Think you’ve been struggling with the wintry weather? Copperfield’s pretty sure he can top your tales of commuting hell…
GPs are innately competitive, at least this one is, so I’m throwing down the gauntlet right here and right now: I defy any of you to out-do my Journey To Work the other snow-bound day.
You see, to avoid those awkward ‘I’ve still got that discharge, doctor’ conversations at the cheese counter in Tesco’s, I live a fair way outside of my practice area. Forty minutes outside, to be precise, depending on the whims of the A12.
So how long do you suppose a forty minute journey should take, generally speaking? Yes, that’s right: forty minutes. Glad you’re keeping up.
And how long did it take me on Tuesday? Four and a half hours. Yes, you read that correctly. Four and a half sodding hours.
I’d looked out of the window when I got up that morning and thought, ‘How lovely!’ Because the scene outside had been transformed: one of the local drug baron’s cocaine shipments had, overnight, exploded in mid-air. Either that, or it had been snowing. Unlikely, as it was still November – but it was true. So, anticipating a bit of slow moving traffic, I’d left at 7am. And, without a word of exaggeration, I arrived just in time for lunch.
I’d like to say that this epic journey reflects my dedication to the primary care cause, but it doesn’t, it reflects the lack of reversing opportunities on the A12. I did learn, though, that once your bladder distends beyond the size of a spacehopper, then, paradoxically, it stops hurting. So it wasn’t a complete waste of time.
Anyway, can anyone out there beat four and a bloody half hours to get to work? Of course not. I win. As for the patients, I’d like to think they viewed me as even more heroic than usual. But I’ll never know. Because none of the bastards turned up.
‘Sick Notes’ by Dr Tony Copperfield is out now, available from Monday Books.
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