We're coming up to the national exams in Scotland, the time of year when all the students who have been coasting along, thinking of education as something that’s just poured into their brains, have suddenly decided to do lots of work. They then give it to me to mark. So I’ve been rather busy.
My deaf, confused aunt is still in hospital. Her hip is mending but she seems to have some problem with low blood pressure or possibly her heart. The hospital's about half an hour from here so the round trip takes up a goodly portion of the evening, which doesn’t help the marking. When I visited her yesterday, one of her hearing aids was missing and as I rooted around looking for it, a nice young doctor appeared. Because my son is also a nice young doctor, I smiled warmly at this one. The only snag about him was that he was foreign – maybe Greek or something? – and so even I had some difficulty understanding him. Auntie Jean clearly couldn’t hear a word, though he decently bent over her and shouted in her ear, which helped a bit.
He knew that she too is a doctor. Indeed she can still talk impressively about doctorish matters even though she can’t tell you what she had for her tea. So he addressed to her in medical terms, which I’m sure she would have appreciated if she could have heard him. And of course I, who could hear him, found the accent quite challenging and didn’t know what he was talking about anyway.
Auntie Jean: I’m going home tomorrow.
Nice young doctor: Well, we’re just going to do a JPD test on your haematitis to check for any peridot. [This isn’t what he said at all, of course, but he made sounds approximating to these words.]
Auntie Jean: Very nice, thank you.
Me: What’s a JPD test?
NYD: It’s a [something I couldn’t make out] to make sure that she [something else I couldn’t make out]. And a bit of oxymoron [or whatever].
AJ: I’m going home tomorrow.
NYD: [Loudly] No, not tomorrow. We need to get you checked out first for PRD.
AJ: Yes, and it's wise to make sure there's no ultrapulmonary fusion [or words to that effect].
NYD: [nodding] Yes.
NYD: Postural random dentifrice [or something] – her blood and [something I couldn’t make out].
AJ: Is it tomorrow I’m going home?
The three of us smiled bemusedly at each other and after a bit more, he moved on to the next patient. However, I really appreciated his attempts to communicate and felt sure that his mum would have been proud of him.