A change of heart

A doctor’s visit, Anton Chekhov (1898) ‘I have palpitations of the heart’ she said, ‘It was so awful all night….I almost died of fright! Do give me something.’ ‘I will, I will; don’t worry yourself.’ Korolyov examined her and shrugged his shoulders. ‘The heart is all right’, he said; ‘it’s all going on satisfactorily; everything Read More …

Laugh ironic, laugh Byronic, laugh sardonic

27th May 1892 Three incidents have made me laugh to-day: the laugh ironic, the laugh Byronic, and the laugh sardonic! Firstly, on visiting an elderly patient who has suffered acutely for many years from a form of tic douloureux, I found her overjoyed at the wonderfully beneficial effects of some pills which I had prescribed. Read More …

The Neurosurgical Teaching Round

“Know him,” the Neurosurgeon said, as we Huddled expectantly, our white coats gleaming. Armed with newly honed skills in taking a history We enquired about headache and vomiting. “No, really know him,” the Consultant insisted, although we did not understand. “Listen without assuming, discover who he is and never suppose what his passions are or Read More …

Too plain, too plain was Signor Gonorrhoea

I this day began to feel unaccountable alarm of unexpected evil: a little heat in the members of my body sacred to Cupid, very like a symptom of that distemper with which Venus, when cross, takes it into her head to plague her votaries. But then I have no risks. I have been with no Read More …

The secret in the throat

The use of force. William Carlos Williams.  The child was fairly eating me up with her cold, steady eyes and no expression to her face whatever.  But her face was flushed, she was breathing rapidly, and I realized that she had a high fever. She had magnificent blonde hair, in profusion. One of those picture Read More …