Simple Things…

Sometimes simple things can break you. Benign things repeated time and time again can finally reach a threshold that leaves a scar – scratch marks burned on the wall of ones consciousness like ravines gouged out of hard rock by the persistence of a swollen river. It is not an inherent danger of the act, but its repetition that finally wears one out.

I have been carrying a beeping device around. Every thirty minutes a faint beep sounds – a precursor to the inflation of a cuff around my arm – and then I must stretch my hand out for one more data point to be acquired. At first it was novelty and I tried to anticipate when the next beep might sound. But with each beep and straightening of the arm,a certain weariness descends. I want out of the control the little device has over me. Sadly, the only choice I had was in accepting..The consequence was chosen for me at the same time.


I finally drag myself out of bed at the third time of asking. It is shaping up to be one of those days; one when an ultra short to-do list will manage to get the better of me. Something about the lack of urgency spawned by a short to-do list has always been my besetting ‘sin’. Today, there is one thing that must needs be done – I’m off to the GP’s to have a 24 hour blood pressure monitoring device fitted.

I have always detested hospitals, and clinics, and GP offices and every other place medicines are dispensed. My earliest memories of such spaces – not by any means happy ones –  are inextricably bound up in the smell of folic acid, injections of chloroquine and the inevitable bout of manic itches that bookended my almost constant dalliance with malaria.

Having gotten myself out of bed, dispensed with my ablutions, and thrown on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, I call the cab company and prepare to head out to the GPs.

Today’s cabbie is not very chatty. I wonder if its first job for the day, or if he finds hospitals as depressing as I find them, or if his wife said some very hurtful words to him as he headed out for work, or… if he is just a mean chap.

–  KR medical

The words tumble out,  dragged out by his stern stare which jolts me out of my reverie and reminds me I haven’t stated my destination. The dispatcher at the cab company would have mentioned a destination but sometimes the cabbies insist that one states his destination – again.

The Admin Nurse looks Chinese – make that Korean or Nepalese or Taiwanese or any other Asian nationality in fact. They all blend into a category of faces I have never being able to deconstruct. Much the same way as they would be unable to  make out the subtle differences of facial morphology that make one black face distinct from the other. I pick a tag, shuffle to my seat and await the calling of my name.

The specialist nurse calls out my name. Lost in the world of my music, I fail to hear it the first time. The second time with a slightly raised voice she repeats the call. This time I hear it, and I walk towards the door marked ‘Nurse’.

– This will be quick she says. This goes on your belt clip, this goes around your arm, I’ll thread this through your sleeve, around your neck, down the front of your shirt and click the recorder in place. You’ll hear a beep every thirty minutes. That will be your clue to straighten your arm whilst the cuff contracts.

I nod my understanding as she completes the process of wiring me up.

– Too tight? Or just right she asks.
– Just right I reply.
– That’s you sorted then. I’ll see you tomorrow same time to retrieve the data. Okay`?

I nod my acquiescence. That took all of fifteen minutes. What to do with myself for the rest of the day is the big question.. It is only 9.30am… Sigh.