Hey, come on! That has to be a great title doesn’t it? And it’s true. Yesterday I was in one of the large supermarkets when I noticed that a lady who must have been in her sixties was following me around and giving me furtive looks. And then, as I turned away from the Deli counter (two slices of Ox tongue and two onion bahjies if you must know) she spoke.
“Are you Martyn Hooper?”
I’m always a little cautious when this happens because I never know if the person is from my bank. I replied I was.
“I’m a nurse who used to work with your sister”.
“I’ve been retired ten years”.
“I have shingles – really bad shingles”
I guessed what was coming
“You don’t have any B12 do you – the tablets I’m taking are hopeless and my GP won’t give me any B12”
You see, up until the early 1980’s B12 was used to treat shingles. I was speaking to a GP about this a few weeks ago and he told me that some of the older doctors in his practice remember treating shingles with B12 but he didn’t know why it worked or why it was stopped being used – probably because of some new drug being introduced.
I told the retired nurse that I did indeed have some B12 and that if she followed me home I would give her some. She did and I provided her with a bottle of the B12 spray and told her if that didn’t work I could allow her some injections that she would have to self-administer. I made the point that she should tell her GP what she was doing.
And that was it – I haven’t seen her since.
September 3rd, 1959. I was one of 289,242 babies born on that Thursday. Apart from me...