After about a year of constant praying and being filled in by Rob, I ended up in the doctor's waiting room getting the results of my various tests and scans.
Sniveling toddlers fingered the grubby old toys in one corner, their mothers staring blankly at out-of-date magazines. Pensions coughed on their lonely chairs. And then there was me and my mum. I wished she hadn't had to go with me, I never did get on with her and she didn't know about my prayers. After all, I was the only Christian in the family. Until then, I had not noticed my legs were shaking. For a while I had had my suspicions about what was wrong with me, but mum had called me a hypochondriac so many times that I did not want to voice my concerns, in case I was wrong and she had proper reasons to moan at me every waking minute.
Papers shuffled. Phones rang. Names flittered across the over head voice. Only when mum pulled me up did I realise my name was being called.
"Please, mum, I want to go in by myself." I managed to bring myself to say, knowing she would persist. Instead she calmly sat back down; but I knew she was just saving it for the car journey home.
I walked nobly past the receptionist and through the shabby doorway. I knocked on Consultant Room Number Six. If death had a name, that would be it.