Post 73 'I think I may have swallowed some gas, Doctor.'

A few years ago, I was on the front line in our Accident and Emergency Department when a kid of about 17 attended.    He looked anxious but also had a shifty look on his face.

He said he had been ‘out on the town’ and might have swallowed some gas.   He was cagey about the circumstances but I suspected he had been trying to steal fuel.   I suppose I ought to have asked in more detail how definite he was that it was gas and how much he had swallowed, but since I doubted I would get an honest answer, I didn’t.

‘Will I be OK?’ he wanted to know.

I consulted the National Poisons Data base, and along with the history and lack of symptoms, I decided he would be okay.    I reassured him and gave him the usual advice to return if any problems developed, but he still seemed concerned.

‘Is there anything else I can help you with?’ I asked.

‘Er, well,’ he said, ‘when can I have a smoke?’

I felt a bit mean at this point, surmising what he had been up to and replied, ‘I’d give it a couple of months, if I was you!’

                                                                                        Based on a story by Isabel Tipple

When I first read this story, it reminded me of another, told to me by a man whose son was about to leave home to go to college.

‘If you can come to me in three years time,’ his father said, ‘when you leave college and you can look me in the eye and honestly say that you have never taken drugs, I will give you $500.’

‘You mean from now Dad,’ his son replied.

If you have a light hearted medical story that you would like to share, please get in touch.

For details of Peter’s novels and collections of short stories, search ‘Peter Sykes’ on Amazon Books                          All proceeds in aid of The East Cheshire Hospice.