Received a letter from Stockwell surgery a while back telling me it was time for an asthma test, so I booked an appointment with the nurse. She didn't even look up as I walked in and sat down. First question, an abrupt, "Have you got your inhalers?" "No," I said unrepentantly. I don’t normally have to bring them and nobody told me to bring them. "You should bring your inhalers for asthma check-ups," she said. "Right," I said. Inside my head, I thought: you invited me here! I’m doing you a favour!
The nurse then patronisingly explained to me how to use an inhaler. I found out I'd been doing it right for the last 18 years, so that was good. After we'd gone through various questions about my health and the session’s climax, the peak flow test, I made the silly mistake of asking whether I could be fixed up with some prescription hayfever tablets.
Looking at me like I was crazy, she asked me if I'd tried Clarityn. I started to speak but was interrupted by her telling me they were more expensive if you get them by prescription. I began to explain that you actually get a month’s worth of tablets for £6 on prescription, whereas if you just buy them straight from the chemist, the same price will only get you a week’s worth. She interrupted me while I was explaining this, but I carried on talking anyway.
After a battle of wills, I eventually got my prescription. As I got up to leave I decided it would be a good idea to get her name so I could try to avoid her in the future. Glancing at the sign on the door as I walked out, I clocked her name. Nurse Florence. And they say you can't get irony on the NHS.