I am now required to visit the doctor every two months in order to get my prescription. This is a fairly recent development, as they weren’t bothered before. I always forget to book more than a week in advance and so I see a different doctor each time and therefore need to explain everything as if for the first time.
Anyway, on my latest visit last week I was ushered into the consulting room of yet another doctor I had never met before. I sat down and he consulted his computer monitor.
“Do you smoke,” he enquired, “Yes or no?”
More than slightly annoyed at kicking off what in my opinion was an unnecessary visit with an unnecessary question, I replied, “is there a mind your own business option?”
Now I realise that I could have phrased it better, but similar experiences of other bloggers sprang immediately to mind and my hackles were raised. I explained that I was talking to the computer rather than him!
The doctor’s expression was difficult to read. It may have been shock, after all, we are not supposed to talk back to Nanny. The choice was “Yes” or “No”. Those were the only options.
Either, “Yes, I smoke and want it on record so that I can be denied treatment in the future according to Nanny’s good will and pleasure and to be offered nicotine gum or patches to please Big Pharma, or “No, I don’t smoke, so please can we get straight on with the consultation you requested?”
He enquired, “so you do smoke?”
I told him that I was not answering the question.
We actually had a good old banter because I treated him like a human being, having realised some time ago that doctors are not the gods that I was brought up to believe they are.
I told him a number of home truths and on the way out he patted me on the back and thanked me for the chat.
I think I will book well in advance next time, so that I can see him.
Or maybe I should spread my cantankerous disagreeableness around!
UPDATE 11.55am. While I was writing this piece, Leg-iron was bashing out something similar, but longer and better. Far from lying about whether he smokes or not (see link, above), when the information is demanded, he now wants to light up in the surgery instead!