I hate going to the doctors. I basically go when summoned, so when they tell me I can’t have any more medicine until I show my face and prove I am not a druggy fending my pills off on the black market and the real Belle is dead. Or something.
But I hate it. I often make appointments and then cancel them when ‘something far more important’ comes up. Truth is, I have established a bit of an aversion to people in the medical profession, especially when they are wielding needles, which they normally are when advancing in my general direction. Eeeeesh.
I hate the reception areas the most. There are two types of people there; coughing people and general other sick people. I don’t like either of them. My immune system is so flat on its back that when I get a cough it lasts for about three months, so I’m tempted to wear one of those SARS masks. I only resist because I think it looks pretentious and if I bump into someone I know it will be embarrassing explaining. Especially if they have a cough.
My main issue is that I go in with something simple and always come out with something more drastic, or the need for ‘further investigation’. It’s just a cough. It might have lasted since April, but at the end of the day, it’s a cough. Nothing has fallen off so I am fine. But they ask you all sorts of questions, and you feel like you are letting them down by not giving them some sort of elaborate answer.
Same thing happens in the optician. They put the funny space glasses on you (that my mum loves. I swear she would actually get a pair of those made to her prescription if she had the chance) and then they fiddle about with it, give you an eye patch and ask you “is it better in one, or two?” you aren’t sure. They look the same. You venture one. They tap you on the top of the glasses, hide the magnifying glass thing behind their back as if they are changing it and come back again “one, or two?” “Um, two?” then they tap you again and say “how about now?” and you feel like you can’t possibly say two again because it’s clearly not the answer they are looking for. I bet the majority of people wearing glasses have the wrong prescription because they are simply trying to please the optician. Who nearly always has halitosis, and if they don’t they had cheese and onion crisps for lunch. Fact.
It’s the same with all ‘services’. As humans we have the need to please, and the funniest one was last Christmas when it was particularly cold. I drove down the road to see a friend and find the road was shut off by the police. “innnnnteresting” I thought, going the other way. I just assumed someone had taken the hairpin bend on the road too fast and gone off into the snow.
I arrived at my friend’s house and pointed to the police cordon, asking what was going on. It turns out a body had been found in the snow and the police had been canvassing to find out if anyone had seen or heard anything.
Jess was embarrassed.
“The police came and knocked on the door and asked if I had seen anything” she said “I hadn’t. But then he asked me WAS I SURE? And I fell to pieces. I had heard a car alarm the other day, and what I thought was a fox but could have been someone screaming. They just put me on the spot!”
It turns out, as we read in the paper a few days later, that there was nothing untoward about the incident; the body had been that of a homeless person who died in the cold. Sad, but nothing as sinister as Jess’ hearing screaming in the street!