Staff at St Mary’s Hospital on the Isle of Wight have realised that, just like in the lives of characters in Holby City and Casualty, the problems and issues in their own lives are mirrored by the health problems of their patients.
The epiphany came when Frank Smith was admitted to the hospital for a routine colonoscopy. ‘It was uncanny,’ said Sister Williams, ‘the insertion of a camera into the anus of Mr Smith seemed to act as a metaphor for the events in my own life. I could feel something strange, and a little uncomfortable the moment the procedure began. As the endoscope was inserted into Mr Smith’s rectum, I was immediately reminded of how, just like Mr Smith’s bowel, I had recently had to be evacuated. In my case this was from a storage cupboard in the Emergency Department where, just like a contrived plot device, a sexually frustrated colleague had tried to molest me.’
Other staff reported similar experiences. Registrar Dr Jones told reporters, ‘At the stage of intravenous sedation of Mr Smith, I was immediately reminded of my own need for medication for my undisclosed brain tumour. I realised that I require major brain surgery in order to survive. However, when the endoscopist delved a little deeper into Mr Smith’s colon I realised that I was already in a world of shit and nothing could be done. My thinking changed again when the procedure was completed and the endoscope removed, leaving me thinking that there might actually be a way out. This was a real cliffhanger and I am going to think about what do next for at least another week.’
One junior doctor, Dr Jenkins, explained how the entire procedure on Mr Smith reflected his unrequited love for one of the nurses at the hospital, ‘When the endoscope entered the laxative-evacuated bowel, I felt an overwhelming sense of passion towards staff nurse Hobbs. The intrusive surveillance of the colon reflected my, so far, inept attempts at summoning up enough courage to ask her out for a drink. Every time I have tried so far, our sexual tension manifests itself in petty squabbling. However, I witnessed that, owing to to tight turns and redundancy in areas of the colon that are not ‘fixed’, loops started to form in the endoscope. Despite the clear discomfort visible in Mr Smith, I saw this looping as a clear sign that cupid’s bow was still pulling me towards Miss Hobbs.’
Mr Smith was diagnosed with a malignant growth in his colon and was prescribed a special kind of radiotherapy that involved hourly treatments on Saturday and Tuesday evenings.