• I’m out of here!

    by  • 1 March, 2005 • General • 0 Comments

    After 2 days I still couldn’t remember the name of my new doctor. I kept referring to him as “Curly” to Yvonne.

    So, Curly came to see me today at around 11:00 and removed the bandages (and the toilet roll!) of the stefanography. It didn’t look pretty down there! My right groin was all bruised. I took a hot shower and felt much better already!

    In this hospital — like in the previous one — they had a big shot professor who did the rounds every once in a while. Today was the day and Curly was mighty nervous about it. He kept fiddling with the patients’ files, stacking the papers neatly together and putting the files on display at the feet’s end of the bed. ON the bed. Now, this is something you can do unpunished with well-disciplined highly-socialized environment-aware individuals such as found in the regions commonly referred to as the “West”. Don’t try this in a mediterranean climate. Nobody was paying attention to what the poor doctor was trying to accomplish to impress his superior, except of course the “xenos” (foreigner) who kept still and manoeuvred his feet out of the way so that the file would remain neatly displayed. So, as the good doctor arranged the files neatly on one bed, they would be kicked on the floor on the next one by an inadvertent move of its occupant. Or, in yet another one, a quick jerk of the leg would send the neatly stacked papers in a crumbling pile under the sheets. The doctor became very impatient with his patients! I admired his almost perverse stubbornness, but couldn’t help thinking of this proverb that we learned in the first class of primary school, which was illustrated by a mule hitting a big rock with his head.

    By the time the big shot professor entered, at least five of the seven beds had their patient file still reasonably neatly displayed at the end of the bed. And Curly was all sweating. When the professor came to my bed, Curly explained that I had had a stefanography, but that the results were not conclusive (he said all that in Greek, so I had to second guess at some passages) and that he wanted another test (which he named but I forgot) before he sent me home, to be on the safe side “because I was a xenos”. Curly wasn’t aware that, although my spoken command of the language is not so good, I do understand some fragments once in a while…

    But the professor didn’t agree. I had to take a stress test and sent home, was his opinion. Since I was all for the idea of going home, I couldn’t be more pleased. Later I learned why the professor wanted it that way: the department of Nuclear Medicine, where the test had to take place, was overbooked for weeks, and they needed the bed urgently.

    The rest of the day I walked around a little bit in the hospital. I’ve been in only one hospital before, in the early eighties in Maastricht, but I can’t imagine any other hospital where so many people are smoking. On the balconies, in the toilets, at the far end of a corridor, you name it, you’ll find someone smoking. And this is the cardiology ward. Imagine the surgery ward…

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