The Patient

by Glynis Mings

The Patient

It started out as any other day in Harry Tillman's life. He would awaken at 6 a.m., shower and shave then have his morning cup of coffee. But just as he headed for the door, the phone rings. It is the voice of his doctor on the other end with the news of his tests results. The doctor tells him that he must have surgery. Now, Harry had recently gone through a messy divorce which he believed was the cause of his weak heart and big hole in his wallet. He would have to face this surgery all alone; and regretted not having children from his 13-year marriage. As for his ex-wife she had already remarried. Harry decides to call in to the office sick. He thinks about his part of the big project at work that won't get done now. He knows that this is it for him. This was his last chance to prove he's a valuable member of the team; besides that he was written up for poor performance and given an ultimatum to deliver results or look for another job.

After shedding a few tears, Harry quickly pulls himself together and decides to go into the office after all. He knows he will need to stall on his part of the project until he can conveniently go out on sick leave and be covered under the company's insurance plan. He arrives at the office and is met by the boss. "I thought someone said you were sick and would not be in today." Harry replies, "I took a little something and feel a lot better now. You know I have to meet my deadline for the project." "Oh, yeah," the boss replies, "how is your part coming along?" Harry replies, "Just fine. I should have it ready for testing by the end of the week." "Good," the boss replies, "we're all counting on it."

As soon as the boss is out of sight; Harry wipes the sweat from his forehead. He goes into his office to try and think of a way to get out of having his part complete and getting into the hospital to have his surgery. He then thinks to himself; well I'm going into the hospital for surgery on my heart anyway; what if I just fake a heart attack. Let's see now, I told the boss I would have my part done by the end of the week. So, I'll just have my heart attack on Thursday and they'll have me rushed to the hospital. I'm supposed to have heart surgery anyway; so the ER will contact my doctor and he will go ahead and do the surgery. Yeah, this can work! This way I get out of having my part finished; get the surgery I need and have insurance cover the hospital bill. I may even have a job when I get back.

Harry had it all figured out or at least he thought so. He had no way of knowing he would be fired on Tuesday because it was decided that his part of the project really was not needed. Harry becomes depressed and for weeks he drinks heavily and takes pills to numb the pain. Meanwhile, his doctor has been trying to contact him to set up his surgery.

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