The snoring scrum half

They looked a bit lost! “Is this the right place to see Irma Schutte?” the mother asked hesitantly. “Who are you?” my colleague enquired.

“We  have  come  all  the  way  from  Stellenbosch”,  the  woman  took  the  lead,  while  the  two  men  accompanying  her kept  quiet.  “We  brought  our  son  Hendrik  to  see  Irma”,  she  said,  pointing  to  the  younger  of  the  two  men.  Hendrik was short, stocky, hair cut short, back and sides. He tried to look relaxed with a half-hearted smile, in response to the introduction.

“Oh yes, Irma is still busy. She will be with you in a few minutes. Please take a seat”. Very often people expect a ‘doctor’s’  room  and  are  surprised  to  find  a  relaxed,  informal  setup.  They  sat  comfortably  paging  through  the available magazines, when I approached them. Once they had settled into my office, the mother took the lead, yet again. “It is a rather difficult problem, you see. My son plays rugby for Stellenbosch University and he also studies there. He lives in the residence there.” She took a breath, her eyes darting to meet his. He sat, looking at the floor, right  hand  absentmindedly  rubbing  his  chin.  “His  friends,  and  the  people  sharing  the  hostel  with  him,  have  a  big problem – he snores so loudly that no one can sleep!

He keeps the whole res awake. His friends can’t go on holiday with him, they won’t share a room with him. When the  rugby  team  goes  on  trips,  he  is  always  a  problem.  Sometimes  his  friends  pick  him  up  off  his  bed  while  he’s asleep  and  take  him  to  an  outside  room,  just  to  get  some  rest.  He  has  had  an  operation  to  his  throat,  with  very limited success. He tried the sprays and the other potions available on the market for snoring. Nothing much helps. My  mother  even  stitched  cotton  reels  into  the  back  of  his  pyjama  shirt!  The  old  people  used  to  do  that  which caused the snorer discomfort when he rolled onto his back, which is when most people snore the most, to try get the  snorer  to  roll  onto  his  side!  But  to  no  avail.  He  even  snores  lying  on  his  side!”  The  mother,  a  middle-aged typically  concerned  mother,  talked  and  talked  to  tell  the  story.  That  this  young  man’s  snoring  was  causing  such concern and discomfort to many people, was clearly obvious!

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