Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Repeat Prescription

“I’ll write a prescription, Mr Kerr. You can collect it from the out of hour’s service anytime you like. Your sons date of birth, please?”
“February 2nd. Groundhog Day.”
I struggled to inject an obscure fact to liven up the conversation with the doctor but truth be known, just like Groundhog Day, we had been here before. Every Bank Holiday Monday it seemed for the last few months. Callum’s inflamed tonsils had laid him low yet again in a Kamikaze attempt at drawing attention to themselves and speeding up the process of their eventual removal. For the time being we had to do with Penicillin and I had to fetch the prescription.

I arrived at NeneDoc, so called presumably because of the River Nene on which Northampton stands and the out of hours doctors which worked within. How glad I was that Northampton didn’t stand on the other large river nearby. Ill or not I couldn’t imagine anybody wanting to visit an out of hours practice that conjured up images of leaking or badly dressed wounds - OuseDoc.

The waiting area was relatively quiet for this type of service and there was just a young lady and her daughter talking to the receptionist who was booking them in. In and out in 5 minutes. Lovely.
I couldn’t help but overhear the receptionists conversation with the young mother. What stuck in my mind wasn’t the (relatively) minor complaint she had brought to this overstretched service but the first name of her young child she was spelling out to the medical administrator,
“Igraine. I…G…R…A…I…N…E…”
It was said at such a speed that the receptionist seemed to struggle to write it down, followed by an equally obscure, and longer, double-barrelled surname, Poplar-Anderson. (surname changed ever so slightly for legal reasons and later comic effect).
My class radar normally switches on here and judgements bounce around my mind thick and fast. All I could think of though was where the hell did that name come from (King Arthur’s mother - struggling to inject an obscure fact to liven things up - I’ve since looked it up).

I felt sorry for the little girl. What would she have to look forward to? A lifetime of having to spell out her name to anybody who isn’t a major in early English mythology, extra long cheque books, over-size tags in her school clothes and eventually having it shortened by everyone else to Iggy Pop.

We were now all seated and waiting to be seen or given prescriptions. After a few minutes a doctor appeared from one of the side rooms glancing down at his clipboard. He was from the Indian sub-continent and I was sure that Igraine would’ve been as obscure a name to him as it was to me.
He coughed slightly and made an announcement,
“Could I see Ms Poplar-Anderson please with the baby, Migraine?”
I stifled a laugh as the woman shot a withering look toward the doc.
You really couldn’t blame the doctor, could you? 5 years at the Mumbai School of Medicine more than likely covered operating table procedures but certainly not the Round Table. She started to protest to the doctor about his mistake when the receptionist called me from my seat to hand me the newly-written prescription.
I had to leave it there but felt sure that it was a conversation both the mother and daughter would be having again and again with people for many years to come. Their own Groundhog Day.
It’s enough to get you to the docs with a migraine isn’t it?

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