Arré Checklist: Four Types of Patients at the Clinic, Who Make Me Sick


Arré Checklist: Four Types of Patients at the Clinic, Who Make Me Sick

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

The waiting room of a doctor’s clinic is the place where you go to be haunted by memories of the times when you could breathe freely and you felt like you could inhale all the air in the city without coughing out a lung. Those are the golden moments of your life when you could actually smell the food you were about to eat, and drink enough booze to make your liver resemble the Gaza strip.

Nothing good can ever last, and these golden moments are no different. Sooner or later you take your ability to abuse your body for granted and end up in a heap of used tissues with a severe cold and harrowing headaches. After chugging haldi milk and using Vicks like a body moisturiser, you finally accept your fate and rush to the nearest clinic to get a fix of antibiotics. Consider yourself warned, the people you meet there just might end up making your condition worse. For starters, you will meet…

The Restless Aunty’s Annoying Spawn

Once you’ve braved the outside world and made it safely into the confines of a clinic,  you’ll be greeted by the double action combo pack of the restless aunty and her annoying spawn. You can spot them by the lady’s frown lines, which are usually longer than the number of patients in line. She also checks the time in increasingly short intervals while going “tsk-tsk” to make her annoyance known to the entire room. The Double Action comes into play when the lady focuses on showcasing her irritation instead of minding her child. Her kid decides to start treating the clinic like a play park. Truth be told, children are annoying in general, but being sick and trapped with them in a confined space makes it even worse. Their need to touch every object in the room, especially the uber fun weighing scale, turns them into germ-carrying WMDs.

Long-Lasting Relief Guy

If you had any hopes of quickly making it through the waiting room and into your appointment with minimal exposure to the above, our next specimen will make sure that they are dashed. The Long-Lasting Relief Guy lives up to his name. He visits the clinic with the sole purpose of discussing life problems with the doctor. What could’ve been a simple diagnosis and prescription of medication turns into a full-blown discussion of sports, food habits, pet peeves, bowel movements, and politics, and that’s if he feels like keeping it brief. The worst part about all this conversation is that while this person is asking inane questions like “Bhabhi kaisi hai?”, you’re forced to sit in the waiting room, aka the petri dish of contagious diseases.

The “Death is Nigh” Man

This dude is, ironically, the least sick person in the room. This person revels in attracting attention by producing sneezes and coughs loud enough to restore hearing to the guy with the hearing aid sitting next to you. “Death is Nigh” patients are so committed to displaying their symptoms that everyone else in the room starts to develop an illness inferiority complex. They derive a perverse joy from being considered the sickest person in the room and will constantly ask passive-aggressive questions like *cough* What disease do you have, young man?” with the clear intent to make you feel bad about wasting the doctor’s time.

The Overdoser

The OD guy is that obsessive patient who has their med schedule and childhood history printed on paper, ready to be presented to the doctor. This person usually steps out of the doctor’s room within a matter of minutes, but then proceeds to spend the next half-hour with the compounder procuring a lifelong supply of medication (to be consumed in a week). With so many antibiotics on hand, he could probably open a clinic of his own. Before leaving the clinic, he is most likely to say, “Ma’am, aur dus orange goli deni baaki hai!” after already being handed so many coloured pills it looks like he broke into a Gems factory.