Day 33 – The Hypochondriac

Word count: 760


“Nigel. Yes, Nigel Evans. Nineteen seventy-two. Forty-four Northfield Drive,” he recited the receptionist answers before she could pose the questions.

“Take a seat,” she pointed at the nigh empty waiting room.

Clinical cream walls and worn out sponge seating, cardboard blinds open wide to let the dull afternoon light fall on the anxious patients. Outdated magazines sprawled on an ageing coffee table. Cooking, fishing, men’s health, women’s too, pregnancy diaries, journals, children’s health and dietary ideas, home furnishings, fashion, juicy celebrity gossip were all on offer. Plastered on the walls were layers of health initiative posters, warnings, facts, figures, concerns, quotes and diagrams.

Nigel took his throne upon the central row of chairs and viewed the kingdom of fears and paranoia. Nora in the corner, she didn’t look right to him. Coughing and spluttering, those eyes were more bloodshot than last week. Student by the window didn’t look well at all. Malnourished and no doubt suffering from some strange disease caught from foreign seas. Nigel had an eye for these things.

This was his third appointment this month. What he was going through wasn’t normal, it wasn’t right. The pain was odd and funny in his insides. There were too many headaches and a strange swelling in his lymph nodes. The pills he got last time were not working and he was adamant that a third opinion would solve everything.

Nigel sat back and adjusted his legs to a more comfortable position and picked up the nearest magazine in order to distract him from the impending avalanche of possible scenarios churning in his brain. He’d read screeds of internet articles on his symptoms. His slightly elevated temperature seemed to align with four different types of cancers when taking into account the swollen nodes and internal twinges. Similarly, four of his conditions were some of the signs of kidney failure. The doctors before had dismissed all his symptoms with several boxes of prescriptions. None of them had worked though. He’d taken one look at the product description and instantly came over with half of the side effects.

The minutes seemed to tick by like milliseconds. The clock on the wall ticked tensely. It was half four. The appointment was at half four. Why was he not already in the room discussing his options? Nigel gritted his teeth.

A creek some far off down the doctor’s corridor – death row as Nigel nicknamed it – marked a door opening and the possibility of his name being called at any second. Nigel’s heart leapt into his mouth and throbbed.

“Norma Mclean,” the voice shouted.

Old dear Norma struggled to her feet and edged her way down the corridor. Nigel narrowed his eyes, all the while thinking “That should be me.”

At four thirty-three he stood up and approached the receptionist.

“My appointment was due at four-thirty. Why am I not being seen?”

Thora the receptionist glared at him, “Name?”

Nigel’s eyes roamed the room, now occupied by the only other patient, who was female. He made a gesture to the receptionist as if to say, “Have a guess!”

“Nigel Evans,” he surrendered his sarcasm.

“Your appointment isn’t until four forty.”

“I got told it was four-thirty.”

“Well it’s at four-forty.”

Nigel scowled at her and returned to his throne. This was serious. He couldn’t wait, he couldn’t be palmed off. Something was wrong with him, something seriously wrong. Someone needed to listen to him now, today. All the articles he had read had directed him towards the same conclusions. The self diagnosis websites were all singing the same melody. He was angry now. Why would no one listen to him? Why wouldn’t the doctors tell him what he knew to be so obviously wrong?

“Nigel Evans,” a voice called.

The doctor’s office was small and somewhat dingy. Papers were piled high on precarious surfaces. Strange instruments protruded from spurious locations. The Doctor had half rimmed glasses and a gingery beard. He smiled broadly and leant back to better view his screen through the lens of his glasses.

“The pills aren’t working,” Nigel blurted out before the Doctor could get the first word in.

“Well now you haven’t really given them a chance, you only got them last week,” the Doctor replied.

“I just don’t feel that it’s that simple…”

The Doctor reviewed his notes again and grunted to himself, “No, no. I think my colleagues were right. Just a bad case of the flu and a touch of iron deficiency. You’ll be all right in a few days.”


~ by S.G. Mark on November 9, 2011.

3 Responses to “Day 33 – The Hypochondriac”

  1. nigel aka roger?

    well observed.

  2. hehe

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