He sat waiting for the doctor. The door goes up, and a man in a white coat and thick glasses peer out: “Henry Wall” he calls. His handshake is firm before he points to the chair where Henry can sit. Henry sits down nervously, looking around in the room, feeling his heart beat hard in his chest. The doctor sits in front of the screen, his eyes searching intently for something.
“So, what can I do for you?” He barely looks over at Henry, but reach for a cup of coffee next to the computer.
“Well, I haven`t felt so good recently..”.
“Yes, I see that you have a history with several cases of the flu. It`s that time of year!”.
Henry looks down, its more of a mental flu, but how can he explain? The doctor writes something that must be “flu”.
“So, how long have you been sick”
“Well, it all started…”
“Give me days!” The doctor interrupts, the lack of patience obvious even if he tries to suppress it.
Henry looks at him, swallowing the lump in his throath.
“Well, I`m not exactly sure..”
The doctor looks irritated, waits for more information.
“Maybe.. A week?”. Suddenly this has become a contest. Like if he has the right answer, he will get one of those small presents children get when they have been brave at the dentist’s office.
The doctor nods. He continues to ask about the symptoms, and also listens to his heart and looks down his throat. He takes his blood pressure, and says it`s slightly elevated.
Henry answers as fast as he can on every question. When the doctors asks about low energy levels or fever, he starts to say “Well, I`m not sure exactly..”, and the doctor takes this as a confirmation on the reality of the symptoms, even if he didn`t say that he had them.
Before he went in, he had thought about if he could manage another day feeling like he does. He had been thinking about how easy it would be to not live anymore. He had wondered If anybody would care if he died, and even if somebody would find him in his house. Should he drive a car into the water? Could he make it look like an accident? In huge letters it professed that one in four suffers from depression, and it could help to see a doctor to get an appointment where you could talk with somebody. Maybe even medication. But now he just felt stupid.
He left the office with a sick-leave in his hand. He didn`t need it. He would never go to work again.