My new doctor bears an uncanny resemblance to Mr. Bean. He has the same angular eyebrows, the same vacant look in his eyes and a regrettable tendency to mutter inaudibly under his breath while reading. Admittedly I do find this a little disconcerting, but then it’s not like I’ve had much choice in this whole affair. I watch as he taps his pen against his medical notes and sighs, tiny beads of sweat forming on his temples in the sweltering office. I shift uncomfortably on the chair, looking up at Chuck who at this minute is leaning against the office door scrutinising the new doctor.
‘It’s a long hard road to recovery you know’ says the doctor, his educated accent betraying his unfortunate appearance, ‘But we do see a considerable improvement in a significant percentage of our patients’. He doesn’t look up at me as he speaks, engrossed in my medical history, ‘however a stay of this length is somewhat unusual.’
‘Hear that? You are somewhat unusual’ grins Chuck from the doorway. ‘Why doesn’t he tell us something we don’t know?’
I cast him a look of disapproval.
‘Let me see’ says the doctor as he peruses my notes, ‘we have tried chlorpromazine, molindone, haloperidol and you have been taking clozapine for the last six months. And you report no difference while on the meds... the, err, primary symptom is still very much evident?’
‘Primary symptom indeed’ snorts Chuck from the doorway. ‘Hasn’t this guy been to medical school?’
‘That’s right’ I respond to the doctor ‘the primary symptom, the only symptom, never changes. No matter what Dr. Bingham or any of the others prescribed, Chuck is always there.’
‘And you have not experienced any other symptoms? No blunted emotion, no asociality, no avolition?’ I shake my head. ‘How unusual’ mutters the doctor, furiously scribbling on his notepad, ‘any adverse effects with the clozapine?’
‘Tell him about the constipation’ interjects Chuck, ‘it makes me laugh - your constipated face reminds me of that world’s strongest man competition, really, it’s painful to watch’
I choose to ignore Chuck this time and shake my head again, because there seems to be little point in telling yet another doctor when I have already told several others. They all sound the same these doctors, this one is just like the rest of them - a medical mp3 track set on repeat.
Chuck unfolds his arms and takes a few paces forward, so that he is directly behind the doctor, and leans over his shoulder to read his notes. ‘Well, I don’t think much of his handwriting’ he reports. ‘He’s changing your medication... risperi-something-or-other, and therapy, that’ll be fun, I’ve been looking forward to you getting a therapist.’
Eventually the doctor puts down his pen and leans back in his chair. ‘I am going to try you on risperidone for a few months and we will compliment that with some cognitive behavioural therapy’ he confirms. ‘This certainly is not a typical case but hopefully we will begin to make some progress.’
Chuck rolls his eyes as I thank the doctor, who after all is only doing his job, when Dr. Bingham pokes his head round the corner of the room and smiles at me. ‘Are you talking to Chuck?’ he asks gently. ‘No’ I reply, registering the worried look on Dr. Bingham’s face, ‘this new doctor, umm, I didn’t catch your name?’
The new doctor smiles and with a glint in his eye replies ‘Dr. Bean’.
I feel the wrench in my stomach as I realise I have spent the afternoon in an empty room.
Word count: 598