The Official Website  for Carol Margaret Tetlow

3rd January ·

Dear Doc Britton,

I cannot tell you how pleased I am that everything at the medical centre will be back to normal tomorrow. As it's all been topsy turvy (Mrs Wottle has had a real problem keeping up with her favourite tv soaps) I've made two appointments to see you this week as I expect we've a lot to discuss.

I think it would be best if we keep this arrangement throughout 2016 but of course if you think it better, then I will have three appointments a week, though please could they be early in the day as sometimes Mrs Wottle and I like to get the bus for a bit of a day out. She takes her knitting. I take my camera. Sometimes we swap.

We have not heard from Mr and Mrs Wasnian since the 'pheasant soup' incident. Mrs Wottle suggested that maybe they were being a bit grouse-y. How we 'owled' with laughter.

Sadly, my prostate is really playing up, all that dried fruit has played havoc with my intestines and I have developed a strange pins and needles feeling just to the left of my right eyebrow.

So, we need to have a chat. I'll ask for extra time.

If there's any mince pies left (unlikely, as I am on four a day at the moment) I'll brsing you one in to have with your coffee. Also some liqueur chocs - we made a tiny hole in them and sucked out the liqueur, but they'll still be quite tasty.

Looking forward to a year of good health, thanks to you!

Yours patiently

WWottle Esq

PS once it stops raining, I'll be sending you some more photos for the surgery walls.

5th January  

Dear Doc Britton,

I know I don't usually write twice in a week and I am, after all, seeing you in an hour's time but when Mrs Wottle and I were out for our constitutional this morning, we came across these two chaps and I couldn't resist taking a snap.

I think you should hang this in the surgery as an example of how nice good clean teeth are. It might inspire some patients to think twice before having another chocolate bar.

Mrs Wottle says I'm making an ass of myself - how we laughed!

See you very soon - good job too as since I last wrote a couple more things have cropped up and though I've tried hard to examine myself by bending over and using a series of carefully placed mirrors, I'm still baffled and Mrs Wottle hurt her neck having a look as well.

Yours patiently

W Wottle Esq

8th nuary ·

The end of the first week back at work for many, so a cheering story to raise, hopefully a smile and a laugh.

It was the middle of the night. About 0200,maybe 0300. The phone rang, waking me up and all I could hear was a child screaming blue murder. After a while, I could hear mum, telling me that he'd been like this for hours, just screaming and she didn't know what to do, having tried everything she could think of.

I knew her well, a competent single mum, not one to ring as a rule.

Off I went to visit and sure enough, on my arrival, the child was screaming and screaming and screaming. Nothing calmed him down. Examining him revealed no clues. He continued to scream and I had no option but to admit him to the paediatricians as Mum was beside herself and there was this possibility that there was something awful wrong. No way could I just walk away and do nothing.

It seemed logical to bundle Mum and son into the back of my car and take them down to the hospital myself (that's what docs did in those days). It saved waiting for an ambulance and time could be of the essence.

So I did and drove off into the night with the child screaming and screaming and screaming.

Half way to the hospital, the screaming suddenly stopped!

Oh my goodness, what had happened?

I pulled over to the kerb and looked round.........only to see a smiling, happy face who was obviously enjoying an unexpected car ride in the middle of the night.................and a very relieved, though tired looking, mother.

With not inconsiderable embarrassment, I delivered one extremely contented child to the paediatric ward and beat a hasty retreat.

Funnily enough the child was discharged first thing in the morning.

Possibly not one of my finer moments but a very effective way to cheer up a grumpy child.....

10th nuary ·

Dear Doctor J Britton,

I am writing on behalf of my husband who is one of your patients, Mr W Wottle.

Unfortunately he is the victim of a very bad neck and is confined to bed. There was a slight miscalculation as he set up a cleverly devised way to examine his fundament, involving three mirrors, a periscope and a wing mirror that fell off our last car when he went round a bend rather too sharply and didn't see the cyclist coming towards him, but that's another story.

Any way, he was behind the bedroom door, trying to work out the best angle between mirrors two and three, apparently, when I, keen to change the sheets on the bed, as it was 0924 on Sunday which is the time I always do this (I am a stickler for routine) pushed the door open with considerable force, aware of the resistance on the other side and not realising what it was.

Sadly this was one occasion when we did not laugh. It took me an hour and a half to get him back on his feet and he has complained bitterly ever since. I have tried painkillers and sherry, singly and together but nothing is working.

Please could you visit him at home tomorrow. Between 1123 and 1151 would be ideal as I go to the knitting group at 1154 and do not like to be late.

Mr Wottle told me to end my letter with 'yours patiently' for some reason. He said it was a private joke between the two of you, but I can't see anything funny about it as he is the most impatient patient I've ever come across.

Yours in all sincerity and sorry to bother you,

Mrs Wottle.

PS what size is your wife? I thought I'd knit her something nice as a surprise. I've a lovely pattern for matching knitted trousers and cardi - do you think she'd like that?

13th  January ·

There are many problems associated with obesity, as we are reminded on a daily basis, by the media. There are many different causes but, like it or not some people simply eat far too much and take no exercise.

One particular lady springs to mind - larger than life in all respects. Over the years I knew her, she simply got bigger and bigger and spent the last part of her life in a residential home, where, despite her protestations that she barely ate anything, was frequently seen by the staff eating several bars of chocolate in one sitting, when she hoped nobody was looking.

Her size had got to such that she no longer fitted in her armchair and balanced precariously on the edge of the seat, leaning back, unable to bend her knees because her legs were so vast.

There was a call out to her - she was complaining of knee pain. One of my partners went. Examination was very difficult as you can imagine.

'It's arthritis,' was the verdict as the visiting doc prodded and poked - a pretty safe bet.

She looked annoyed.

'Actually doctor, you're not examining my knees -they are about five inches higher up.'


15th  January ·

Now then, we are often told off for 'wasting doctors' time with simple ailments that we could cure on our own. For example, consulting with a sore throat which started a couple of hours ago, does not instantly endear you to the doctor. Nor does asking what caused a momentary pain in the knee, a week ago, which went and has not returned.

Having said this, it is important to ask your doctor's advice for the the imperative things in life as you can be sure of a wise response that will be of invaluable help.

For example:

75 year old lady asking if she should have breast enhancement surgery. Easy to answer as she would have to have it done on a private basis, so it's her choice. She did and never looked back and had a flock of new boyfriends......Moral of this tale - it's never too late.

Young man bringing in girlfriend, for me to assess to see if she is suitable marriage material. Have never met her before but know him well as a year ago he wanted to be a woman. Cue rambling answer about true love, no need to rush, get to know each other and while we're on the subject, shall we talk about contraception?

Sometimes the questions pose ethical dilemmas and need careful thought but one I recall, I was able to answer immediately and even today, would still answer the same.

Patient about to enjoy her 40th birthday. Husband (generous to a fault) has said she can choose between a new nose or a diamond bracelet. So, sensibly she makes an appointment with the GP to discuss, as you would.

Answer - diamond bracelet every time.....

PS - so much for my opinion, she went for the new nose...

17th nuary ·

Usually, I try to be light-hearted. It's lovely to put a smile on people's faces and many of my memories are uplifting and I'm more than grateful for them. But life can be cruel and perhaps because I'm in a rather reflective mood today, that's why I'm thinking of certain things. My last entry was all about the ridiculous reason why patients come to see their doctor. Let's look at the other end of the spectrum instead. Why don't people come? Why do they put off making an appointment? Is it ignorance? Is it fear? We need to understand why before we can change it.

Take the little old man who spent the night sitting on the side of his bed, unable to breathe, sweating and unwell. He told me he didn't want to ring because he knew the doctor would be asleep and needed to rest.

And the young woman, who had felt sick for months but not come in and turned out to be over half way through an undiagnosed pregnancy.

And the school girl with stomach ache who turned out to be in labour.

And the woman in her 60s who came for a routine smear, accepted the offer of a breast check (as we did at that time) and had a massive tumour in her breast that she had never mentioned to anyone.

And the man whose trousers were held up with safety pins as he could no longer do them up as his belly was so swollen with fluid from a massive malignant tumour.

And another little old man with a fractured wrist who had fallen in the snow but waited until the snow cleared before seeking help, again worrying about the doctors being busy.

Your heart weeps silently when you see these patients. Missed opportunities to treat or if nothing else, support. It's a sobering thought that they have coped alone with something you could have helped with, in some shape or form. Educating the public has always been and probably always will be verging on the impossible. All we can do is try our hardest.

I promise to be more cheerful next time. Bring back Mr Wottle…

19 January ·

Many years ago, a member of the royal family visited the town I worked in to open a new business. My own memory of this historic day is that the traffic was even worse than it is usually, which is saying something.

2 weeks later a lady came in to see me.

'Hold my hand doctor,' she cooed, extending her right hand and grabbing mine.

Er.....okay.....but why?

'This,' she announced proudly, 'is the hand that touched Princess X's.'

'Oh, how lovely for you,' I dutifully replied.

'It was wonderful and I haven't washed my hand since…

24 January ·

Dear Doc Bonnington,

You may have heard your colleague Doc Britton mention me once or twice. I am one of his patients but my wife, Coral, comes to see you (homely looking lady who sits and knits in the waiting area and is currently working on a knitted panorama of Lambdale to go up on one of your walls and matching jumpers for your twin girls).

Before I go on about her, I must say that I do hope all the surgery has recovered from the loss of internet connection. It must be a nightmare when that happens for you all. I know that Doc Britton wasn't pleased on Friday when he had to hand write fifteen different prescriptions for me ( I need a lot of creams and lotions for a rash that keeps recurring in a rather personal location. It has baffled dermatologists so I am hoping to have a syndrome named after me. If you would like to see it, from an educational point of view, of course, then I am happy to pop in any morning, apart from Thursday the week after next when I have promise to help clear out the pond in the next door garden. It's full of Koi carp so I'll have to help them get over their shyness!)

Any road up, to go back to Mrs Wottle. I am very worried about her losing her sense of humour. How we used to laugh, but lately I have had trouble even raising a smile.

Take the other day for example when she said to me - 'I don't think you ever notice me' and quick as a flash I replied 'who said that?' And then she was cross because I didn't notice she had had her hair done and that she had a new dress.

Perhaps you could tackle this loss of sense of humour and also her rather wanton urges to spend money when she comes to see you next (Wednesday 1445h).

Yours in all sincerity

W Wottle Esq, longsuffering husband of C Wottle (Mrs)

Dear Dr Britton,

Sorry to bother you, but please could you do a home visit on Monday, to my husband. He is one of your patients, a Mr W Wottle but may not remember him as he only comes to see you at least once a week and my friend, Mrs Tonbridge (we meet at the knit and knat - short for knit and knatter - group in the Town Hall on Thursdays) says she tries to come and see her doctor every other day if she possibly can as she likes to build a close relationship.

Since you posted a new cover photo on your website, taken by our fiend ( no, this is not a spelling mistake for friend) Mr Kit Wasnian, my husband has taken to his bed and refuses to get up. As a result, because he has not lost his appetite, the bed is now full of crumbs and I found it really hard to get comfy last night.

He just chunters all day about Mr Wasnian 'droning on' about his drone.

He was very cross when I let slip that I like the photo. You can clearly see the medical centre and I thought I could see one of Dr Bonnington's dogs but then realised it was some brown sauce on the laptop screen.

All this is getting very wearing.

Yours hopefully

Coral Wottle (Mrs)