diamond geezer

 Wednesday, March 06, 2013

For reasons never adequately explained, I have been sent to a different outpost of Outpatients. My original appointment was in December, but then I received a letter sending me somewhere else, under someone else, three months later. Reception is brighter than where I was last sent, and the ladies behind the counter are rather chirpier. But the remainder of the facilities look like as little money as possible has been spent on them over the past few decades, bar some fresh vandalproof chairs by the entrance. Somebody's misplaced my notes, which I put down to the folder being much thinner than everyone else's, so I have to go and wait elsewhere for a bit.

A nurse eventually calls me in for weighing, which apparently one does without taking off one's shoes. She's quick, but I work out I could lose half a stone next time purely by coming in trainers. I'm sure I'm the youngest patient here, by at least a decade, probably two. Most are sitting staring forward, or chatting to a carer or spouse - I'm the only one who appears to have brought some reading material. The staff at the clinic know this, and have covered the walls with simple messages about healthy eating and approved rates of drinking. The man sat next to me is holding a packet of mince in a Tesco carrier bag. It's lean mince, which is encouraging, but I'm uncomfortable spending so long in the presence of raw sliced meat in a place like this.

One especially grizzled gentleman is here in a wheelchair, and natters to anyone who'll listen. The nurse says she'll help him into the consulting room when the time comes, but when the time comes she's otherwise detained and he has to hobble without her. Consultants and junior doctors pop their heads out of the suite of rooms occasionally, sometimes to grab a drink, sometimes to call in a patient. But the afternoon's appointments are, apparently, running half an hour late. Those sitting around me are unhappy at the delay, especially as "it's never normally this busy". They tut quietly, and stare at the noticeboard on the wall some more. Before long I start my second flick-through of Time Out, which is brief, and I'm left wishing the content was a bit more interesting these days.

The main consultant arrives late because he's been doing proper medicine in the main hospital, and swishes into his room. I have a one thirty with him, which is a little unnerving because everyone else seems to have been allocated to a junior. Another one thirty appointment goes in half an hour late, but I'm left waiting much longer than everyone else, perhaps because the professor is sneaking down some lunch. On the wall nearby is a donations box, because this corner of the NHS relies on the kindness of its patients for certain equipment. An elderly lady approaches, slowly, and attempts to post a thickly stuffed envelope inside a slot she's too short to see. She folds, and pushes, and moves the envelope around a bit in case she's missed something, but has no success because the box has been designed for coins and single notes only. Defeated she heads to reception, a little reticently, but needs must.

At last, a full fifty-two minutes late, I'm summoned inside. Intriguingly it's not by the senior consultant but by one of his juniors, the one who's already seen his one thirty appointment. My one thirty with the professor has been cast aside to speed up the queue, or at least I assume it has, it's never stated. The junior hasn't read my notes so flicks through them from the front, gathering a handful of salient points then asking me for the rest. I tell him a fairly garbled account of my backstory, missing out many of the things I've been practising saying during the weeks leading up to the appointment. He asks if I drink moderately and I say I do, although I bet he's been trained to assume I'm lying. He asks if I exercise and I mention walking, yes, for more than a mile. Then he pops me up on the couch, and pops me down again, and looks vaguely earnest.

He enquires whether anyone has spoken to me about a particular procedure. They have actually, several times, as he'd know if he'd read past page three of my notes. He tells me I could have this procedure done or I could not have it done, which is what I knew when I arrived, and he presents no convincing arguments either way. Previously I've been advised both ways, so his vague urgings are no help whatsoever. Not to worry, I'm more than happy to stick with inaction on this front for as long as possible. I doubt I'd have got away with indecision if I'd met the main man instead, but he demoted me to the junior so he can't be too worried about my condition. And yes of course I'll book another appointment in a year's time, and then maybe we can play the consultant raffle again.

<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>

click to return to the main page

...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan18  Feb18  Mar18  Apr18  May18  Jun18  Jul18
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17  Oct17  Nov17  Dec17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

» email me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

my flickr photostream