I’m such a hypochondriac. Any time I feel the slightest bit of discomfort, I immediately diagnose myself with some horrible—and incurable, obviously—disease. It’s a real problem. My doctor had to start screening his calls because of me. I’m not kidding. Typed below is a transcript of a call I made on Thursday morning. (Calls may be monitored or recorded for quality assurance, you know…I figured, “Why not?”)
OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT: [09/10/09 8:02 a.m. MST]
Good morning, Mayberry Medical Clinic, this is Monique speaking, how may I help you?
Hi, Monique. How are you this morning?
I’m pretty good, and yourself?
My self is lousy—why else would I be calling the clinic? Do I sound like a telemarketer? Are you an imbecile, Monique?
No, I don’t think so…
Well, I certainly hope you’re just the receptionist and not the nurse. I can’t be having a daft nurse looking after me. I’m very sick, you know.
Oh, I’m sorry. I hadn’t heard.
Well, you’re hearing it now. Yes, Monique, I’m very sick. I’ll probably be dying pretty soon.
My gosh, that’s awful! What is it you’re suffering from?
What is it from which I suffer, you mean? (Under breath: I guess they don’t teach proper grammar in secretary school anymore…) Well, it’s really bad. It’s…CTS.
CTS? As in…Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Yes. (Deep sigh.) Yes, that’s it. I can hardly bear to hear the words. Isn’t it horrible?
Well, yes, it is horrible, but…well…
What, Monique? Don’t ramble on so—I have very tender nerves, and you’re irritating them!
I’m sorry. It’s just that…I didn’t realise Carpal Tunnel Syndrome was fatal.
Well, it’s highly uncommon. In fact, I am the first person in the history of the world to die from it. But that’s typical of me—if it were possible to meet my maker because of an ingrown toenail, I would probably do it. I have very bad luck, Monique.
Yes, it sounds like it. Well, is there anything I can do to help you?
As a matter of fact, there is. That’s why I’m calling. I need to speak with Dr. Meade. Is he in today?
Yes he is. What can I tell him you’re calling about?
Oh, I have this terrible pain in my wrist, and I’d like him to take a look at it.
… … … But…isn’t that caused by your CTS?
Well, naturally it is, Monique! For heaven’s sake—I know I said I’m unlucky, but do you really think I would have two wrist problems coinciding at the same time?
Well, all I’m wondering is… Well…
What is it, Monique? Weren’t you listening when I told you my nerves can’t handle dawdling receptionists?
I’m sorry. What I mean is…if you already know you have CTS, and there’s nothing that can be done to save you from certain peril, why do you need to see Dr. Meade?
Oh. Well…I haven’t been diagnosed yet. But I’m sure it’s a fatal case of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome—I looked it up on WebMD and I am suffering from all the most extreme symptoms. And I’m positive I’m going to die before I see the age of 23. Is Dr. Meade in? It’s urgent that I speak with him.
Umm…[muffled voices] as a matter of fact, he was here, but now he’s not. He… He’s gone.
Well, where did he go? Can you fetch him? Does he have a cell phone? What kind of small-town physician doesn’t have a cell phone? It’s urgent that I speak with him as soon as possible!
Ummm…well [muffled voices]…he…he quit.
HE QUIT? As in…he quit his JOB?
Yes. He says…he says it’s just not worth it anymore. He says if he wanted to deal with shit all day he would’ve been a plumber. That was a quote—I don’t normally swear in front of patients. I’m very sorry.
Oh. Are you sorry for swearing or sorry that he’s abandoning me on my deathbead?
I’m sorry for swearing.
Oh. Okay…well…thanks. Thanks anyway.
***CALL ENDED: 09/10/09 8:07 a.m. MST***
Does anyone have a good home remedy for the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? It looks like I’m on my own.