Being looked after

Wednesday May 31, 2006

“They’re wrong,” said the receptionist at the Williton surgery, somewhat fiercely, when I’d explained what her Lincolnshire counterpart had said. “Give me their number and I’ll ring them now.”

I thought about starting a bit of a drool right there and then but deferred it in favour of adopting a slightly bewildered and completely distressed demeanour. Clutching at the edge of the counter, apparently for support, I apologized and said I’d left the number at home. She paused, took sympathy, and asked me to explain the situation one more time.

“Best way out of this is for you to register here and now as a new patient. I’ll fix an appointment with Doctor X for you, on Friday, and he’ll give you a prescription right away. He’ll put your meds on the repeat system and then you’ll be home and dry.”

I heaved a great sigh of relief. “Thanks,” I said. “I knew there’d be a way.”

“Oh,” she said, “there’s always a way if you look hard enough. Now, fill in these forms and I’ll get you set up on the system.”

Well, there are always the forms, aren’t there? I mean, where would we be without forms? Even when you have to laboriously write down your details three times, on three different forms?

I handed the completed documents back, said my thanks again, and departed happily into the sunshine, clutching a little chitty for my appointment on Friday afternoon. Mission accomplished, and I didn’t even have to bring out the drool. As the nice lady said, there’s always a way.

From thence, I walked down to the library and spent a happy hour on one of their broadband Internet terminals, catching up on my stats and infomation pages and whistling as fast as I could through the almost 1,500 emails waiting for me. You only get 58 minutes before being thrown off the library system, so there was no way I could be thorough. I picked out the messages that seemed most important, responded briefly, sighed, and deleted the rest just as the ‘go away’ counter popped up. I’ve said it before but it’s worth repeating that email is not really practical for me until I’m back online in the new house.

I considered popping into the café in Watchet for what I thought would be a well-earned breakfast, decided against, and drove back to the holiday camp. Once there, the sight of the happy campers tucking into eggs and bacon proved too much for me and, when I’d explained my success with the doctors, I went on to ask Graham if I could have a breakfast.

“Well done on the doctors,” said. “But you don’t really want a breakfast, do you? You’re toning up quite nicely with all this walking and getting out and about and it’s a shame to spoil it. It’ll not be long before lunch.”

I considered trotting out the drool after all but rejected the temptation as swift as it had arisen. Doesn’t work with Graham. “No,” I said. “You’re right. How’s about one small biscuit to go with my coffee?”

Temptation of the calorific kind hit me again when I went up to the bar before dinner and caught sight and smell of chips being enjoyed by the campers.

“Don’t suppose you could find me a small bowl of chips, do you think?” I asked. “I could just do with some chips. Perhaps with a drop of gravy to help them down.”

Graham put on a stern expression and consulted his watch. “No,” he said. “Sorry. They’ll have turned the fryers off now.”

I avoided the temptation to point out the similarity between his performance and that of Basil Fawlty dealing with hotel guests. That really would have been foolish.

“Ah well,” I said. “That’ll teach me to be late. And it would spoil my dinner, I admit it.”

“There you are then.”

Last thing, when I was sure I was not being observed while I was getting ready for bed, I stood in front of the mirror to inspect the auld body in its unclothed state. Not something I generally do. He’s right. I am toning up quite well. Much more of this and I might be able to find my waistline once again.

So, on a day when Sally our solicitor had informed me that all is well with our house purchase and that she’s likely to be able to get the contracts and all the information documents to us for the weekend, I hit the sack feeling well looked after.

Sally is looking after the house purchase, Graham is looking after my waistline, and the doctors are set to be looking after my heart. Nothing wrong with being looked after. And I didn’t have to drool, not even once.



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