Doctor’s Orders (Andrew)

“Oh!” said the receptionist, which would have been okay if I’d been checking into a hotel, or perhaps, phoning for a restaurant booking and I was about to be informed they were full that night. But this receptionist worked for my GP and I’d just asked her if she had the results of my blood test.

“You’ll need to come in,” she said.

Which would also be okay if I was checking into a hotel and they wanted me to confirm I was happy with my room. Again, not okay, when you’re waiting for a blood test.

“Can I come in this afternoon?”

I could hear her typing and checking appointments.

“I’m afraid not,” she said, “the next appointment is…”


At worst, the day after?

“Two weeks time”.

So, for two weeks, I had a receptionist’s “Oh” ringing round my head while I waited to find out what could turn a hardened medical receptionist, someone who dealt daily with every boil, lump, weeping sore and rattling cough that came through the surgery door, into an articulate conveyor of bad news.

And I’m a hypochondriac. See this post. So, by the time of my appointment I was convinced I had the Black Death. Even though I’d only been in for a work check up.

But the only thing the Doctor could say when he saw me was: “Why are you here???”

Which was scary, as I thought he was incredulous I was still alive and I really should have died from whatever I had by then.

It turned out everything was fine. The receptionist was meant to say that no follow up was required. Why she said “Oh!”, he had no idea. I was okay. I was normal.

Which was nice to hear and put my hypochondria to rest until I saw a rat on the telly and was convinced I had passive Scabies.

Anyway, I mention this because I’ve just had my latest work check up. A series of prod, probes and pots of pee. A series of test which led to a letter and another blood test and, finally, this week, the results and…

I’m normal. Again. Thankfully, the Scabies was just a scare.

But two interesting bits of my test stood out. One, was my lung test showed a lung capacity of over 120%, when the average is 75%. Way to go, left and right ventricle!

(Clearly the training has been working over Winter and Spring).

But also my red blood count was slightly below average. A result the GP said which was not likely to mean anything (then why mention it!) but more than likely a result of “overtraining” in the week before the test.

(Or not eating enough burgers).

So, this week, I’ve done nothing, except eat burgers. Which was always my plan after the Etape. Doing nothing, not the eating burgers part, that was just a bonus.

I wanted to take a break after six months of training every week, to commemorate my first target of the year – complete the Etape in under four and half hours – and to clear up any niggly wee injuries before a final five week push before Challenge Roth.

And the good news is that I’ve got my letter and passed my medical. Now, I wonder if I can also the Doctor to send a Bradley Wiggins Jiffy bag too…