I'm often contacted by patients who ask the strangest questions - some of them of a medical nature, some of them not - but I always endeavour to answer all of them impartially, and without prejudice, even when I know that one has been sent by a fruitcake.
Now though, as I near the end of my medical career, and I'm in need of extra funds to keep me going through my twilight years, I considered that sharing just a few of these letters with my readership wouldn't hurt.
Well, it wouldn't hurt me, anyway.
With this in mind, I've decided to publish a few of the 'more quirky' questions right here on TheSpoof.com, so that readers can benefit from my vast experience of matters medical, and perhaps learn something about human nature as well.
Often, my medical colleagues try to protect their patients from the truth, telling them, even when the worst possible news is in the wind, that "things will be fine", "not to worry" and other such piffle.
I, meanwhile, always like to give my patients the cold, hard facts, and allow them to deal with them in their own way, for better or worse.
This first letter I'm going to show you was sent to me more than 10 years ago by a man who wanted to know if it was harmful to swallow ants. The full letter is published below.
Dear Dr Kenwood,
I have always been a fan of yours, even through that nasty debacle with the young girl, and value your opinion more than any other TV doctor. My question concerns ants.
The other day, whilst I was cutting our back lawn, my wife made some lovely scones, and shouted to me to come and have one with a cup of tea with her in the kitchen. When I didn't join her immediately, she put the tea and scone next to a chair on our back patio rather than have me traipse freshly-cut grass into the house. About ten minutes later, I remembered the scone, and went to sit down.
It was delicious, but as I took the last bite, I noticed two ants on it, but not in time to stop myself putting it into my mouth. I swallowed hard fearing that the ants might bite my mouth, and the scone disappeared down my throat. So far, so good.
However, two nights later, as I got ready for bed, I could feel a tickling in my tummy, and my mind was cast back to the scone incident. Now I'm worried there could be ants in my tummy doing irreparable damage to my stomach lining.
Please assure me on this tricky problem. Have I got ants inside me?
Dr Kenwood writes:
Almost certainly, old chap! And what's more is that ants reproduce very quickly. In a matter of, say, two to three weeks, a whole colony of ants could have formed in your gut, which could quite easily be 10million strong by August Bank Holiday.
I'm afraid to inform you that the worst-case scenario is that those pesky little ants could eventually devour you from within, and that there is nothing whatsoever that you can do about this.
You should have been more careful.
Hope this helped.
Dr M Kenwood M.D., C.J.D., V.D.