A Short Essay About Going To The Doctor

There wasn’t time to open my copy of Hazlitt’s essays before we were off. Actually there was time. Just enough time to look at the table of contents and note that there is an essay on Jesus Christ, and I wondered what it might be about, and whether Hazlitt would be a fan or not – and I was closing my book and putting it in my pocket. We were walking. We had been called. Laetitia knew where to go. I followed.

She was sick and I was at the doctor’s surgery with her as a kind of moral support. It was important, if you decided you were too unwell to attend work and really did need a doctor’s certificate, to show up at the medical centre bright and early. Bright and early suggests enthusiastic and keen, but there were no springs in steps and no glossy coats and waggy tails in the waiting room. Just sick people, looking sick, waiting to be seen by a doctor. Arriving early, not long after the surgery opened for the day, was the best way to avoid crowds of contagious people sputtering all over each other in an artificially heated, too warm, environment where everyone has to wait for ages. This is what you are condemned to if you ring up and make an appointment, as you always wait until well after the appointed time. Instead: show up as early as possible, with no prior phone call, and get straight in – brilliant.

We hoped it would be a brilliant strategy. It had worked before. But there was always a chance it wouldn’t work, hence Hazlitt being in the pocket of my moleskin jacket. I was dressed for work, as indeed was Laetitia – it was only after she had got ready that she decided that it would be too much of an ask to go in. She was having trouble breathing, was tiring easily, too easily, and small things were an effort. This is what problematic asthma can do, and it’s why we were at the medical centre at 7:30am. And it worked.

We went straight in, pretty much, beckoned by a woman who may not have even been 5 feet tall. She was a cute little compact Asian lady and she was our doctor for the morning. We liked her very much. I sat in on the consultation. In a friendly way Laetitia was told to look after herself and given medications to take. The doctor commiserated with her and gave her a note for sick days over the rest of the week and basically ordered her to take it easy and stay at home and allow herself to get back to better health.

We went to a pharmacy and did a small amount of supermarket shopping – Laetitia becoming woozy at one point, and only able to move at a slow pace – and sipped a Boost Juice purchased with a voucher in Laetitia’s wallet.

She was sick though, still, and would be for days. Still is in fact. I had been very worried, and I still was worried but not in the same way now that there had been a doctor and a pharmacist and the problem was reduced to its clinical essentials. These were known features countered with scientific expertise and the benefit of wisdom. There were sprays and pills and other products to use. It was neat and it all seemed less chaotic. To me at least.

At home we spent some time in the backyard, in the sun, and ate hot chips while watching a TV show about clueless people badly planning a wedding. We watched a documentary about Woody Allen, and I began falling asleep, and we both had a nap, and when I woke up the dogs and the cat were up on the big bed, and so were the two of us, and I felt better, and Laetitia was calmer, better for the rest, and the morning in the surgery was a vestige of a figment of a memory.

Published in: on August 30, 2012 at 8:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

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