get some distance in in the sea - there are various plans afoot for swims round islands (it'll need to get a good bit warmer still....), SwimRuns between & across islands - and a visit from my family next month!

Not to mention that there are orcas in the local bays at the moment. Not that I've seen them yet, but they're something to look out for. (From the shore. Obviously.)

 Dr Alison Lievesley, ST1, Balfour Hospital, Orkney

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