A visit to the doctor

I am now required to visit the doctor every two months in order to get my prescription. This is a fairly recent development, as they weren’t bothered before. I always forget to book more than a week in advance and so I see a different doctor each time and therefore need to explain everything as if for the first time.

Anyway, on my latest visit last week I was ushered into the consulting room of yet another doctor I had never met before. I sat down and he consulted his computer monitor.

“Do you smoke,” he enquired, “Yes or no?”

More than slightly annoyed at kicking off what in my opinion was an unnecessary visit with an unnecessary question, I replied, “is there a mind your own business option?”

Now I realise that I could have phrased it better, but similar experiences of other bloggers sprang immediately to mind and my hackles were raised. I explained that I was talking to the computer rather than him!

The doctor’s expression was difficult to read. It may have been shock, after all, we are not supposed to talk back to Nanny. The choice was “Yes” or “No”. Those were the only options.

Either, “Yes, I smoke and want it on record so that I can be denied treatment in the future according to Nanny’s good will and pleasure and to be offered nicotine gum or patches to please Big Pharma, or “No, I don’t smoke, so please can we get straight on with the consultation you requested?”

He enquired, “so you do smoke?”

I told him that I was not answering the question.

We actually had a good old banter because I treated him like a human being, having realised some time ago that doctors are not the gods that I was brought up to believe they are.

I told him a number of home truths and on the way out he patted me on the back and thanked me for the chat.

I think I will book well in advance next time, so that I can see him.

Or maybe I should spread my cantankerous disagreeableness around!


UPDATE 11.55am. While I was writing this piece, Leg-iron was bashing out something similar, but longer and better. Far from lying about whether he smokes or not (see link, above), when the information is demanded, he now wants to light up in the surgery instead!

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14 Responses to A visit to the doctor

  1. Subrosa says:

    Well done Stewart! If more people took that stance then doctors would start to treat us all as individuals. My doctor knows it’s not worth the aggro asking the question.

  2. Stewart Cowan says:

    If more people read the right blogs, SR! I don’t think most people are conscious of how much control the state has over their lives.

  3. faulksd says:

    When you think about it, the NHS is purpose-built to promote the intrusive interests of the Nanny State as well as keeping the money-makers in reasonable shape; in keeping with recent trends it’s certainly working hard to justify its purpose. I don’t smoke (although I have done); however I bitterly resent the treatment that smokers have received in recent times. The very idea that has been mooted that persistent smokers should be denied NHS treatment for respiratory or circulatory complaints is high-minded and evil. Would that the people of this country actually engaged their brains in thought for once, perhaps we would see a backlash against this kind of officiousness.

  4. Mummy x says:

    A reader left a comment to my post


    I had a camera shoved where the sun don’t shine a couple of weeks ago. During the form-filling phase of being booked in they asked me if I smoked… “Not with my bottom, no.” I don’t think that was the answer they wanted. :-)

    I was still laughing a couple of hours later.

    Mummy x

  5. Stewart Cowan says:


    Indeed. If folk would just switch off the telly and stop allowing themselves to be infantilised by the puerile drivel made for the purpose.

  6. Stewart Cowan says:


    That’s the NHS for you: they make you want to laugh or cry. Sometimes both, hysterically!

  7. James Justice says:

    “The doctor’s expression was difficult to read”.

    Good job she wasn’t wearing a burka then!

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  9. Ah’m right wi ye there Mr Cowan. Ah hae tae go tae ma doctor quite regular an’ aw, ah’m a martyr tae sciatica (amangst ither things), an’ recently he’s been gettin ma dander up by gaun oan aboot ma blood pressure (it’s him that pits it up!) an’ ma smokular habits. If it widnae be cuttin ma ain nose aff ah’d be loathe tae gang back again. Whit’s wrang wi leavin a wee biddy tae enjoy the few pleasures life can bring?

    An’ intae the bargain he’s a self-confessed LiberalDemocrat! Maks ye mad so it dis…

  10. Stewart Cowan says:

    Thank you Mrs (or Miss) Pangloss.

    It would be like cutting our own noses off to stop going to the doc’s, although I sometimes seek alternative remedies, many of which have proven to be rubbish, but I know some folk for whom they have done great things.

    Do they allow Lib Dems to become doctors?

  11. It’s Miss actually, but ye can ca me onythin sae lang as ye dinnae ca me ower!

    Ye’re right we dinnae hae tae be beholden tae the doctors an’ we likely should consider aw the alternative remedies available. Still, ah dae like ma tablets…

    It seems they’ll let LibDems be onythin these days, even Cabinet ministers. It’s no like the auld days…

  12. Stewart Cowan says:

    “…even Cabinet ministers.”

    LOL, aye you’re right. Strange times indeed.

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