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With all this talk of swine flu and other threatening diseases, is it any wonder why people are hypochondriacs?

We've all heard of man flu, bird flu, swine flu, whatever next I wonder? It makes you want to stay indoors and avoid contact with anyone.


I sat uninvitingly close, next to a lady in the hospital waiting room, her nose red from blowing her hooter into a pocket full of tissues which were full of holes. An occasional smile my way from her white complexion said it all really: I ought to be in bed.


Yep, I agreed quietly. Instead of spreading her germs. I could hardly wait for my name to be called and I fixed my eyes upon the door to the consulting room, hoping and almost willing it to open and for me to be the next person in. Or indeed the lady, either scenario would do before I caught the plague and my stay at the hospital more permanent.


The relief on my face as the nurse called me in. I felt an uncontrollable urge to stick my head under the hand wash dispenser and have a bath in it. I felt unclean, that lady should have had more sense or at least a bell! I'd held my breath in spurts for almost 20 minutes, every time she sneezed or blew into the rags. I stopped breathing for fear of inhaling her germs. I was so glad to be sat in a little room away from the virus monster.


My doctor walked in the room followed by another doctor and another and began unfolding my life story with a huge paper file to boot. It's the thickest file of all and one to be ashamed of. All that paperwork about me and I'm sitting there being discussed as a condition not a patient. Finally they got round to saying hello and the usual stuff, Y' know! -- How have you been etc., etc.? I'd rehearsed my script beforehand but forgot the entire content so, Okay! was my answer.


"How on earth am I okay?" said a little voice in the back of my mind. I have a 12 inch tube embedded in my stomach, have scleroderma, haemorrhoids, hot flashes and Raynaud's, and a dodgy hip ... and I'm OK?

How can that be when I have so much to offer in medical terms yet so little to complain about in respect of others. That kind of sums up the whole picture. If I look back I've earned the right to use the word, Okay! because compared to how I once was -- I am!


The consultation ended and as the doctor left the room he turned and "Atchoooo!" My goodness he's at it as well. I'm in a germ infested pit full of sickly folk, even the doctors have succumbed to the dreaded lurgie!


I'm outa 'ere!


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