Have you ever noticed, that when someone reports sick…for work or play and they do it over the phone, it does not really matter what they are the victims of.. cholera, malaria, diphtheria, a strange Alaskan bug… it always translates through the phone as a strange laboured cough and a hoarseness in the vocal chords that defies definition.
An average conversation would go like this:
Hell..cough cough..hello?.. er.. I’m doing quite poorly… I don’t [long pause for some serious lung expanding coughing] think I’ll be able to come in today.
With an eyebrow that is firmly entrenched in my hairline [which, since it’s receding only serves to illustrate how far aforesaid eyebrow had to travel to meet fellow-strand in disbelief] I ask: What exactly is the problem?
I am immediately treated to a text-book audio sample of a terminal case of bronchitis through which I have barely managed to catch the word ‘Myalgia’
Myalgia my a**!
Using a strategically placed napkin to sop up the dripping sarcasm that is threatening to drench the side of my shirt, I inquire politely [side note: If I’m polite, you’re in the crapper] ‘What kind of Myalgia are we talking about?’
I manage to decipher the phrase ‘the indeterminate kind’ from what is now the sound effect of someone going through a particularly rabid death throe [thought I had just made that word up, but for some reason the wriggly red underline for an incorrect spelling hasn’t turned up – which only goes to prove that someone thought that word up before me – Oh well!]
I let out a big sigh [which my lungs do quite noiselessly unlike my phone friends-es] and say the only thing I can: When you do recover from what is looking like a fatal affliction and manage to get back to work, I’ll be happy to make that indeterminate Myalgia fairly localised to somewhere just below your coccyx [of course, that was the subtext] What I said aloud was ‘Get well soon’
PS: To those of you in the know, you know. To those of you who don’t, I’ll save you a quick trip to Google and tell you that Myalgia is medical jargon for pain; plain and simple.