I have a large selection of sisters. Someone in the planning department forgot to split the children more equally between girls and boys and there you have it: some I am closer to than others, which is the normal procedure. Some, like Haley’s comet pass within sight of a telescope every now and then at family weddings and funerals: well most of them to be honest, but one of them does more regular work and can be described as a sister on active duty. That is phone calls are not irregular and a visit unattached to some matter of business may occur.
I spoke to her on the phone yesterday talking about world events, catering strategies and finally an update on my foot which, until recently, had been paying host to an unpleasant attack of gout. This introduced me to the new sport of limping, stumbling and occasionally wincing. Before you start expressing too much sympathy it’s gone: vanished, no longer in residence. I told her that it had left town: she was pleased.
I recounted my experiences with doctors over this latest inconvenience. Like many men I don’t tend to go to the doctors that much, preferring to fall apart without any meddling from outside bodies. Very rarely, to date at least, I have not been troubled enough to get to know my medical backup on first name terms. Don’t think my heart does not go out to people who are not as lucky as me in this regard because it does: health is the basis for a happy life, along with love and catering obviously.
Because we moved recently I visited doctor A first. Walking in I told him I had gout. “Ok”, he said and wrote me a prescription for some pills. I was a bit surprised. He didn’t ask me why I thought it was gout, suggest a blood test or do anything apart from hand me the prescription. Never mind I drove to the chemist, took the pills and waited for a miracle. I’m still waiting: they didn’t really work. So a few weeks later we moved everything to our new home including my gouty foot. By nature I’m an affectionate individual but even I was growing tired of the gouts company and decided to go to another doctor near our new place. I walked in, and he was very pleasant.
“I’ve got gout” I said. I told him I’d been to a previous doctor and he’s given me some pills but they didn’t seem to have worked. He nodded in the sage manner of one who has endured years of studies. “We’ll try you on something different” he said and wrote out another prescription. I said “Are we running to blood tests so we can check my levels of uric acid”. “Yes” he said. When the gouts gone we’ll start on the blood tests. He wrote me out a slip of paper so I coud have a blood test and off I went.
In time, through boredom or an appointment somewhere else the gout left me and I was back to my nimble best. Must phone for that blood test thing I said, looking at my little authorisation slip. Anyway one thing led to another and I never got round to it. It no longer seemed urgent and got lost in new priorities like buying sausages and operating the kettle. So back to my sister. I told her the gout had done a runner and about the doctor arranging a blood test. “What were the results of the tests” she asked. I told them I hadn’t got round to them what with reading all these cook books and everything. “you’re mad” she said. That’s the problem with family: they know too much about you.