the state of things

 

Update From Emergency Ward 10B

by Douglas Lindsay - 11:30 on 10 May 2011

Went to the doctor's this morning. My shin is still sore, eight days after running the marathon, so I went to see if there was anything they could do for me.


The doctor was a young chap, perhaps early 30's, with short hair and a neatly groomed goatee. The certificates on the wall attested to the fact that he was a doctor of medicine, rather than a doctor of media studies or modern languages, which frankly makes you feel like you're 1-0 up as soon as you walk in. At first he let me speak, but finally cut me off after five minutes or so.


Dr: If I can just stop you there, Mr Lindsay. The symptoms you describe clearly point to you having shin splints.


Me: Ah. That was what I thought, having diagnosed myself on the internet.


Dr: We love it when people do that.


Me: So what do you think is actually causing the pain?


Dr: With shin splints there are three possible causes. One, as a result of inflammation due to injury of the posterior peroneal tendon and adjacent tissues in the shin. Two, a hairline fracture of the tibia. Or, three, Satan is in your leg.


I started to laugh, but the look on his face indicated that he wasn't joking.


Me: And which do you think it is in this case? That last one sounds well dodgy.


Dr: I need to know more about the situation. It would have helped if for the first five minutes you'd talked about your shins rather than waffling on about the meandering unedited prose of the Stieg Larsson novels, which was ironic in itself.


Me: So I was feeling a bit of pain in my leg, but I went for a run.


Dr: You went for a run, even though your leg was already sore? Did it start feeling sore during the run?


Me: After about eight miles.


Dr: And did you stop?


Me: I ran on for another eighteen miles.


There was another one of those pauses. His face twitched.


Dr: You ran a marathon when you already had a sore leg?


I nodded sheepishly. At this point the doctor stood up and suddenly started brandishing a machine gun.


Dr: Bugger off! I mean it. Get out. You people with your self-inflicted wounds. You're no better than a smoker or some fat bloke that eats doughnuts all day. Get out!


Me: Surely you still have to help me?


Dr: No, I do not, not now we have a Tory government. New policy: we're allowed to officially tell anyone with a self-inflicted illness or injury to go and fuck off. So fuck off.


So I left. My shin still hurts. This afternoon I'm going to see the Bishop of Bath & Wells in case it's as a result of option 3.


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