Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Episode 2: Testing times for Danger Man

The story so far: John Drake has reluctantly visited the doctor to have a health once-over.

It was four o’clock on a Friday evening, and this was the fifth time Dr Sixsmith had tried to catch Drake by phone in three weeks. There was a tired inevitability about the ring tone. Any second it would break into the click and hiss of the answerphone. 

“Hello. Drake here.” The voice was loud and abrupt. Definitely not the answerphone.

“Mr Drake? Dr Sixsmith.” He flicked through the windows on his computer to find Drake’s test results.

“Oh. Yes. What do you want?

“I’ve been trying to catch you for a few days Mr Drake. I have your results. Have you been away? I left several messages.”

“Yes. Business you know.” He sounded defensive.

“I understand Mr Drake. Well look, I just wanted to fill you in on these results myself. Absolutely nothing to worry about, but just a couple of things you should know.”

“Hmmm. Look, I’ve just got back, is it really necessary? I feel absolutely fine and to be honest, if there’s nothing life-threatening...”

“No, no, nothing life-threatening, but I just wanted to tell you your cholesterol is slightly raised. What that means is that you should try and cut down on foods high in saturated fat – meat pies, butter, stilton, ghee – that sort of thing.”

“Hmmm.”

“We’ll keep an eye on it and if it doesn’t get better we’ll consider putting you on a statin.”

“If you say so Doc.”

“Right. Your blood pressure reading was satisfactory, but a little high for a man of your age.”

“Well my line of work is quite stressful doctor, particularly at the moment. I don’t know if I told you that it was my employers who wanted these tests in the first place and to be honest...”

“Yes, I do understand that Mr Drake.” Sixsmith looked at the clock on his computer. He was already late for the practice administrative meeting. “Anyway, it’s nothing to worry about but I think we should put you on an ambulatory blood pressure monitor for a couple of days...”

“A what?”

“I’ll explain it when I see you Mr Drake. There’s one other thing. I’ve been looking at your notes, and see that your father died of prostate cancer...”

“Yes.”

“So it might be a wise precaution if we just checked you out for that.”

“By doing what, may I ask.”

“I’ll explain when I see you. Absolutely nothing to worry about.” Dr Sixsmith heard heavy breathing at the end of the line. He wasn’t sure whether his patient had developed asthma, was angry, or had a large dog at his elbow.