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NHS Networks Blog August 2012

In the consulting room: first signs of post Olympic stress disorder

As the nation remains glued to its television sets and commentators power their metaphors down the home straight to the closing ceremony, frontline NHS staff are dealing with the inevitable casualties. Find out more in the latest in our fly-on-the-wall series about everyday medical folk... 

Doctor: What can I do for you?
Woman in tracksuit: I haven’t been feeling myself.
Doctor: Can you be more specific?
Woman: I have these terrible mood swings. One minute I’m really happy, and the next I’m in floods of tears.
Doctor: Have you been watching sport on television by any chance?
Woman: Yes, but no more than anyone else. 
Doctor: But perhaps a little more than usual… 
Woman: I suppose so. You know how it is, you have a few friends round and end up watching a bit more than you mean to. Before you know it, it’s the women’s boxing.
Doctor: Talk me through a typical day.
Woman: Maybe, um, a bit of badminton, some swimming, gymnastics…
Doctor: That all sounds perfectly normal.
Woman: Sailing, some cycling, hockey, beach volleyball, triathlon…
Doctor: I see.  And when do you usually have your first one of the day.
Woman: Sometimes a little judo or pistol shooting mid-morning, just as a pick-me-up.
Doctor: After a heavy night on the athletics, you mean.
Woman: It’s not a problem. I could stop at any time if I wanted to. 
Doctor: Have you had the runs at all?
Woman: 100 metre sprint,  110 metre hurdles, 200 metres, 400 metre relay…
Doctor: Over the course of a few days, I hope.
Woman: More like a few hours. We’ve got Sky Plus. We can watch it over and over again.
Doctor (writing notes): Binge… sprinting. Any rowing?
Woman: Only sculls.
Doctor: Singles?
Woman: Doubles.
Doctor: What about coxless fours?
Woman: Not the hard stuff. I know my limits.
Doctor: How would you describe your state of mind recently?
Woman: I was fine, you know, leading a normal life, not expecting much.
Doctor: Then what happened?
Woman: At first it was just about taking part and being a good host. I’d have settled for a bronze and a couple of silvers in the archery and that thing with the ribbon.
Doctor: And now?
Woman: I’m finding it takes more and more to keep me satisfied. It’s got to be gold. Nothing else will do.
Doctor: I’m with you there. Now look, you can’t go on like this indefinitely.
Woman: Give it to me straight, doc. How long have I got?
Doctor: It’ll all be over by Sunday. I’m so sorry.
Woman (sobbing uncontrollably): I can’t believe it.
Doctor: I know it’s hard to take in.
Woman: No, I mean I can’t believe we’ve just got gold in the individual dressage. It just came through on my iPhone. I’d better get off; it’s the quarterfinals of the men’s water polo in half an hour. Thanks, doc.
Doctor: Not at all. Would you mind closing the Games on the way out?

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