30 March 2011 (Wednesday) - Pulling a Sickie
Yesterday I said “As the day and evening wore on, so my eye has become progressively more painful. We’ll see what it’s like in the morning….” I woke this morning unable to open it: it was gunged shut. So I thought I’d take the day as a sick day. After all, it would only be my fourth sickie in five years. I know of people who’ve had more than ten times that amount of sick leave in only one year.
I had this theory that my eye was (relatively) fine until the doctor in A&E gave me the cream for it yesterday: I wondered if maybe I was allergic to what I’d been given. So I decided I’d go see my doctor today - whether they liked it or not.
I’ve mentioned in the past about how my G.P. surgery doesn’t like patients coming along, and how they flatly refuse to give appointments. Today was rather typical of my experiences with them.
I arrived at the surgery at 7.30am to find no one there but the builders, so I took a seat and waited for the surgery staff to arrive. In the meantime the builders regaled me with horror tales of the things they’d seen in that surgery, and how I was lucky the place hadn’t fallen down on me. It would seem that builders are neither subject to the Hippocratic Oath nor proud of their workmanship.
The receptionist arrived at 7.50, and I tried to see if I could get an appointment. She snarled that the surgery didn’t open until 8am, so I sat and waited. And so did she. Exactly as the second hand of the clock got to 8am she asked if she could help me. I said I’d like an appointment. She asked if 11.50am would do. I asked if there was anything earlier. She said there were only emergency appointments available. I said I thought I qualified as an emergency, and showed her my eye. She grudgingly offered me a 9.30am appointment, whilst muttering to herself about it. I suggested that I might go home and come back at 9.30am, but was told that if I left the building they would cancel my appointment.
So I then sat and watched a succession of other people who wandered in, asked for an emergency appointment, and got seen before me. I consoled myself by trying to read my book. This wasn’t easy: firstly I couldn’t really see it, and secondly the “council harridan” was rather off-putting. This fellow patient, clearly a delightful denizen of Stanhope, was constantly shrieking at its daughter; said offspring having apparently stolen all of the family allowance to buy someone else a Mothers Day present. From what I could work out the child had stolen all the cash from its mother’s purse to buy a friend’s mother a gift on the understanding that when the friend’s mother got her child allowance, that cash would stolen to refund the original theft. What charming people one meets these days (!)
I eventually got in to see the doctor at 10am, and she concurred with my diagnosis. I probably was allergic to the cream I got yesterday, and she prescribed me some new stuff.
Whilst I was in with the doctor I took the opportunity to show her my back. I’m sure it’s nothing serious, but anyone who’s spent time with me will probably have commented that I often rub my back up against door frames and walls. It constantly itches, and I’ve been trying (off and on) for over a year to get it seen by my G.P., but have been unable to get an appointment. I apologised to the doc about having two maladies for her: I said I’d seen the sign at the reception desk saying I could only have one disease at a time, but I asked if she would make an exception. The doc seemed quite understanding, and said it’s just dry skin. I should get more cream for it.
On the way out I read a letter on the wall from the surgery’s patient’s forum. My first thought was that they were a self appointed bunch of do-gooders. But on further reading it seems they are a self appointed bunch of self-servers. I got the distinct impression that being on that committee gave you a far better chance of getting an appointment at the surgery.
I’ve mentioned in the past that I want to change my G.P. The problem is that no surgery will take me when I am mid-complaint. And when I’m otherwise well, I don’t think about going to the quack. I must remember to do something about changing my doctor in a week or so….