I visit the Doctor, suffering from an embarrassing male complaint (part 2).

“So what makes you think that?” asks the Doctor, raising his eyebrows.

I take a deep breath, in an attempt to mask my shame in a show of new-mannity. “Well you see the thing is,” I begin, struggling for the right words to describe the symptoms of my condition, “essentially what happens is that, what I find, I have been having difficulties, I just can’t…”

The Doctor raises his eyebrows further. They sit atop his pate, querulously.

“I am having real problems drinking more than about three pints,” I confide. “That is to say, after about the second or third, I start to feel sick and I can’t really drink any more. So I suspect that I have probably got coeliac disease.” His eyebrows hover above his head. “That is an intolerence of wheat or wheat-based products,” I add for the benefit of anybody who is hiding in his surgery, perhaps in one of the cupboards or behind the fourth wall, who would need the term ‘coeliac disease’ clarified and who could not be bothered to use Google.

The Doctor stares at me with pursed lips. “The thing is,” I continue, keen to show that I have done some proper research and am not just wasting NHS time, “I can drink cider until the cows come home. I mean, honestly, cider is no problem. I drink it all night, and really then the only issue is that I fall over. But I can’t really do beer any more.”

There is a small cracking noise as his eyebrows work their way through the ceiling, leaving two small holes behind.

We discuss aspects of my diet for a bit, and whether I do or do not have the shits. He informs me that there is a simple test that will tell me whether I do, or whether I do not, have coeliac disease. This is reassuring. It would be good if it could be caught quickly, as in the long term me not being able to drink beer could cost the NHS millions.

“So to sum up,” concludes the Doctor, leaning back in his chair, “you would rather be diagnosed with a serious medical condition than be thought some sort of wuss.”

“Erm – yes. That’s about the size of it, I suppose.”

The Doctor sighs. “Okay. Go and book yourself a blood test then.”

13 Comments

  1. I saw “no comments” and thought it was an instruction. You haven’t a hope in hell if it was! I’ve heard of this Coeliac complaint – have you been near any prehistoric fish recently?

  2. That’s that then, isn’t it. A very dear friend swears by Aspalls Cyder, she won’t drink anything else. You’ll have to get the Chipper Barman to order you some in.

  3. Keep the doctor, he’s a very wise man

  4. If you really couldn’t tolerate wheat then you also couldn’t tolerate bread or cereal. I presume you must subside only on chickens and eggs.

    My remedy for this situation is to start drinking cocktails instead of beer. Three cocktails will make you more sloshed than three beers, plus you will have the added bonus of improving your bowls game and your parenting/delegation skills.

  5. “…you would rather be diagnosed with a serious medical condition than be thought some sort of wuss”

    Can’t it be both? I vote for both…

  6. Hmm… I’m no doctor, but I’ll have a look at it for you. Just pop your clothes off and get up over the pits…

  7. Have you tried drinking on an empty stomach? In my experience, that’s the best type of stomach on which to drink.

    Basically, you’re bribing your digestive organs into taking nutrition from the beer, and as part of the deal, they’re obliged to metabolize the alcohol as well. Everybody wins!

  8. Perhaps you just need a more balanced diet, maybe substitute any bread you were eating for beer therefore limiting the intake of wheat?
    “Ham sandwich for lunch Jonny?”
    “I’ll just have the ham and a Fosters please”

  9. You should have said it was serious. Blimey, had I known it was something this… this… this beer related I would never have taken the piss.

    Erm, sorry – that was unintentional.

    Mostly.

  10. Footnote: wine is ok as well. Can drink loads of that. And loads.

  11. You can actually – really – go to a doctor with a complaint like this and not get a verbal thick ear?
    My how times have changed.
    He should have given you a colonoscopy , gastroscopy and other such things. That would show you.
    Maybe he will.

  12. So that’s why you got all huffy-puffy at my question [comment #8] in Part 1 of this story.

    How ’bout beer and Lomotil?

  13. You can get wheat-free beer, I know St Peter’s Brewery near here make a good one. I agree with you, it’s a serious situation.

    Your doctor sounds more sympathetic than mine.

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