Anxiety ripped through him every step he took toward the front door of his doctor's office. What if he didn't believe that he needed the pain meds? Or even worse, what if he cleared him for duty? With a deep breath, he strode into the office. Trying to put on his best "game face." He just hoped it would be enough.
The receptionist, a woman in her 50's with wild curly blonde hair, and an attitude to be reckoned with, took his name and asked him to take a seat. "Wow, someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed." Jeremy mumbled under his breath, and plopped down into the closet chair. The office didn't seem too busy. Hopefully he could be in, and out quickly. Fumbling with his fingers, Jeremy waited impatiently.
In the door, appeared the office's nurse practitioner. In her hand, she held a clipboard. Looking around, searching the room she called out, "Jeremy?"
Jeremy stood, and sauntered over to the petite woman. She greeted him with a smile. "Right this way, sir."
"Please, the name is Jeremy. The use of sir makes me feel old." He tried to smile, but she didn't look too convinced. Could she tell how much of a mess he was? He didn't think so. He spent extra time this morning trying to clean up, and look presentable.
They walked in silence down a plain, white hallway lined with rooms. The walls were decorated with paintings of children, flowers, and an occasional "germs are bad" poster, with a small bottle of hand sanitizer perfectly placed underneath. The nurse practitioner stopped in front of room 11, and waited for him to step inside.
"Please sir, I mean Jeremy, have a seat. The doctor will be with you momentarily." She slipped out of the room, closing the door behind her.
Jeremy took a seat on the horribly uncomfortable exam table. His eyes scanning the room, taking in the random objects used to decorate. On the window sill sat a plastic model of the heart. On the counter, there were pamphlets regarding obesity, cardiac health, and family planning. What a wide variety of topics, he thought to himself, then laughed because he was actually putting thought into the choice of reading material offered in an exam room. He swore half of what was placed around the room, was strategically left out, to make patient's feel uncomfortable in their own skin.
After 10 agonizing minutes of waiting in the cramped exam room, a knock sounded on the door. The door creaked open, and in stepped Dr. Stow. The doctor was an older gentleman. His hair completely gray with age. His body, tall and slender. His eyes were magnified by his extremely thick glasses, that made Jeremy think of Harry Potter. The man wasn't much of a looker, that was for certain.
"So, Jeremy how are you feeling." Dr. Stow asked while examining Jeremy's head wound, which was now closed up. While asking Jeremy to do various things, the Doctor continued his exam, waiting for Jeremy to answer.
"I'm okay, still pretty sore. My arm is really bothering me still." Jeremy lied.
"Can you wiggle your fingers for me?" Said the doctor, looking deep in thought, moving the focus of his exam to Jeremy's arm. Jeremy wiggled his fingers. "Well, here's what we are going to do, I am going to send you down the hall for an x-ray, but first I need to remove the cast from your arm." Dr. Stow walked out of the exam room, just to return moments later with a tool in his hand that somewhat resembled an air grinder used to remove paint from metal.
Within minutes, his arm was free of the itchy cast. The air touching his skin felt like heaven. with his other hand, he inspected his arm, feeling for any remaining damage. Not feeling any, he felt a sense of urgency. What if his injury was 100% healed, and they refused to give him pain meds? The thought nearly drove him crazy.
Dr. Stow directed Jeremy toward x-ray, and escorted him into the room.
After the X-ray was completed, Jeremy was brought back to his exam room, where he sat impatiently, once again. Dr. Stow re-entered the room, with a smile on his face.
"Well, I have good news." He said. "X-ray is all clear. You no longer need the cast. It may take a few days for your arm to adjust to not being in a cast, but you are good to go!"
Jeremy's heart sank. That is not what he was hoping for. This meant he would have to return to work. This meant no more pain medication. Unless of course, he played his cards right.
"I am still having some pain in the area. Is there any way I could get another script for pain meds, especially for after work? I mean, my job requires lifting and I am afraid that the first few shifts back will put a huge strain on it." Jeremy said, holding his freshly un-casted arm.
"Sure, I can't see any issue with that. I will fill out that script now. I will also give you a note to return to work. If you have any issues, call us up immediately." Dr. Stow left the room.
Jeremy was relieved. At least for now, he had his meds back. He had something to fall back on when his thoughts became too much. But now, he had to face having to return to work. With a sigh, he went to the receptionist, collected his paperwork, and went to the closest pharmacy. Tonight, he wouldn't think of anything other than oblivion.