Stare Into Space


Posted on | January 30, 2007 | 1 Comment

I’m not feeling well. I woke up yesterday, feeling as if someone had fitted a nice pastry crust to my eyelids and baked them at gas mark 5 for an hour. Had to scrape off a string of yellow gunk before I could see enough to notice that my eyes were all swollen and bloodshot. I looked like Marty Feldman, but a Marty Feldman that had been poked repeatedly in the eyes with a sharpened pokey-stick.

As usual, my wife was full of sympathy, empathy and a general feeling of concern for her debilitated spouse. “They look fine to me – you’re overreacting” she retorted when I stated my wish to cry-off work and high me to the doctor’s. Not so easily disheartened, I went back to bed to rest my infirm eyes until the doctor’s surgery hours.

Half past nine. That’s when the doctor starts. I know from bitter experience however, that there is generally a steady influx of malingerers and fakers from about quarter past nine. I arrived, smugly, at ten past. “Take a seat, there are three people in front of you” said the receptionist. Damn these early rising invalids. I reasoned that three people couldn’t take too long though. How wrong I was.

Patient #1 was in and out. Efficiently sick – excellent. Patient #2 was a different matter however. He was a small man in a small suit with small feet, clad in small, neatly polished loafers. He was with his son (I gathered). He made and received several Important Business Calls while he waited. He was evidently some sort of widgetmonger and, from his loud phone voice, I assume that he was quite proud of the fact. After each call he would turn to his son and make some remark along the lines of “Mr. X didn’t get his widget, you can’t trust anyone to do anything”. His son gazed proudly at the year old National Geographic he was reading. They were called and they both went in. His son was out in a couple of minutes but the small man didn’t make his exit for another forty-five minutes. Jesus.

During this time, I was treated to Patient #10(ish), a very big and stocky bloke falling asleep, snoring loudly for a few minutes before waking with a start, looking embarrassed and then repeating the pattern.

Eventually, my turn came and the doctor told me that I was unlikely to expire due to my illness but that I did have a nasty case of bacterial conjunctivitis and had also managed to pick up a chest infection. Nice. Prescriptions all round.

Let’s see… Antibiotics, fine. Eye drops. Eeeuuuugh, but I suppose it’s necessary. Eye ointment. WHAT? Eye Ointment? Ointment for eyes. Oh sweet Jesus. I’ll freely admit that I’m a complete eye-wuss. Even the thought of the drops was making me cringe and I believe that anyone that uses contact lenses is a freak, but ointment. Eye ointment. Make sure you rub it in well, now. What the hell are you supposed to do with eye ointment?

I declined the ointment and will make do with the drops, although I’m unsure how useful they are when I cry like a baby after applying them.


Gerry Hayes

Gerry Hayes

I mostly sit around all day and drink tea. Occasionally, I write stuff and send it to strangers so they can humiliate me and deride my efforts. Other than the self-harm to dull the shame of failure, it's not a bad life. Like I say, there's tea.

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