I do not like thee, Doctor Fell, The reason why - I cannot tell; But this I know, and know full well, I do not like thee, Doctor Fell.
To be honest it isn’t just Doctor Fell. It’s any doctor really. I can do dentists, I can manage the tax man, I think I’ll be able to cope with the grim reaper when he arrives all smiles and smelling of lilies, but the doctor…
It started young. Going to see the doctor was used as a threat. ‘If you don’t stop complaining I’ll take you to the doctor’, my mother would often say when I awoke not feeling too good and trying to avoid that times tables test at school. Headaches, sore throats, stomach pains, it soon became clear to me that getting on with it was preferable than going to the doctors with all the anticipatory fear and the threats that it brought along with it. I once walked with a limp for six weeks after a fall and a probable slight hip displacement rather than mention it and have to go to the doctor.
The doctor was not so very different to the dreaded policeman; ‘I’ll get the policeman to come around and see what he has to say about your behaviour,’ she’d say. Of course years later she often did. She wasn’t in charge of the doctor threat any longer though, that was inbuilt in me by years of conditioning. I sometimes wish that I could see the doctor as a healer rather than someone to help you along your way to whatever comes next. Even Doctor Foster on his way to
stepping in a puddle right up to his middle fills me with dread rather than
making me smile.
Truth is, I didn’t need Dr Fell or Doctor Gloucester. I had my very own doctor at home and he was a far bigger threat than the doctor or the policeman and I had no choice about him. He was always there dishing out his medicine. Oh well, that was a long time ago now. But it still cuts, taking my medicine like a man and the consequences were all mine and never his.
Of course recent experiences of the medical profession haven’t helped. In the front of my mind I know that you really go to hospital to die and those places are inherently dangerous. It’s a tough one for me, pain is transient and most things get better with time, and of course they are constantly telling us not to bother the NHS with all the silly health worries that bother us. Yes, we are all hypochondriacs these days; except on Casualty where every sniffle turns into a deadly virus and every twinge ends you up in intensive care and then the morgue and doctors with no conscience live a sanctimonious life next to loved ones in houses next door.
‘Doctor, Doctor I feel like I’m at death’s door.’
‘Don’t worry, you’ll soon pull through’.
This fear of the doctor is no joke you know.