The Thamensian: ‘I had to leave a wee sample, and I’m not Scottish’

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I HAVE been to the doctors.

It’s all right abusive Duncan, I am not ill. I just needed a bit of an MOT and a top up for the winter.

On my first visit last week I had to, um, how do I put this delicately?

Leave a wee sample. And I am not Scottish. It’s a tiddly bit embarrassing taking that little bottle in through reception down East Street isn’t it?

By the time you have turned round by the door, tapped your date of birth into the little machine and confirmed your appointment the whole room has looked up from their copies of Golf World (August 1998) and seen what you are carrying.

I mentioned this to the nurse who I saw and she told me something interesting, if not downright bizarre.

To hide what they are bringing into the doctors, people have been known to use different jars to disguise the contents.

Apparently a Marmite jar is very popular because it has dark glass. One man brought in a pickled onion jar.

And one used a zip-lock plastic bag. Nice.

Anyway, having put you off your tea, I then had to have my blood pressure tested.

This is not easy as I suffer from ’White Coat Syndrome’, where I get anxious about seeing a nurse or doctor and my blood pressure soars.

So this time they gave me a 24-hour monitor system which you wear under your clothes and it gives you an average after testing over the course of a day.

This is not as easy as you may think as you are expected to carry on with your usual day.

I was having a coffee (decaf, skinny, honest Doc) in Costa when it first went off.

A buzzing noise from my right hip pocket, then the air pumped into the band around my left arm which inflated like Popeye. I was quietly impressed with my new guns and flexing them for all to see when they suddenly started deflating.

This happened all day long. Two important meetings were ruined as my robo-arm took over. It went off in Sainsbury’s while I was carrying a wire basket, it inflated in Cargo and I had to feign a sudden interest in a new sofa. It went off in the Bird Cage that night (tap water, doctor).

Even worse, it went off all night too. Every time I was dropping off the little engine would whirr, the pump would buzz and my left arm would be gripped in a tight rubber embrace.

Across the whole country how many other people do you think were sleep-fascist-saluting under the duvet?

Bleary-eyed and sleep deprived I dropped the machine off the next day. I await the results with keen interest.

Did I pass or fail my MOT? The pressure is on.

Find out next week ...