I’m sitting in the GP walk in centre. Trying not to breathe. Or touch anything. There are people coughing and hacking all around me and I can imagine germs swarming towards me talking in strange nasal voices like a Domestos advert.
I waited in a queue of one – just me - while the apathetic receptionists chatted about the tea rota and applied lip balm and made sure their pens were perpendicular to the desk edge.
I shuffle in the queue wondering whether being ill makes you invisible to receptionists. Please. I just want to see the doctor. I want to feel better. I'm going to have to run the marathon whatever happens and I'm going to try to run it at the speed I'm supposed to. But it will hurt. It will hurt even more if I'm unwell. Please just help me. Stop applying your lip balm and stop your inane chat about who is getting sugar in their tea. I know I'm unimportant but I just don't want I have to hurt more than necessary. Sometimes trying hard isn't enough. I need help today.
Finally get seen by receptionist. Grudgingly. On her part.
I’m sitting here with the smallest parts of my buttocks touching the hard plastic orange chairs, breathing in through my nose and with my handbag on my lap like a prissy old lady. I’m trying to hold back the urge to go round and spray everyone coughing with the antiseptic spray and I’m rubbing alcohol gel on my hands so often I look like a miser anticipating a big haul of gold.
Get seen by Nurse Practitioner. Who is actually lovely, sympathetic and in direct contrast to the receptionists. She prescribes me some antibiotics. And almost apologetically tells me I shouldn’t race while on antibiotics. I reassure it’ll be fine. I will have finished the prescription by almost 2 days by the time Paris marathon comes around. I clutch my slip of green paper and shuffle out of her office.