I was in my office looking over the file of my next patient.
"Gwyneth Marmut," I whispered as I turned the page. "What a weird name." The paper described her as having a pain in the arm pit of her right knee- so her knee-pit, I guess.
She weighed 186 pounds and was 47. She reminded me of a janitor that used to mop the floors of my high school.
I let out a long sing of mindless boredom. "Let's get this drizzle over with!" I opened the door of my office and poked my head into the lobby.
"Marmut? Gwyneth Marmut?"
"Yes yes! That's me!" She said, standing suddenly.
"Won't you join me in my office? Oh, and bring the small child!"
Gwyneth grabbed her son by the wrist and dragged him across the floor. "Thank you, Doc!"
"Certainly." I closed the door behind the mother and son. "So I understand that your right knee-pit is causing you some discomfort today?"
"Um, yes Doc that's right. It started yesterday, completely out of the blue-."
"Oh my god, everyone says that."
"No no, never mind. Go on!"
"Well it started up and I didn't know what it was and my sister said to come get it checked out because it could be cancer."
"Is your sister a doctor?"
"I didn't think so. Ok! Let's a take a look!"
I got down on my knees with a magnifying glass. "Does this hurt?" I asked as I pushed my thumb into her knee-pit with all my strength.
"AIII!!!!!" She screamed. Her son fell to the floor in surprise. "Yes doc, it does!"
I shook my head in frustration. I had seen this before. It was no more than a blister caused from the hem of her shorts chaffing against her skin.
I made a split second decision and did something that I don't often do. I sniffed loudly, then I looked at Gwyneth with great sadness.
"Gwyneth. I want you to REALLY hear me now."
"You have a terribly rare disease called Hemitus-7. It's started in your knee-pit and will eventually spread to your heart. You have three months to live."
The colour drained from Gwyneth's face. "Oh my..." She looked at her son. "Oh oh oh... This can't be real.."
"It's not." I snapped, standing abruptly and walking over to the desk. "It's a simple blister. You're fine. Enjoy the rest of your day, Gwyneth."