Monthly Archives: November 2010

Self-Diagnosis Via Google Could Lead To Amputation…

I always advise people, strongly, not to try and diagnose anything on the internet. And definitely not to Google any symptons for themselves or their pets, friends, partners or children. At all. Ever. Under any circumstances.

Earlier this year I found a lump on my leg. I am a fit and healthy young-ish person and spend most of my time out of doors doing physical activities. The reason I noticed the lump in the first place was because my leg was sore after horse riding (I do not regularly check my own legs for bumps or signs of unsoundness like I fastidiously check my horses legs!), it was also roughly the size of a chickens egg, hard to miss in other words.

I poked and prodded this lump. It was tender and moveable (Lymphoma!), I could not feel all around it (tumour!) and it had increased in size over night (Hodkins disease!). I duly telephoned the doctor for an appointment. This took several days to get a booking, the story of actually trying to achieve the enormous feat of getting a doctors appointment is a whole other blog. Date booked for the following week.

Needless to say that by the time I got to see the doctor, I had worked up quite a frenzy from the profusion of information on diagnosing myself thanks to Google. On arriving to see the doctor, my first statement to him was not “can you have a look at this lump”, as it should have been. To my eternal embarrassment, my opening line was “how quickly can I ride again after having my prosthetic limb fitted?”  You see, during the time I had to wait to see him, not only had I diagnosed my own tumourous leg, I had also (in my head) organised an immediate amputation (there was no other way), found, fitted and got used to a false limb (traumatic, but I was very brave) and was planning my fitness regime to return to full competition riding asap (heroic girl takes Olympic Gold for GBR). I had even gone so far as to Google potential Riding for the Disabled Clubs in my area (


He kept a straight face, that blessed doctor. He immediately and without hesitation diagnosed an infected sebaceous gland, gave me some antibiotics and sent me on my way. It took about 30 seconds.

I still have both legs.

What Are You Doing In There?

I work in a Training Centre, which officially names me as the Manager. My job is interesting and varied yet lately, I have become almost totally immersed in peoples toileting habits, through no fault of my own. My desk sits opposite the entrance to the ladies loo. From my position, I am able to see and monitor who goes in and how long they are in there for. I do not actually hold a log for this and I am not overly interested in who, when and for how long but what I really want to know is, what are they doing?

The delegates that come here are all very highly qualified professionals which doesn’t equate to low-life behaviour or parties in the toilets but that is often what the scenes inside the loo’s greet me with. They look like something from a Weatherspoons Pub though I hasten to add, my delegates do not.

Only yesterday, Monday morning no less, I check the toilets first thing, all clean and shiney and in good working order (there are three cubicles). I stock up on toilet roll (three full rolls in each), top up the hand towels and ensure there is soap, air freshener and that the hand drier is working. 14 delegates arrive, of which 9 are ladies. Lectures start at 9.30am, first break 11am. After first break, FOUR WHOLE toilet rolls have been used, one cubicle is awash with water and there is a trail of paper towels across the floor. I clean up and restock.

I check the loos again at lunch time and add a further toilet roll. I also check the gents toilets, all clean (usual aroma of male urine but hey-ho, quick squirt of air-freshner) and no need for any more loo roll.

At the end of the day, the delegates fill out a questionnaire regarding their training day and our centre. Yesterday, one delegate wrote on their feedback form that they were disappointed by the ‘shocking state’ of the toilets. I immediately went in to the ladies loo to investigate and what did I find? One cubicle door broken and hanging down, a toilet seat ripped off it’s base (same cubicle) and no toilet roll at all.


At no time whatsoever during the afternoon did I hear anything suspicious going on. Why did nobody say anything? Why do they leave it until the end of the day then write it on the bloody questionnaire so my boss can read it and assume I am running a shabby ship?

This morning (Tuesday), I put an Out Of Order sign on the broken toilet cubicle door, this will have to do until the maintenance man comes. I have 12 delegates today, 5 of which are ladies. There are a total of 6 loo rolls in the two available toilets. I check the toilets before morning break at 11am, all is well. At 11.05am a female delegate exited the toilet and came over to me, slightly flustered, and said “there was only one sheet of toilet roll for me to wipe with”. WTH? Why was she being so graphic? Why was there only one goddam ‘sheet’ of loo roll? I had checked them with my own eyes only minutes before!

It is not yet the end of the day so I will await to see what feedback I get regarding the toilets. So far 8 toilet rolls have been used by a total of 5 women over three breaks. Seriously, what are they doing?

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