To take my mind off what I’m in for, I recall a particular visit to my local GP a decade ago.
When you read this piece, I’ll likely be looking up at the theatre’s bright light at a heart clinic. To take my mind off what I’m in for, I recall a particular visit to my local GP a decade ago that could’ve be a script for another Carry on Doctor.
I had picked up a virus doing the rounds – the one attacking the bronchial mechanism. It probably lodged in my sinuses at a jam-packed cheese festival held in a draughty tent when a beehive, purple-rinse lady squeezed up against my back, sneezed, spreading a mixture of cheddar and blue cheese immersed in red pinotage down my neck.
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The virus enjoyed the surfing. That same night came the coughing spell, driving my Heidi into the spare room. Next day saw no improvement, so the choice: doctor or hospital.
I’m bundled into the car, barefoot and still in my tatty gown. The good doctor was awaiting my arrival like a vulture sniffing blood. His surgery was unconventional. More like live theatre presenting a one-man stage play.
Before doing any prognosis, the doctor jocularly tells about patients he had just manhandled. He fancied himself a shrink and figures a few funny stories would take the strain off the patient.
No chance. Now the full treatment with in-depth inspections up the nose, down the throat and in the ears. Then the freezing stethoscope against fevered body with the instruction to breathe in and out.
It results in a paroxysm of coughing that has poor doc frantically groping for a nose guard. Too late. The virus is back in the surf. But the show goes on. Act Two.
“Now for a double jab to kill the germ dead. We’ll practice on your right bumsy-whumsy and if it misses we’ll tackle the left one.”
The practice shot hits an artery, with my precious O being absorbed in the assistant’s swabs.
“Not to worry, old son, the second one always gets home.”
And it does, because I feel a prick – and then each painful drop of serum as it flows into a tiny vein unused to a flood of foreign fuels. But I survived.
Until today, that is. Through the blinding light I espy the surgeon emerging. My heart skips a beat. It’s Sid James in scrubs. What’s my role now?