An Apple a day dear.

Tanvir Naomi Bush Uncategorized 5 Comments

Levy Mwanawasa died. He was only 59 and turns out he had been doing, comparitively, rather a sterling job as Zambia’s Prime Minister. He had actually told Mugabe where to get off. Sadly he had been involved in a terrible car crash some years ago. Dad was one of the medics who helped get him prepped to be medi-vacced (flown out of the country for treatment) and Dad had said he was very lucky to have survived in the first place. He had managed to recover and run a country but that crash had affected his health and well..one thing and another. Diabetes. A stroke. I am sorry.
What now Zambia?

I went to the doctor later yesterday afternoon. I was the last patient and had to wrangle with the receptionist for her to keep the lights on.

I was feeling under the weather.. Not just tired but ‘stupid tired’ to coin the medical terminology. It had hit me like a sack of custard last week and I was still falling asleep all over the place. Given that falling asleep mid counselling session at Citizens Advice with some poor sod desperately trying to tell me about their house being repossessed was hardly fair. I thought I should just have a check up.

The doctor is a pale wearily posh bloke. He ushers me into his room with the heavy exhausted boredom of the British GP. Adorning his spare chair is a trainee who is rather too old for her hairdo. Pigtails. She too looks terminally bored. Immediately I feel mollified for bothering them in their orgy of ennui.

I am a doctor’s daughter. I want them to know I understand basic general practice. I am not your ordinary punter patient. Oh nooo.. I grew up in a place where people died of cerebral malaria in three days..where friends were gored by buffalo….I have shot films in HIV/AIDS hospices. I know about sickness.

‘I am stupid tired’. I say. Its not going well.

Doc nods patiently. I can almost hear him thinking about the chardonnay in his fridge.

I rethink tactics. First always start with an apology based on the doctor’s default assumption that you are a raging hypochondriac.

‘I am sorry to bother you.’ I get into my stride pretty quickly. ‘I am sure I am absolutely fine but the symptoms came on very quickly last week and I can’t shake them and I just want to rule out any potential parasites including Bilhazia and Giadiasis as I was in Zambia last February. Oh…. and you should know that I have a bad reaction to Flagyll. It makes me hallucinate. There was this one time when I was being treated for amoebic dysentery and they gave me Flagyll! It was hilarious….I wondered around the house locking everyone in their rooms for safety thinking we were being attacked by thieves ..my mother had to follow me around unlocking stuff… I mean I know its not dysentery… obviously,… I am not lying on the floor howling..I am sure it is just a low level thing… not malaria..although I did have that years ago..well anyway…perhaps a blood disorder.. I did have tick fever as a child and something similar recurred in 2002 after I was in contact with bacterial meningitis…’

I trail off. The doctor still hasn’t blinked but now I can see the whites of his eyes. Behind him the woman doc has picked up a scalpel and is trying to hide it under her stethoscope.

‘Ahh..I..er…maybe..anaemia due to a blood dis…’,I start hopefully

Sweat has broken out on the pale doc’s forehead. The other one has distinctly white knuckles.

‘Errmm…I..am ..perhaps I am just getting a cold… ‘ I smile reassuringly at them. ‘You know what..I am sure it’s absolutely nothing. Heh ho. The weather’s been atrocious and all that eh? That’s it. Just a cold. ‘

I edge out of the room with a prescription for paracetomol and just manage to spring for the door before the receptionist locks it behind me. They must have telephoned through.

Strangely I feel absolutely fine now. I AM a raging hypochondriac after all. What a relief! Embarrassed yes but also refreshed and energised. I don’t even need the paracetomol. I feel like dancing. And then I notice that I have left my handbag behind…

Comments 5

  1. Ha! It can go either way with these English doctors, no? Either “don’t try and tell me my job, I know what malaria is (yea, right!)” or “Aaaah, WHAT? Put her in quarantine!” Hope you feel better.

  2. I used to think CFB was bad but at least they did make you feel that you were being listend to. The doctors here just want to stay as far away from you as possible and get you out of their surgery as fast as possible. I am thinking of having a checkup soon (just a general oil and water change kinda thing) but seriously thinking of heading back home for it!! Whats the point here? unless i am super rich and can pay for the doctor to look interested!
    I hope you feel better soon sweets xxx

  3. if gary larson could have written it he would have.. . i see those doctor’s white eyes…!~ hope you are feeling better darlin’? ? let us know! X Janelle

  4. Heh heh. I figure your run of the mill city GP is only useful if you have a day job and need sick notes. Otherwise, I do the homeopathic route these days, so much more precise and subtle with diagnostics. Hope you feel better. Its not nice having an undefined malady. Oh, flagyll is evil stuff. Had me vomiting into my hat as I boarded a plane once…

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