Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Ooh Doctor

I don’t know about you, but I come over all Miranda Hart whenever I go to see anyone medical.  It could be a nurse, it could be a doctor, or on occasions it could be a consultant – regardless of who it is, the metamorphosis begins as soon as I step in the door.  First of all, I start to feel a little hot, and then I crack the one liners – you know, you’re lying there legs akimbo whilst an uninterested nurse rustles behind the curtain to show that she is ‘chaperoning’ and the male doctor attempts to shove a metal speculum into your firmly clamped lady bits in an attempt to get a smear- and rather than the ‘ooh it’s cold’ and giggle slightly self conciously type of reaction that everyone else has, I say ‘I hope to God it doesn’t start to buzz’ and then giggle slightly maniacally.  I know… It gets worse.  Having clambered off the bed, I inform both of my startled companions that I have put my Granny pants on especially for the occasion.  Note I said my Granny pants, not my Grannies pants (that would just be weird).

I am absolutely fine when it comes to the kids being ill, in fact I excel at being the efficient, well informed mother, often trying to point the professional in the right direction, the boys dying of embarrassment. As a result, unless a leg is physically hanging off, my boys would rather not go to the doctor… 

I like to think that whatever medical journey I go on, my little attacks of Mirandaisms spread a little joy in the establishments that I visit. And it is a bit contagious.  A number of years ago I had what is known in the genteel surroundings of Surrey as a ‘little op down below’, and to the rest of us, ‘a hysterectomy’, due to a condition called adenomyosis.  My consultant was a small Welsh man, with the intense attitude synonymous with all consultants and lawyers that I have ever met.  On the post op examination, we got over the whole embarrassment of the internal investigation (I will leave it to your imagination what I came out with once he lubricated his hands with a huge pot of petroleum jelly) and  he pronounced me fit and well, and looked up at me from between my legs with a smile and said ‘Yes, all looks great, people pay good money to look that good in Hollywood’. And then I was dismissed, open mouthed.

Likewise, when G was struck down with what turned out to be gallstones, I gallantly offered to take him to the doctor’s surgery so that she could check him out.  Of course, he is registered at a different place to mine and the kids, mainly due to the fact that he has lived in this area all of his life and never changed it.  So it was with interest that on the 3rd of January this year I sat on a seat in a doctors waiting room, and was the only well person doing so.  G huffed and puffed beside me, with the agony that comes with protracted labour, and moaning softly at intervals.  Old ladies greeted each other with ‘How was your Christmas?’, seated old men nodded at each other over  their walking sticks and hassled mummies rocked buggies of red faced screaming kids.  It was all very interesting.  A rather large lady entered the waiting room – obviously a bit of a local surgery celebrity, several voices raised to greet her. One lady, dressed head to toe in lilac shouted across the room ‘How’s your vagina?’  I started to get that familiar hot feeling under my collar as I stared at the large lady. 

‘Not too bad, not too bad’, she answered gallantly as she slowly made her way over to her concerned friend.  ‘Playing up a bit, and it was really bad over Christmas – spent most of it laid up in bed’.  I looked around wildly – there was no reaction in the surgery.  Perhaps they were all deaf.  I stared…
G dug me in the ribs and hissed, ‘What are you looking at?’  I whispered back.  He looked at me incredulously, his pain momentarily forgotten.

 ‘Angina, she said Angina’… I began to snicker in relief as everyone stared at me.

This week I had to go and see a consultant about a dodgy Achilles tendon that renders me lame at certain points of the day.  I was determined not to embarrass myself.  I turned up early, filled in the form, and sat waiting.  I was called in.  The consultant was looking at my notes, and bade me to sit down. 

Immediately I started.
 ‘Ooh, am I in the naughty chair then?’ He glanced at me.

‘No, it is so that I can examine your foot…’

He was actually a very nice chap, and he diagnosed what was wrong, and said that he would arrange for me to have a scan and what not.  He was treating me like an equal, and I felt quite adult and in control. After then telling me what he was recommending, he then said that he would get it actioned asap, and began to write.  What I should have done was put my shoes on and sat there politely until I was dismissed.  What I actually did was engage in a final conversation.

Without thinking, I said, ‘Oh, so you’re not left handed?!’ No, I don’t know why I said that either. But he looked up surprised, and queried why I would say that.  You know when you start something and you don’t know why you started it and then you start trying to justify why you said the thing that you didn’t know you were going to say until you did?  (Or is it just me?)

Needless to say, he seemed confused. And I seemed to have got over my lameness as I limp-ran out to the car.

It’s probably just me and Miranda, isn’t it?

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