Mrs Monk made an appointment with the Doctor against my will. I felt the ailment was too trivial to waste the scarce resources of the NHS, but what must be, must be.
I have discussed Mrs Monk’s hypochondria on these pages before but in this case I am describing hypochondria by proxy, since the anxiety emanates from the spouse and not the would-be sickie, that be me. You might think that this is sweet of Mrs Monk to be concerned for my health and that may be so if it were not just a touch annoying. I know from experience that Mrs Monk will not just allow me to take the Doctors appointment, but that she will also follow me there and into that Doctors surgery behind me, and will then contradict every answer or comment I volunteer to inform my doctor. I also know that she will attempt to hijack my consultation by bringing up her ailments if allowed to do so.
It happens every time.
On one previous visit, I asked the Doctor very theatrically and rhetorically "Is it required that Mrs Monk be present at this consultation?"
"No", said the doctor.
I smiled at Mrs Monk with a flourish, waved goodbye, and closed the door in her face, noting a wide opened-mouth as I did so.
Today I tried the same trick, but Mrs Monk noted the new young lady blonde lady doctor lady, and having first excluded Mrs Monk I foolishly relented and in she bound, as if she had a front row ticket for Sinatra.
The Doctor dealt with my ailment in twenty seconds and then went into the familiar box-ticking now required by the NHS.
"What about exercise?" she enquired.
“I play tennis three or four times a week”, I said.
Following her script the Doctor enquired if I take brisk walks, and that was the point where Mrs Monk felt she ought to interject.
"He never takes a walk with me", she said.
The Doctor and I both swivelled to look at Mrs Monk.
The Doctor then swivelled in my direction to get my response to the charge of not taking walks.
I explained , "If I were to take a walk with Mrs Monk, it would not be a brisk walk"
"What about gardening?. How many hours a week"
"Yeah, how many hours" interjects Mrs Monk.
"This has not been a good year for gardening". I explained.
"What about housework" asked the doctor somewhat facetiously.
"I do all the housework" I replied.
"I'll put down "No Housework"" said the doctor.
"I told you we should take more walks," said Mrs Monk.
"What do you do for a living?", asked the Doctor.
"He sits down all day at a computer." said Mrs Monk.
The Doctor looked at the Computer she looks at all day and asked, "What should I put down for brisk walks?"
"Did I not mention that I play tennis three or four times a week?" I said, "I don't so much walk when I play tennis, I run"
I swivelled back to gaze at Mrs Monk again, daring her to contradict.
The lady blonde Doctor changed the subject.
"Now,.... I have to take your blood pressure". she said having been prompted to do so by her computer..
"Yes!" said Mrs Monk with added profundity.
Mrs Monk is always trying to take my blood pressure at home due to the hypochondria by proxy phenomena. I always decline to allow this on the reasonable ground that if I allowed that, she would then introduce a demanding routine of home spun homeography, acupuncture, witchcraft and other unnatural forms of quackery designed to deprive me of my dignity.
The Doctor performed the BP test and announced the outcome. It is now official that all is now profoundly “excellent” and in full working order.
I looked at Mrs Monk and smirked triumphantly.
I asked the doctor benignly about the wonder drug statin. Mrs Monk took this as a cue to introduce her ailments to the Doctor. "Why does he get that statin and I get that statin," she enquired.
I had it in mind to ask about something else, but for some reason it escaped my attention. until I felt a twinge in my back as we got into the car leaving the surgery car park. The one thing I wanted sorted out was my back problem exacerbated by the tennis that may have saved my life, in so many other ways not recognised by the GP, box-ticking computerised questionnaire.