I hate, hate, hate, hate, hate being poked about. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it like a feral cat hates it. My every instinct is to bear my teeth, punch, hiss, bite, wee on the poker-abouter, run off with my hair all fuffed up and hide under the thorniest hedge I can find. Yet we have to go to the doctor’s. It’s a fact of life.
Generally, I prefer to keep my doctor’s appointments on a strictly hands-off basis. We exchange “good mornings” and maintain a civilised four feet of airspace between us at all times. I approve of this. Surely, if there is something to be prescribed for, a description should suffice. It’s not as if I’m short of adjectives, eff eff ess, I have to lop a cornucopial surplus of them out of everything I write, the bastards multiply like unattended wire coathangers.
However, sometimes we have to let the doctor come into physical contact with us. Today was one of those days. On those occasions I will spend several days beforehand becoming increasingly tense. On this occasion that tension expressed itself, last night, in a very broken night’s sleep which culminated in a dream where the Grand National was run using zebras, commentated upon by Alan Partridge. At Beecher’s Brook, there was the inevitable pile-up of zebras, and Partridge’s voice could be heard, shouting “TOTAL. ZEBRA. CHAOS!” I woke up. There was nothing for it. Sleep was over. I lay there with my hackles up and my jaw clenched.
I don’t mind needles. I’ve had tons of surgery. I don’t mind that, (because before anyone touches you when you go in for surgery, they hit you up with a massive dose of Class “A” drugs, and the whole world turns into a magic garden, with Lucozade fountains and rainbow chimp butlers. You really don’t notice them rolling you onto the gurney, and if you do, your reaction is “Ha ha haaaa! Brilliant!”) It’s not about pain – I don’t mind pain at all. I mind people touching me.
On the rare occasion I like and trust someone well enough to want them to put their hands on me, they will receive a flight of gold-edged, very specific invitations. And they should still check availability on the day, because it changes. I spook.
I’m not being a stroppy patient. I’m being a traumatised patient.
The kindest thing would be to hit me with a tranquilliser dart, like an escaped lion. Once every five years or so I’d answer the door to a knock, and there would be a bunch of people in white coats, with a big tranq gun. I’d make a break for it and be halfway over the garden fence when a soft “Ptiu!” would sound, and a red tuft would appear on one buttock. I’d slump bonelessly across the clematis, and they’d pull me down and put me in one of those black hammock things to weigh me, do a dental, trim my claws, and fit me with a radio collar.
I would pay good money for such a health plan. It would be for the best for EVERYONE.
It’s not a problem with doctors, I’m the same way about masseurs, beauty therapists, nail technicians, or those people who do your harness up when you go climbing.
Anyway, I went, on jelly legs, and I didn’t bite anyone and I probably seemed perfectly normal, from the outside. And I was prodded about and I came home and had a cry and did a bit of a sick, and then went for a walk and some chips, and now I feel horrible and like a big exiled-from-humanity failboat of fail.
If I ever get an illness that requires more hands-on intervention than a simple “knock her out, operate and send her home”, I am screwed.
 A doctor always pipes up at this point and says “But we’re only trying to help you!” Yes. I know that. But I couldn’t be more afraid of you if you were KNITTED OUT OF GIANT SPIDERS.