I never really know what the correct code of dress should be when visiting the doctor. My Dad would wear a collar, tie and jacket, in fact he wears that to the dentist as well. He is old school and almost 80 years of age, so there is some logic to that. I usually rock up carrying car keys and mobile phone, standard tools for the job. However, I always forget to take my reading glasses, this is probably subconscious because I never know where to put them for transportation. The case is too large for my pocket and I’ve already got my hands full with the aforementioned keys and mobile. If I copied my Dad, I would have more pockets for sure but it gets warm in there with all those sick people coughing and moaning.
Today I arrive, jacket-less, and take my seat for the usual 10-15 minutes over run which happens no matter what time of the day you arrive. It’s a doctor thing I assume, like assistants in supermarkets who insist on escorting you to the exact position for looking for something. Simple instructions would be fine; Isle 6, half way down on the left- Anusol! Anyway, I spy a copy of National Geographic in a pile of magazines. My choice is easy as the mountain of literacy only offers well thumbed copies of Home & Garden, Road Bike Monthly and Woman’s Own. None of these have the draw of National Geographic which has a headline article on ‘Why Humans Lie.’
Now I should mention why I am seeing the doctor. I have hurt my leg to such an extent that I cannot physically lift my foot off the ground. This isn’t just because it hurts like hell, it’s because (the Doctor later informs me) my brain won’t allow that to happen. A clever thing the brain!
With my nose in the magazine, actually my nose is nowhere near the magazine due to the fact I have no glasses and my arms are stretched out in front of me like I’m holding a rectangular, paper steering wheel, I read the article that is explaining the various reasons why we do not tell the truth. I’ll not lie when I say that despite the Chinese girl wearing an upturned colander on her head covered in wires and lights, the results were not rocket science and seemed to hold water. Deflecting blame was the largest reason at 22%, where as 4% was allocated to people lying for the true benefit for others. There were white lies, humour, exaggeration and self preservation to avoid embarrassment in to the mix of percentages as well.
This brings me back nicely to the injured leg. When my name was called I left the half written article on the table and let out a low moan as I stood up. An old lady looked at me and her eyes said, “You think you have problems now sonny!” And she is probably right. The doctor is not one I have seen before as our local surgery has many and I’m not that fussy. He’s about my age, same shortage of hair and wearing his glasses, smart guy! I’m wearing gym kit as I assume he’ll want to look me over. I’m greeted the same way each time I visit the doctor. “How are you today?” Well without stating the obvious, I am probably unwell, however, I suppose you have to break the ice somehow.
I explain to the doctor the area of pain and tell him what I cannot do with my leg. The old joke about doctors liking you to ‘pop’ everywhere is true. “Let’s pop you up on the examination table,” he said. He soon saw that ‘popping’ was not going to happen. More groaning and flapping about to get me on my back before subjecting myself to my legs being contorted. He tells me that I have torn my upper quad muscle and it probably hurts a lot (really!) and I need physio. “So, how did you do this?” He asked.
Now this is a National Geographic moment. I tell him a 22% answer, that is, I don’t really know… In truth it happened with my sub’s legs wrapped around my neck, fucking her very hard for a prolonged period of time and with my legs at a strange angle. I just smile at him, shake my head and repeat the original answer.
I am referred to a local guy for treatment and I text my wife the good news. She is pleased and slightly alarmed that I might reveal the true nature of my injury. The physiotherapist’s daughter is in her class at school, he’s very good friends with mutual acquaintances and will be at the same summer ball with us in a few weeks time. Now I’m sure he’s very professional and holds confidence well, however, he’s not a doctor and not bound by such ethics. In all likelihood I’ll take the 22% answer again, or for my American readers, I’ll take the 5th on this one.