Like most men, I love visiting doctors. It’s right up there with clothes shopping, food shopping, and having your leg cut off with a rusty hacksaw. My LSW (Long Suffering Wife) pointed out that I had some ‘suspicious spots’ that needed checking, along with my eye and ear complaints. “What ‘eye and ear complaints’?!” I shouted. “Ask the doctor why you can’t hear my voice when I’m talking to you, but you can hear the kids opening the door of your beer fridge from the backyard. And why you can’t seem to see when the rubbish bin needs emptying.”
I went to the doctors’ as it was the lesser of two evils. Minutes later I was comfortably seated in a cool waiting room reading an interesting article in an ancient New Idea. Unfortunately the article came in two parts and it took me half an hour of digging through the book pile to find the second instalment.
During this time several people, who had come in after me, were ushered straight through to see the doctor. Watching them over the top of my magazine, I must admit to thinking the odd dark thought about cue jumpers, when the surgery door was flung open and in walked a victim of the latest flu outbreak. He had it bad too. A real lung busting, doubled over, hack and wheeze cough, coupled with a non-stop runny nose. He was still in his pyjamas and obviously beyond care. Of course, he sat down right behind me.
As he went into another fit of coughing, I could feel his germs spraying all over my back, so clutching my magazine, I moved to a chair on the other side of the room hopefully out of sneezing range. To my horror he started thumbing through the magazines while clutching a dripping hanky. I looked at the magazine in my hands and wondered how many other infections I’d just picked up during my own extended search through that book pile.
Ever notice how your nose itches when you don’t want to put your hands anywhere near your face? The itch was reaching eye-watering stage when the doctors’ assistant appeared, I stood up and said, “Finally!” She shook her head, “Doctor’s not ready yet, we had a suspected case of meningococcal virus earlier and I forgot to clean the chair the patient was sitting in.” She whipped out a bottle of disinfectant and a cloth. Guess which chair needed cleaning.
By the time I saw the doctor I was a wreck. He informed me that my blood pressure was slightly elevated and I was a little flushed. The spots, the original reason for my visit, were nothing to worry about apparently, and he hinted that perhaps I shouldn’t be such a hypochondriac. When I got home I leaped from the car and straight into the shower. While I was frantically scrubbing myself clean with three different types of disinfectant, LSW popped her head into the bathroom and said, “There, that wasn’t so bad now was it? You really should go more often.” I started sneezing.