Medical consultants: a poem by Havanne Oscopy*

Pinstriped suits and glowing tans are signs of a Consultant Man,
Charm and obvious signs of wealth have those we pay for private health,
We ring their rooms to set the date to hear about our body’s fate,
And then we find they’re far away on yet another holiday.

Their knowledge of our bodyworks must surely be the best,
The fact they work in Harley Street should put one’s mind at rest!
Their Beemers and their Jaguars are gleaming side by side
In spaces marked ‘Consultant’ – they won’t take you for a ride!

‘I’ll book you for an ’oscopy!’ – ‘An ’oscopy? What’s that?’
(Oh, just a type of money-making look into your tract.)
‘A colonoscopy’, he cried. Such a charming chap
that I found myself agreeing to a rectal happy snap!

I thought about a Pentax and its telephoto lens
And wondered how he’d get it round those really awkward bends.
I wish he’d talk to me with words like tummy, tubes or bum
Instead of that Consultant-speak that makes one feel so dumb.

With anaesthetic barely gone, he saunters by your bed.
You wait for him to utter words, the words you’ve come to dread!
I don’t remember what he says – I think he said good news.
He left me with some photographs of odd internal views.

Then when they’ve done that ’oscopy and handed you some pills,
The post arrives with hundreds of those ever-mounting bills.
Exactly what is wrong with me? You dare to ask the question?
They fob you off with jargonese and plan their next invasion.

I’m left with a sneaking feeling that – as long as we revere
Consultants’ every word they speak (lots coming from the rear)
And let them prod and poke and pull whilst looking most concerned –
What they’re trying most to diagnose is just how much they’ve earned.

*alias Heather Harper

Heather Harper

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Written by What Doctors Don't Tell You

Explore Wellness in 2021