River Wissey Lovell Fuller

What does the Doctor think this month (november 2011)

October 2011

Where do I come from: Recently, I prepared a lecture about my Great, Great Uncle, Sir James Young Simpson, an eminent obstetrician inEdinburgh in the mid 1800’s who pioneered the use of chloroform in labour. At that time, the prevailing view was that women should suffer during childbirth – “pain is therapeutic – how can a woman love a child for whom she has not suffered?” – etc. Sir James though this attitude appalling and his search for pain-free labour made him many enemies in the medical establishment. It also gained him QueenVictoria’s patronage and a thriving obstetric practice, treating those pregnant ladies who did not subscribe to the above opinion!

I then dug out my family motto, coat of arms and the origins of the name Nisbet and all went well for a time. The Nisbets hail from the lowlands of Scotlandand parts of Berwickshire. We can trace the line back to 1073 and, in the 12th century, the Nisbets built two castles, since gone. Nisbet House, built in the 1630s, still stands (in private ownership)at Duns in Berwickshire, quite near thevillage ofNisbet. The motto, “I Byd It” counsels patience and fortitude in times of stress, anxiety and neglect, and the bearing without complaint of such burdens as may fall upon those entitled to use the motto. The coat of arms features 3 boars’ heads, (the boar is a symbol of bravery and perseverance) Sable(constancy) and Argent (peace and sincerity).

So far, so good. I can identify with the above – Castle owners, patience and fortitude in times of stress, anxiety and neglect, bearing burdens without complaint, bravery, perseverance, constancy, peace and sincerity – that’s me all over! Happily, Head Office tends not to read these articles as, Heaven forfend, she may disagree with my assessment; I shall try to get this article to the publishers before she has a chance to interject.

It all went a bit pear-shaped when I came to the origin of the name Nisbet. It would appear that the name comes from the Old Norse “ness”, meaning “nose” and “bit”, meaning “mouthful”. Try as I can, I cannot make anything remotely pleasant or self aggrandising out of that. OK, we do tend to have big noses and, very occasionally, someone might receive a mouthful if they really upset me. So far as I know, my ancestors were not in the habit of biting off mouthfuls of their enemies’ noses and we certainly never talk with our mouths full! I suspect that the motto, suggesting endurance in the face of people taking the mick, may have been born out of frustration at being called “big.nosed mouthy types” by the early Nisbets’ acquaintances and enemies. I would be most grateful if none of you could mention this name business to Management as she has, of course, become a Nisbet by marriage.

TIME FOR HUMOUR: A class of eight year olds was asked to define “A Grandparent”

Grandparents are a lady and a man who have no little children of their own but like other people’s.

Grandparents don’t have to do anything but be there when we come to see them.

They wear glasses and funny underwear. They can take their teeth and gums out.

Grandpa is the smartest man on earth. He teaches me good things but I don’t see him often enough to become as clever as he is. When they bend over, you hear a gas leak and they blame the dog.

My favourite: Where does your Grandma live? Grandma lives at the airport. When we need her, we go and get her. Then, when we don’t need her any more, we take her back to the airport.

An elderly friend of mine has been banned from Tesco’s for life. He had bought a huge bag of Winalot for his dog. At the checkout, the lady behind him in the queue asked him if he had a dog! He was tired – “No, Madam, I have decided to go back on the Winalot diet. Winalot is nutritionally complete – I load my pockets with nuggets and chew one when I feel hunger”. I shouldn’t really go back on this diet because, last time, after I had lost 2 stones in weight, I ended up in intensive care with tubes in every orifice. The lady and the rest of the queue were fascinated by this. She had to ask “Did you end up in intensive care because the dog food poisoned you? Did it make you dehydrated?” The reply came back “No, madam, I stepped off the kerb to smell the bottom of a rather good-looking Irish Setter and a car hit me” The manager laughed his head off, then banned my friend for life!

I saw Leslie Nielsen on TV recently and I have to pass on the following idea – it works brilliantly. You are out with a friend; choose a place where your conversation will be overheard by several people, all of whom will pretend not to be listening. Carry out the following conversation:

How’s your brother Oh, not well Oh Dear, what’s happening – is he in bed? Yes, he just sort of lies there, looking really pale Does he eat? No Does he drink? No Does he say anything? No

Have you called the doctor in? Oh, Yes What did he say? Well, the doctor says he’s dead, but….

Stop at this point and look around at all those who were “not listening”.

I often hear a programme trailed on Radio 4. It is called “Crossing Continents” but I always hear “Cross incontinents” and visualise irate elderly persons sitting in their puddles. As a GP, I have spent a lot of time helping gynae patients to obtain cycle control. I usually visualise those with poor cycle control falling off their bikes; once the association is made, thinking of it is inevitable. Must be my Norse genes!

Best wishes to you all – Ian Nisbet

Copyright remains with independent content providers where specified, including but not limited to Village Pump contributors. All rights reserved.