I recently attended my local hospital for a test. Slightly anxious at the prospect and my medications not working their best, I sat in the waiting room, fidgety and shaky.
I struck up a conversation with the only other person in the waiting room. Despite the noise of the television, the requirement to wear masks and my elderly companion’s difficulty hearing, we chatted amiably for half an hour or so. By this time, I really needed more medication and as I do multiple times each day, I reached for the small flask of water which I carry everywhere with me and took my tablets.
I immediately noticed a change in my companion’s demeanour. “You really shouldn’t be doing that!’ she said, shaking her head. The written instructions I had received explicitly said I should take my medication as normal and I could drink water right up until the time of my test. I was slightly bemused and wondered briefly if her instructions had been different. ‘I won’t tell anyone’ my companion said ‘but you really shouldn’t be doing that.’
And then it dawned on me. She wasn’t concerned that I was not following instruction, she thought I was drinking something much stronger than water! My turn to make assumptions now. I can only assume that she had put my shakes and fidgeting down to a consequence of an alcohol dependancy and my drinking from a small flask from my handbag, the alcohol required to settle my nerves. I was just about to explain, when I decided against it.
More and more frequently, I find myself feeling like I have to explain my symptoms to others when I would prefer not to and on this occasion I was rather bemused by the situation. I sat as my companion kept glancing my way but avoided any of the eye contact that we had established during our conversation.
Granted, I may have jumped to the wrong conclusion but I’m fairly certain that it was my companion who did so first.
Image Source: nor.org