After Mma left, I sat thinking. It all started coming back to me. It must have been like eighteen months ago or more that Mma and her children had come to register at the surgery having recently moved into the area from Africa.
She had told me then that they had come overseas due to her husband’s job. He worked with one of the oil companies, she said, and he had been posted abroad for four years.
She was a linguist with excellent command of Chinese and German and was hoping to get a job teaching these in one of the academies. A very pleasant woman, I recall thinking.
Her children were aged twenty-two, twenty and seventeen. The first had been due to get married in a few weeks.
Dike came to register almost six weeks after his family came. He had only come because his boss had insisted he needed to be registered with a surgery while in the UK. A complete waste of time, he told me.
He fidgeted while I went through my new patient’s routine. I was used to men feeling that coming to see the doctor was unnecessary.
Blood pressure check. Height check. Weight – a little overweight but nothing that a bit of exercise wouldn’t shift.
“Do you smoke?”
“Just when I am out in the rigs.”
“How many a day?”
“Ten sticks a day.”
“Have you ever considered stopping?”
“Maybe one day,” he glanced at his wristwatch. “Are we done now?'”
“Almost. I would like to offer you testing for blood borne viruses like HIV, Hepatitis B and C.”
“Why?” he asked surprised.
Would you have HIV and Hepatitis tests even if you believe you are not at risk??