5.The Knight, The King and The Jester

Not having Pleurisy is considerably harder than having pleurisy, because if I don’t have pleurisy then what the hell DO I have?!

“Well it’s not cancer”, the doctor crooned, throwing down his Royal Flush. I spat out my tea, (I wasn’t drinking one at the time, but my mouth did the same action). “Of COURSE IT’S NOT CANCER!” I hadn’t ever thought it was cancer, not for a second, but the moment he told me it wasn’t, I thought it almost certainly was. God I miss Pleurisy. Good old faithful 18th Century sounding Pleurisy. I had a solid relationship with that bad-boy and now it’s left me – left me with WHAT?!

The hospital doctors referred me to a respiratory specialist, who (much like Mr Bean) lost my test results, forgot to schedule my appointment and tell me he was going on holiday for a month (probably with his teddy bear). On hearing this news, my MD* galloped centre stage upon his trusty white steed, a sword in one had and my private health insurance in the other… what a way to deliver an email! Legend. I booked an appointment with Professor Santis at the London Bridge Hospital for the following day. (A Professor no less, like Stephen Hawking and Henry Higgins, but better!**)

I have to admit to feeling guilty for leaving the NHS behind; after all it had done for me. Despite the crisis that looms over its head, wards fit to bursting and purses nearly empty, the doctors and nurses worked tirelessly, with care, dedication and the humility and patience of a Buddhist monk working in the Next Christmas Sale. I have a lot to thank them for.

Professor Santis had the air of a King on a polo horse. I immediately bowed in his presence and apologised for wasting his time. I fought desperately to hold back tears because I couldn’t bear to see the distain on his face at my feminine fragility… he might have me beheaded! So instead of telling him that my chest stabbed with every beat of my heart and I’d taken to fainting in embarrassing places, I danced him a merry jig and sang a tuneful song. He told me there was an area of concern in my CT scan – a small gap in one of the rivers running from my heart where there ought to be blood and that my lungs weren’t functioning as they ought to. So I told a few jokes, jingled my bells, apologised profusely and backed out of his office, relieved that my kindly master had spared me.

Whilst I waited for the second opinion, King Santis prescribed me some magic beans, I mean pills, magic pills. And so began what shall henceforth be known as, ‘The Dark Days of Sick and Doom’. Oh what a noble and magnanimous King. All hail King Santis.

I booked an appointment to see him in again in 5 days, (dark days of sick and doom) and I cartwheeled back to Vauxhall. (Honestly guys, stick around for ‘The Dark Days of Sick and Doom’… it’s going to be a hoot!)


*To clarify, my MD is the Coffee & TV Managing Director, not my friend Shane who is a Musical Director.

** Since Professor Henry Higgins is fictional, (and all he really did was manipulate some poor girl so she could sing about the rain in Spain and embarrass herself at the races), I can confidently say that my Proff is better. I have no facts to support Professor Santis’ superiority over Professor Stephen Hawking, but it’s childish to turn this into a competition, so just stop it! (but in a fight, Proff Santis would probably win. Just saying.)

ProffKing Santis of London Bridgeshire


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