Saturday, 2 April 2011

Vicious sweets

We’ve reached a new low in society when pathetic incidents like this provoke a response that triggers such expensive and embarrassing circumstances. The cops are not to blame here; they have no option but to follow up on reports like this. It’s the child and, more importantly, the parents who need a good talking to about getting real. Why on earth would the kid want to run to his parents about this?

And what notion do grown adults have of common-sense when they report incidents as innocuous as this to the police?

Are we now at a point where, if a child accidentally bumps into another child, the police will visit and begin a full-blown investigation? I think the Chief Constable needs to send a letter out to the community asking them to grow up.

There’s only one word to describe this – ridiculous. 

Image above created by Daneboe

More doc-bashing
This guy found out all about his medical condition after surfing the Web. He had no choice apparently because none of the medics he’d gone to seemed interested in exploring the possibilities. I’m not defending them to the hilt and this young man had every right to be concerned and discover for himself what was going on but, again, I’m sure we’re not getting the full story.

The average GP is busy. Let’s face it, they have hundreds of patients to deal with and a lot of nonsense to get through, just like we do in the ambulance service. Tests would have been carried out I’m sure. The docs probably found nothing untoward and that’s why he got ‘fobbed off’.

He was found to have POTS but it’s not all as clear-cut as the newspaper is trying to make out. In the same Wiki article you will find this statement: POTS can be difficult to diagnose. A routine physical examination and standard blood tests will not indicate POTS.

The guy was unlucky enough to have been seen and ‘fobbed off’ by doctors under a lot of pressure and no time to go tilt-table testing. Arguably, they could just have laid him down and then sat him up, testing his heart rate and blood pressure changes as they did so but this is not a very scientific way of diagnosing anything, so they probably did all the tests they were required to do and considered his condition to be anomalous.

Lots of things are going undiagnosed every day by doctors. Forgetting that they are human and very often unable to spend the quality time they could with each patient is a major mistake to make. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of research and suggestion to see if you can move things along for yourself but be wary of online ‘facts’. Even Wiki informs us all that it cannot guarantee the accuracy and validity of its articles without proper source references that can be checked.

The Sun has printed a perfectly good story for the purposes of shocking its readers into vilifying the medical profession, whilst promoting the virtues of online medical information. I’m not saying that was their intention but the average Sun reader probably won’t do any background research into this or even think twice about the possibility of other arguments. It’s just so much more fun (and a lot easier) to say ‘damned doctors – they don’t know what they’re doing!’ when you are not one yourself. I stopped slagging off astronauts long ago for the same reason.

 This really tickled me; the photograph just leapt out as soon as it loaded

I know, it's not very medical or society-related. But it's funny.

Be safe.


BRC_Medic said...

The marshmallow case is beyond believe. What comes next? A dirty look will cause armed response unit?

Jo said...

Putting my critical hat on - how can you say for the doctor-bashing article that "I’m sure we’re not getting the full story" but not say the same for the police-bashing one?

If both stories are straight up true (but then can you really trust the Sun to get anything bar the basic name-and-date facts right?), then they are both equally ridiculous.

However, my suspicion behind the marshmallow article is that it may be something along the lines of the treatment which I received in school - 'harmless' bullying and teasing which on a constant drip over many years led me to have a mild breakdown in the classroom. My 'trigger' was even more innocuous than a marshmallow - mine was a spit ball that left me shaking, in tears and in a state that I would have done *anything* to get my persecutors off my back. This was, however, in the days before mobile phones and before I could get in touch with anyone who cared, the moment had 'blown over' (though the mental scars took well over 10 years to heal to a point where I was able to think about the incident without getting upset again).

So - yes, common sense should have been exercised in this case, and it is a sad indictment of UK society as a whole that it went to such extremes, but I have a suspicion that there is a lot more than meets the eye here.

Lou said...

As a sufferer of POTS I'm just glad it was mentioned in an article! I had the same experience as the chap in the article - fobbed off for 12 years (the difference being I didn't squeal to a national paper). It blighted my life - having dizzy spells, lightheadedness, syncope, fatigue, brain fog, overheating etc etc every day from age 14 to 26. The GP would order a blood test, it'd come back normal, then he'd not bother doing anything else. I reckon he thought I was making it up.

Xf said...


Well put. True enough, this could have been the straw that broke the camel's back, so to speak.

I'm concerned that people aren't dealing with these matters more directly themselves though - going to the police has probably made that young lad more of a victim now.

Anonymous said...

Hey there,
Just wanted to say, that I'm pretty sure the marshmallow article was actually an April fools joke. I don't think any of that stuff actually happened - it's just a newspaper winding us up.

Anyways, good stuff.


Xf said...

I can't believe it took so long for someone to actually check the date of this story and say it out loud!


True or not, the effect is the same; everyone getting wound up about it one way or another.

Anonymous said...

Well, to be honest, it took me a little while to work it out (and it was most certainly NOT my girlfriend mentioning it!) - but nonetheless, I did feel a little silly.

So... did anyone else actually notice, or is everyone just going to say they were playing along!?


Anonymous said...

Seriously, as if people's hobbie nowadays is wasting taxpayers money on piteous arguments. I wish i could BUY that marshmellow and "accidentally" throw it at
that brat. Or his parents.

Actually quite a few newspapers online report this story and according to theboilingfrog it is true and claims The Sun also verified it.

Jo said...

I thought if they were April Fool's, they were supposed to take them down / put a comment on them to say so once April 2nd came round (otherwise, according to tradition, *they* are the fools... Wait, it's the Sun... ;-) )

I still say my point about not getting the full facts and jumping to conclusions stands, though :-)