A medical affair

At the almost-end of a not-so-very-wonderful time in my life, at least I revelled in a small medical drama of my own, albeit pretty insignificant for you readers.

It all kicked off like an episode of ‘House’, before we moved on one evening to a (boring) episode of ‘ER’, leading later to the climax episode of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’.

I’ve tried to register with a GP in Italy, to no avail. So when I found a red, sore lumpy thing on my chest, I headed off for a nice long wait in A&E, to see a doctor. I was semi-prepared for a wait of perhaps 3-4 hours, but completely underprepared for a 7 and a half hour one. I had dinner plans with a friend, and had told others I was waiting there before my phone died, and before I had had time to cancel said dinner plans and tell everyone that I was still alive.

The hours dragged on. A girl flapped into the waiting room in a dramatic manner, arms flailing. She had cut her hand on a tin of tuna. Clever. The cut looked disgusting and was not something I was interested in seeing, but thank you anyway for showing us all your bone as if you were 8 years old at ‘show and tell’ at school. Anche no.

I should have flailed more. She was fine, just melodramatic. She could easily have waited another 10 minutes, which was the time it took the doctor, after 7 and a half hours, to pretty much write me off and send me elsewhere for appointments: I became a name on a long waiting list and the tuna girl was successfully stitched back together.

Then came the episode of ‘House’, where we discover what’s wrong. It was a rather quick episode, but did contain the crucial ingredient of an attractive doctor. ‘This won’t hurt much’, LIES, as he injects things into your chest. If he had boobs, he would think twice about saying it doesn’t hurt. But I forgave him, because he was hot stuff. Diagnosis; an infected cyst. Disgusting.

Here’s a sad, yet adorable photo of me, which cries out for sympathy. Thank you in advance.


Hot doctor arranged, via Whatsapp (practically married), to meet me again in a few days for a follow up appointment. In the meantime, however, a high temperature and worlds of pain brings us on to the (kind of dull) episode of ‘ER’. A lovely friend drove me to A&E again, and waited with me for hours into the night, before things were resolved.

Since then, the ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ build up began. Catriona and the hot doctor…Will they? Won’t they? (They didn’t.) Since we were arranging appointments via Whatsapp…outside of the hospital system, so to speak… it all became marginally exciting:

‘I can do Wednesday at 10am, on the third floor near the plants at the vending machines.’

‘Ok, thank you. See you then.’

I mean, this is the stuff that TV series are made of. I, of course, managed to bring it to a spectacularly unromantic finish, as per. We had arranged to meet yesterday, on the third floor, next to the lifts (ooo). But, he was late. (Rude). Not a problem, I mean he’s probably performing life-saving surgery and I imagine a sort- of-infected, but not-as-much-as-before cyst, doesn’t really enter into the realms of what consists of an emergency. However, I was worried he might have forgotten completely. So I messaged, just to say I was there.

Silence. More waiting.

I really had to pee. This won’t come as a surprise to anyone who knows me, since I have the bladder of a pregnant woman. Obviously, it would have been too much to think that, in a hospital, next to a waiting room, there might be a bathroom. No, no. Only down on the first floor. (Dilemma moment of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’). I scuttled off down the stairs, but sent another message, just to be on the safe side: ‘Just popping to the bathroom.’ Send.

As soon as I had sent it, I felt it was a little odd and that I needed to justify it. So, two seconds later, I followed up with, ‘Just in case you come and I am not there. I am coming back in a second.’

Silence. I had returned.

I thought I’d just let him know: ‘Ok, I am back now. By the vending machine.’ But also didn’t want to come across as too pushy, so typed a hasty, ‘But just letting you know, no rush.’ Which wasn’t strictly true, but I am British and can’t help it.

Just as I had enlarged his Whatsapp image, to search for a wedding ring, there he was! #Awkward. He had been in surgery, probably saving lives, and I had been recounting my trip to the bathroom and back. Check-up completed, and removal of cyst not due for another month or two, I mumbled something about how he might just want to ignore the messages…and something about how it was all a little ‘Greys’ Anatomy’ of us! He laughed, but the kind of laugh that says, I have no idea what you are talking about, please leave now. Perfect.

And that was that. Not sure if it’s presumptuous to invite him to my birthday party? ‘Hi, I’m Catriona with the cyst. Meet me at the second bench in the green park near San Niccolo’…’

Life lessons learnt: Hospital dramas on TV are not actually very representative of real life. How very disappointing.


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