• Continued •
"Winston Archibald?" a lady behind a counter called out.
"At last," Winston groaned loudly.
He having waited for two hours, filling out various questionnaires had become quite irritable due to the long wait. Finally it was his turn to meet with the nurse and get on with the medical tests. He un-wedged himself from the chair and waddled to the lady.
"Please come this way," she directed Winston into an empty room.
"Do you have any water or adequate snacks? Being left in the waiting room has left me a bit peckish."
"I'm sorry, you aren't allowed to eat anything thirty minutes before or thirty minutes after taking the study drug."
"What absurdity, I distinctly remember not signing up for a weight loss supplement!"
The girl laughed, "All study drugs follow this guideline. Please sit down."
Winston huffed and sat on the tiny chair. The wooden legs creaked as his weight pressed down on the helpless furniture.
"This drug is to treat heartburn." The nurse began, "It is a single-blind study. Only you will be unaware if you are taking the actual study drug or the placebo."
"Yes, yes, I read the paper work." Winston said, getting impatient.
"Do you have any questions?" she asked.
"How is your heartburn right now?" she asked.
"Intolerable," he lied. "I've had chronic heartburn since preschool."
"Well, hopefully, this helps you out."
"One can hope for such things," he agreed.
"Okay, let me just take your blood pressure and temperature and we will get started." The nurse put the cuff around Winston's massive arm. She smiled sweetly.
"I have excellent blood pressure," Winston said, ignoring the nurse and her attempts to fit the cuff properly.
Squeezing his arm, his fat poked out of both sides like an overstuffed hotdog. Winston squinted his eyes as the cuff slowly began cutting off the circulation of his arm. Almost to the point of tears, the cuff released its hold, and Winston sighed.
"190/95" the nurse said.
"Excellent," Winston nodded.
"That's really high."
"Well, naturally," he said, dismissing her comment.
The nurse said nothing and put the thermometer under Winston's tongue. Winston played with the foreign object, pretending it was a tiny sword.
"Okay, open," the nurse pulled out the thermometer. "100.1"
"Outstanding," he bellowed.
The nurse wrote down his readings with caution. "Remember if you experience any discomfort, shortness of breath, go to the hospital at once."
"Indeed," he said, "Now, am I ready?"
"Yes," she handed Winston a plastic cup with two pills in it. He popped them in his mouth and reached for the water glass the nurse was holding. In a giant swig, he smiled proudly.
"When do I get paid?"
"After you come back on your next appointment and hand in your chart." She handed him a piece of paper with a series of lines and frowny faces on it. "If your heartburn gets better or worse, you need to log it in. Every 15 minutes."
"I am a steward of time," he stood up from his chair with a grunt.
"Okay, see you in three days." The nurse smiled and waved goodbye.
Mumbling a salutation, Winston left the medical building in a mad shamble. Waiting for her son, Marjorie was busily reading a celebrity magazine in the car.
"I apologize for the horrendous time that it is. The nurse didn't know what she was doing," Winston complained.
"Its alright dear," Marjorie said, starting the car.
"I am famished. Take me the closest hamburger establishment." Winston ordered.
"Yes, my dear."
"Hold on," Winston smacked his chest a couple of times and coughed. He rolled down his window and expectorated the pills. "Okay, now we can resume."