In the ideal world…

Posted on November 23, 2009. Filed under: Benign, Journal from behind the desk... |


A patient came in today complaining of having a sore throat, runny nose and feeling awful… 

Aaarg- tichoooooooooo!

I assessed him and advised him that he appeared to have a virus…not an uncommon occurence, but the fact he told me he was feeling awful sort of amused me, then started my brain ticking…(oh no!!)

Why do viruses have to make us feel awful?  I appreciate this microscopic life forms need to reproduce and spread from person to person to keep their existence, and as annoying as this is, it is basically the same as any other life form on the planet, so good luck to it. If the survival of their species is the only reason colds and other viruses exist, would it make evolutionary sense to encourage the host (AKA us!) to stop trying to get rid of them?

Surely if viruses evolved to make us (the host) feel good it would become a happy symbiotic relationship, a bit like the bird that eats the annoying bugs off the hippos back, leaving the hippo less irritated and the bird fed (only the poor bug loses out!)

3 birds on his back…Sounds like being married with two daughters to me!

Why can’t we have airborne viruses that make us feel energised and full of the joys of spring with a euphoric bounce in our step?  If this was the case then people would want viruses, we would feel great when we had them and the virus would be encouraged to thrive.  Sure you’d have some virus abusers, trying to get a viral fix all the time, but perhaps it’d cut down on drug abuse.  See now I’ve ruined this idea with a vision of slutty dressed girls going up to greasy old men in clubs, and slyly whispering in their ear…”Eh mate, fancy a virus?  20 quid???”

There is a down side to every nice thought…what’s that expression…Every silver lining has a cloud?

My original nice thought was this…

Pt: “Good morning Max!  I’ve had a virus and I think it’s gone to my chest”

Max: “So what symptoms did you have and when did they start?”

Pt: “Well before the weekend I started with a tickle in my throat, really made me giggle and feel happy, then I think I had a raised temperature because I felt like someone was giving me a nice warm hug all day, but over the last few days my chest has been tickly as well.  I’m sure it’s just a virus, but would you mind listening to my lungs and check?”

Max after throughly examining the patient: “Your chest is as clear as a bell, it must just be an Upper resp-giggle-tory infection. The bad news is it’ll be cleared up in a few days”.

Ahhhh….how nice….

Max!! Max!!! STOP dreaming….my nose is streaming!

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