LIFE BY LOUIS: An interesting visit to a physiologist

Wednesday March 18 2020

I went to see a physiologist so that I can start acclimatising with such specialists before real money shows up at my doorstep. ILLUSTRATION| IGAH


Rich chicken farmers can’t be caught saying that they are going to the hospital.

They go for appointments with specialists like physiologists and nutritionists.

Because I can already smell immense wealth from a distance going the way my chicken are quickly gaining weight, I went to see a physiologist so that I can start acclimatising with such specialists before real money shows up at my doorstep.

A physiologist is a medical practitioner who studies your body and gives you accurate predictions as to whether you are going to walk with your body into the following year or not. 

They are the gentlest specialists I have ever met, especially if you do a quick comparison with dentists.

The only thing they have in common is that they attended the same common course in their first year of study in college.

All medical practitioners must attend a mandatory Mandarin language course in their first year of study.

Mandarin is the universal language for writing medical prescriptions and you cannot qualify as a practitioner unless you pass the subject with a distinction.

Despite the assurance that physiologists are gentle creatures, I was still very apprehensive as I waited at the reception. I read the five-year-old magazines there. They were mostly foreign journals that talk about abstract subjects that even the specialist themselves have no idea about.

When I was ushered in, my fears were diffused. She must have been about 60.

You can tell someone’s age going by the kind of eye glasses that they are wearing.

If they are relics from those days when Kikuyu Eye hospital was the only one offering spectacles, you are sure that you are dealing with a person who has traded their career for well over half a decade.


She perfectly fitted my description of a doctor. Very calm and unruffled by my exaggerated self-diagnosis, even when I tried really hard to make my situation sound very grave so that I could walk out with a recommendation to be allowed two weeks of sick off.

She was quite methodical and seemed to have seen many people who are now in heaven.

She requested me to lay facing up on the flat bed behind the curtains.  

Hospital curtains are some of the items that make me convinced that doctors do not have a sense of fashion, but that is a subject for another day.  

I closed my eyes as soft hands felt my neck, looking for signs of swollen glands and possible signs of previous strangulation.

She then took a torch and like it happens most of the time, it did not light up in the first attempt. She told me to open my mouth, roll out my tongue and say “Aaaah”.

This is a universal command and it is applied equally to babies and adults, only that babies have to be persuaded further by the doctor inserting a wooden probe into the babies mouth and holding down the tongue.

She was quiet as she peeped through my throat and into my stomach.

She must have seen my oesophagus that has been battered by many years of swallowing hard adult beverages, hot tea and dry meat.

She must have peeped down further and seen what I had taken for breakfast as it settled in the stomach waiting for the day shift digestive system to start.

She seemed convinced that I had not swallowed anything that is meant for railway line construction, and the digestive machines down there were well serviced and ready to kick in for the next shift.

The harder part was when she started feeling my stomach with her hands from the exterior.

I suppose she had spotted some piece of ugali that was sitting badly and she wanted to adjust it by pressing on my navel.


I avoided eye contact when she reached for the kidneys which are located near my leather belt. Kidneys are sensitive organs and you don’t want to see her facial reaction when she checks whether the two tiny organs are still present.

They could have been harvested on a random night when I dozed off in my local outlet, and she could break those devastating news to me as I lay there on the hard bed with bland curtains.

It was soon over, and we were back to her motherly talk about avoiding stress, red meat, cheese (who eats cheese in these hard economic times?), processed foods and smoking.

I promised her that I would stop smoking but I would give her a call if I got a good supplier, and we both laughed at the dry joke.

“Don’t worry son, you won’t die soon in my estimation. Just be a good lad and take these knee ligament rejuvenation supplements, let me see you in a month.”

“Thanks Mum,” I whispered hoarsely."


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