A small middle aged man with a noticeably receding hair line greeted them.
“Hello I’m Doctor Cassidy, you must be Oscar. What seems to be the problem?”
“I’m just a little concerned about my health, it hasn’t been so great over the past few months.”
“I see. Could you tell me about your past medical history Oscar?”
“I’m normally healthy, or at least I was until a few months ago. I’ve barely been ill in the past expect for the odd cough and cold during the winter. I’ve lost weight quickly. I have no appetite any more, I just don’t physically feel hungry. It’s possibly just stress. We’ve had a difficult time over the past few months.”
“He has no energy. Then there’s the headaches.”
Oscar cleared his throat. “They’re pretty bad. I get no warning, they come on all of a sudden. I’m struggling to control my emotions at the moment.”
“Oscar sleeps far longer than he used to. He’s passed out a couple of times.” Ava cleared her throat.
“I got diagnosed with concussion a few months ago. Could it be linked to that?”
Doctor Cassidy studied Oscar’s notes in more detail. “Possibly. The symptoms can linger for weeks. We’ll do some routine checks. I’ll take your blood pressure and listen to your heart rate.We’ll go from there. We might need to get you booked in for an ECG.”
“Do you have any cases of heart conditions or any other significant health problems in your family?”
Oscar shook his head. “No not really. I can’t think of anything.”
“Okay. I’ll do your blood pressure manually, it gives a more accurate reading. Are you able to roll back your sleeve?”
“Sure.” Doctor Cassidy placed a pillow under Oscar’s arm, he pumped up the cuff gently releasing the small red valve so that the cuff might deflate slightly, allowing the small red arrow on the reader to fall.
“Hmm 95/68 it’s a little low. Ideally I’d like you to have a blood pressure reading of at least 100/70 but it’s nothing to be hugely concerned about, I’ve seen far worse. I might try the other arm if that’s alright.”
“It’s almost exactly the same. Can I have a listen to your chest, have you been experiencing any palpitations or unusual heart rhythms?”
“No, not really.”
“Alright. Hmm your heart rate is normal. Sometimes faintness can be caused by the heart fluttering or a heart murmur, although yours seems to be fine at present, I’m still going to do an ECG.”
Ava sighed. “That’s a huge relief. That’s what I was most worried about. So do you think it’s the low blood pressure and stress that has caused this?”
“Possibly. I’m also going to book you in for some blood tests.”
“Will we have to come back for them?”
“Yes. I’ll make sure you have a full blood count taken, it should reveal any underlying problems.”
“You’ll receive a letter and a phone call within the next couple of days with the details. Take things easy if you feel unwell, make sure that you get plenty of rest. Are you still attending lectures?”
“Yeah. luckily they’re only normally 3 hours long. I’ll cope.”
“Hmm, it’s your decision. I can write you a sick note.”
Oscar shook his head. “I’ll be fine.”
Ava grasped Oscar’s arm “I really think that would be a good idea Oscar.” Oscar shook his head.
“I’ll do your ECG. Are you able to lie on the small couch. Just pull the curtain and remove your top.” Oscar nodded with Ava following behind, who quickly seated herself in the plastic chair. Doctor Cassidy entered the small cubicle a few moments later.
“Okay I’m just going to place these tabs onto your chest and then one on each leg and arm. Once that’s done I’ll connect you to the monitor. Don’t worry it will only take a few minutes.”
He did so, Oscar and Ava did not utter a word, waiting for the result to appear on the small screen.
“Hmm.” Doctor Cassidy squinted his eyes, taking a closer view at the reading. “I’m just going to print a copy and then I’ll do a repeat reading if that’s alright with you.”
“Yeah fine.” Oscar nodded. “There’s nothing too abnormal on there is there?”
“No, it looks very normal indeed. I just want to make sure that it’s completely correct.”
He adjusted three of the leads ever so slightly and re-took the reading. “Again it looks fine, I’m happy with that.”
“Oh thank god!” Ava exclaimed. “That’s what worried me the most. I’m so glad we’ve cleared that up. ”
Doctor Cassidy nodded. “I’ll just take your blood sugar. It shouldn’t hurt. Have you eaten today?”
He took a small device from the grey box on the side and pricked Oscar’s finger, catching the tiny drop of blood on the strip. The small device beeped. “Five. Yes that’s a normal reading.”
“Of course, you still have your appointment for your blood tests.”
“Yes that’s right. Thank you.”
“You’re more than welcome. I’ll give you a few moments to organise yourself but you’re free to go.” Oscar nodded.
“Look after yourself. Good luck with your blood tests.”
Oscar smiled and shook Doctor Cassidy’s hand. “Thanks.”
Ava stood at Oscar’s side, her eyes full to the brim with tears. Oscar held her to him. “Don’t you worry” Oscar coaxed. “It will all be fine, you’ll see.”
To be continued…