I went to Western Eye Hospital and all I got was a blog post and Blepharitis

So, here I am. Sat in the gruesome hospital waiting area. I note the walls are painted a weird shade of glaucoma and the chip wood furniture is the colour of bile. Between the shiny black circles of prehistoric chewing gum I can see what might have once been a mauve carpet. I'm not sure. The ceiling panels have those peculiar 'coffee stains' which make no sense as coffee stains cannot end up on a ceiling. What ever else they are I dread to think. A 12 month old copy of Tatler is on the MDF table besides me and judging from it's frayed pages I estimate it is the most infectious thing here. I sanitise my hands. Again.

Why am I here? Well it's not just any old hospital... It's an eye hospital. I, dear reader, am writing this post with two throbbing eyes and one thumping headache. I hope that shows that I am a committed and selfless blogger. After a traumatic examination from my optician I was referred here. She said 'go ASAP', I waited til after work. She said 'pressing on your optic nerve', I heard 'brain tumour'. She said '...disease' I stopped listening. Seriously, is my life not busy enough... I don't have time to die... I still have to choose what fabric I want for the curtains and build that bookcase from fruit crates. Priorities, people!

Looking around I am disappointed there's no one with a pirate style eye patch. This is the least you expect to see in freakin eye hospital. Gabrielle lied, Dreams can't come true!

It's at the commencement of writing this paragraph I notice, in ironically small writing on the wall, a sign that explains the typical waiting time. Two to three fucking hours. Two to three motherfucking hours. I'll be sightless by then and the tumour will have ballooned out my nose and ears like sausage meat. I feel I am staring death in the face and his face is blurry because I had to take my glasses off to clean them. Death's face isn't as scary as the horror of that waiting time scrawled on the wall. I look past death, who I realise is just a bald man with sunburn, and see if the receptionist is amenable to bribery. She's reading the NEW Vanity Fair. The NEW one with Katie Holmes looking all giraffe-like on the cover. Bitch! The receptionist, not Katie! Still, if the bitch-vanity-fair-reading-receptionist is the kind of woman to keeps the good magazines for herself she's likely to be receptive to bribery. I have a voucher for £2.35 worth of hot drinks from the M&S cafe and a Mail newspapers ball point pen. I'm about to approach when I hear 'woberht macaffaway'. A lady is standing in the doorway to what I assumed was a broom closet calling something similar to my name. I take a risk and go to her. She addresses me direct 'you woberht?', 'yes' I reply thinking, 'maybe'. Into the broom closet we stride. Ugh, more glaucoma walls this time with corpse-blue coloured curtains hanging between booths. I am not being examined... I am being interviewed:

'I'm sorry what, now?'
'Wah yoo alerjik to?
'Oh!!! What am I allergic too!! Well just pollen and duck eggs'
'No, duck eggs'
'No, ummm duck... Quack quack! Eggs' points to arse for no logical reason
'Ahhhh duk-exx'.

...and so it went on until I was marched back to the waiting area Tenko style (well done if you get that particular reference).

Once I'm back in my seat all the other patients spontaneously decide to play musical chairs and I find myself with elderly neighbours. The couple to my left mumble about the appalling wait and the lady to my right strikes up a conversation. She's Sheila and last time she was here, four years ago, she waited '92 hours over 3 days to be seen'. I do the maths in my head and conclude Sheila has the power to bend and manipulate time. Sheila explains she's here because she's seeing double and she goes on to highly recommends her optician in Camden, he's called Robert too. I'm told to ask for him and tell him Sheila sent me.

Eventually, Sheila tires of me and picks up the infected Tatler. She either reads exceptionally fast or is just scanning each page for pictures. I see her halt and draw the page to within an inch if her nose to see better the bare torso of a man in a fitness article. Sheila may be close to 200 years old but she and I can still spot a hotty with our dysfunctional eyes. My attention wanders the room before Sheila asks me out of the blue, 'do you like rock music?' An hour later and a conversation that has covered Australia, Dubai, America, two divorces, west end theatre, Manchester coal pits, interior design, call girls, Scottish farming and the V&A is halted by the arrival of my Guillaume.

I am saved.

Maybe another hour of waiting passes before some excitement. 10 patients names are called at once and we are herded into a lift. My theory: the NHS now treats patients collectively, hosing you in medicine and hoping for the best. Those who fail to respond to treatment are rolled into mass graves and set alight. I'm waiting for the hose, it never comes. Instead we arrive at yet another waiting area. This one has walls white: like Hollywood teeth, with a Lino floor: pink like infected gums.

An agitated patient begins to cry because she can't bear the wait any longer. The scene turns from comic to tragic - she begs to be seen because her daughter and grandchild need to get home and the little boy has a big school trip tomorrow. Maybe rightly so, but not nicely so, she is told to wait. There are three patients before her and I'm thinking I'm number two. Turns out I'm right and the big moment has come... My name is announced 'Mr. MaarCaarFraaaay' ...no time to correct... Am I gonna die? Will the fruit box shelves be my swan song? Test after test is ran by a man so northern he is off the chart (and yet he still southernised my surname!) Peaking out from under his flat cap he has a eager pleasant way about him and states that I have waited three hours and now I get his undivided attention. I feel his bedside manner will deliver my horrible news with a delicate charm. I am ready to hear the worst.

 So I ask, 'what is doc?'

   He replies, 'You have blepharitis!'

     I stare vacantly.

      'Basically... you have eye-dandruff'.


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