A kind reader recently commented that this column reads as though I have spent hours on it. At least, I think they were being kind.

But anyway, I'm afraid the pressures of life and deadlines here at the UK's premier health policy and management magazine mean I actually turn out this column rather quickly and I often wake up on a Monday morning wondering what to write about.

But not this week. Having woken up the previous day with a stiff neck that got progressively more painful as the day went on, I surfaced at the start of the working week in agony.

I also woke up after not enough sleep, as my neck was sore enough to disturb me every time I changed sleeping position.

This did not bode well, so I decided to try to get a walk-in appointment with my GP.

Not fancying my chances of getting an appointment over the phone, I took advantage of the fact that I only live round the corner from his surgery and walked there instead.

Steeled for a long wait and not keen on a morning spent reading tattered editions of People's Friend, I armed myself with two Sunday supplements and a book. I had also readied myself for hordes of stressed patients, so imagine my astonishment when, no sooner had I sat down in the near-deserted waiting room, than I was called upstairs to see the doctor.

A 40-second consultation later he told me I had sprained my neck. How on earth had I done that? I enquired. As readers know, strenuous physical activity is not something I seek out, so I thought myself safe from such ailments.

It's a 'why neck', the doctor cheerfully informed me, as in: 'We don't know why it happens.'

The drama queen in me was hoping for something a bit more specific, but one should never snub one's nose at good health when one has it. My own theory is that our attempts to buy a house have been so stressful that I have been tense even in sleep and my neck has suffered as a result.

But at least I have had the chance to try out my GP at last, seeing as it took us so long to find a practice to register with. Hopefully his referring skills will remain untested for a while longer yet.