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26 Mar 2008

Post number 30: NHS Communication (or lack thereof)

There’s another morning of my life I’ll never get back,that’s because I’ve been stuck in the delightful non-functioning bureaucracy that is the NHS system. This morning (Wednesday) I had a hospital appointment for some super painful Botox shots in my neck (not to nip in the bud any premature wrinkles in my neck mind rather to weaken the muscles on the right of my neck so that my head stops being involuntarily dragged over to the right or in laymans terms to stop me looking like a demented freak who can’t keep his head in the middle). I have had these sorts of injections before but the fact they’re incredibly painful was just one of the reasons I wasn’t looking forward to it. The others were: Because of the appointment time, 9:30 at Charing Cross hospital (for some reason located nowhere near Charing Cross, but somewhat inexplicably in Hammersmith) meant waking up at 7:30 (early for me, my stroke has meant that getting out of bed is even harder than it used to be and my turning circle is about as long as that of an ocean going supertanker (it used to be about 5 minutes, it is now over an hour at best and usually a lot longer); secondly, having to sit in the waiting room and surprise, surprise, WAIT( anyone who has been in or around one of London’s hospitals will understand when I say that they have the feel of vast waiting rooms full of people waiting to die) if you’re already clinically depressed then they’re not your first choice of venue. Speaking of depression, I learnt a valuable lesson yesterday. My friend Carlie, whom I am growing fonder of by the day, invited me to share her mothers 49th birthday with her and her family at their house in Dulwich. In the ambulance on the way there she confessed to me that on her hospital bed in Lewisham hospital having discovered the extent of her ailment she had wanted to die. Like a shot it suddenly became clear to me why it is so much better to be alive despite the irritating/dreadful disabilities one may have. It is quite simply had she not been there then I would have been deprived of the enjoyment of spending that time with her and the same goes for me, If I were dead I would be depriving someone (God knows who, I don’t think it matters) of the enjoyment they get from spending time with me. In other words you always owe it to others to stay alive. This has probably been said a million times before and is probably verbatim what it says in psychology textbooks but it suddenly made sense to me in that moment between us yesterday. Anyway, I digress. The reason why this morning was such a stupendous waste of time was having gone through all sorts of Purdah (both mental and physical) to get to the appointment it was frustrating to find it had been cancelled and they had told precisely no-one! What a huge waste of everyones time and more importantly, energy (especially to those it is in short supply to!). I have been even more out of it than usual Today, I’m sure as a result, at least I hope so?!

4 comments:

Jake said...

Classic NHS, how ridiculously inconsiderate!

I suppose they are maintaining your youthful looking, wrinkle free neck for free though (when they feel like it).

Dom P said...

I'll have you know Jake, over the (short) course of my working life I paid plenty of tax which,natch, I have probably got back in treatment, I am grateful to the Nhs but it is kinda muted

Jake said...

Heh heh, fair enough! Did I tell you that I once went for an operation on my ears on the recommendation of my local ENT department. I didn't eat or drink for 24 hours beforehand, got up at 5am to make my 6:30am appointment, got into the gown, the stockings, the slippers and sat on the bed for half an hour feeling like a proper patient. Then they told me that actually my ears weren't bad enough to operate on and sent me home. What a ridiculous faff for no reason.

Simon said...

Got any photos of you all dolled up Jake?

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