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"Please take off your clothes"

"Please take off your clothes"

I keep falling asleep in pubs, restaurants, cars – any time I get 20 minutes to myself. So at long last, I get an appointment to see a narcolepsy specialist. Who’s based at a huge hospital out of town necessitating a (relative to me) luxurious taxi ride.

I haven’t stepped foot in a hospital for 8 years, so i was curious to see what
7 years of a Labour government have given us – as far as I can tell, more shops in hospitals. There was a cafe, a post office, and even a ruddy W.H.Smiths’ (newsagents) at Reception. Providing a no-doubt “save me from boredom” service but nakedly commercial. Surely a library’d be equally useful?

Onward and upward to the clinic, where they perform some rather (to my head) unusual tests for someone who sleeps at the drop of a hat. They weighed me (eek!), tested my eyesight then ushering me in to see the student doctor evaluating me for sleep disorders.

After asking some questions, he asks me to take off all my clothes (well, except the boxer shorts). This makes no medical sense to me, but you do what the guy in the white labcoat orders. He then proceeds to test all my reflexes – alarmingly, my knee reflexes don’t work at all. But why I have to be semi-naked in an unflattering purple dressing gown still befuddles me.

After about 30 minutes of lying on the bed semi-naked waiting for the specialist, he comes in, asks me a few questions then imperiously announces that I don’t have narcolepsy, I’m wasting his time and that what I ought to do is eat less, move more, but he’ll schedule a sleep examination anyway, and sweeps out the door again.

Some things about the NHS just don’t change.


  • I didn’t want to say that in case I sounded unsympathetic. But yeah. Either get a job that means working nights to fit in with your geek ethics or put a timer plug on your PC so it switches off at 1am!

    And I’m as guilty as you are, I know.

  • Hmmm… Narcolepsy me arse – spending all night surfing and playing computer games is probably a good place ot start… 😀

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