Conversations in the Clinic

I am fascinated by how Swazis name their children. I can understand the delight of having a new baby. Names such as “Happiness”, “Lucky” and “Precious” make perfect sense. But what about calling the most recent addition to your family “Futhi” which means another girl or even “Sanelisiwe” which translates as we have had enough… Continue reading Conversations in the Clinic


Mathilda looked over her ill-fitting spectacles and smirked a little as she slid a folded piece of paper across my consulting room desk. The result of her fasting blood glucose test was abnormally high. I copied the figure down in her medical notebook using a red ballpoint pen, with theatrical emphasis. She folded her arms… Continue reading Sugar

There’s nowt so queer as folk

“You have risen me up from the dead!” said the delighted gogo. I hadn’t a clue how I had done this. I try to do my best for my patients, but I don’t do miracles. She saw from the look on my face that I was perplexed. “You cured my sugar, docotela,” she said. “Don’t… Continue reading There’s nowt so queer as folk


The young man needed to be physically examined. He stripped off his shirt to demonstrate various abrasions, lacerations and bruises as proof of his having been assaulted. The problem for me was that these injuries did not appear to have been sustained at the same time. Some appeared to be recent, within a few days,… Continue reading Patients