You can take this Friday and shove it…

It all started yesterday afternoon. A phone call came as I was about to tuck into my lunch. I answered the phone and the Indian voice at the other end of the line said that he was from “XXX Accident”. Ambulance chasers interrupting my lunch to find out whether I’d had an accident lately. I told him, “You ought to be ashamed of yourself, you piece of shit!” and hung up. I was so annoyed that I forgot to take my insulin and metformin.

I then did some surfing on the web when the phone rang again. The voice identified itself as “Leslie from the Diabetic Foot Clinic” and proceeded to ask me whether I could come in on Friday, as the nurse needed to give me an antibiotic. I asked her what the difficulty was, but she said that she “wasn’t medically trained” so couldn’t say anything. I told her I’d come in Friday afternoon, and proceeded to worry my way through dinner and a very restless night.

The only good parts of the day were a meeting with the Archdeacon this morning which helped us both get the Deanery Synod meeting and the minutes of the Archdeaconry Pastoral and Mission Committee (which should have been taken by the former Area Dean but weren’t) settled. In the middle of the meeting HWMBO called me and told me that he had lost his wallet on the bus—he was going to try to track it down. Bad news.

Then I went downstairs in the diocesan office building and attended a very fruitful focus group session with other tenants of housing associations in this area of London, talking about scrutiny of our housing associations and how we can be involved with it. Lunch followed. The session was a bit rambunctious because people came with specific complaints rather than thinking about the general procedures for getting complaints looked into. However, the leader was good and kept the bitching-and-moaning to an absolute minimum. Good session, especially since it was only 2 hours long.

Then I went home to find HWMBO’s wallet on the kitchen table with a note: he has gone home after he drew a blank with the bus people. So that was good news.

Then on to the Diabetic Foot Clinic, still in my suit and tie. I sat in the waiting room as usual, read my Grauniad, and waited for 1-1/2 hours for the nurse to see me. When he finally “noticed” I was there, he came over and said, “We need to give you some antibiotics—can you take erythromycin?” I told him that I could and he went away to scare up a doctor to write a prescription. It’s odd that in a hospital doctors are so difficult to find.

He returned without the prescription and I asked him which bug I had. It’s a kind of streptococcus, but I told him, “That’s what they found when I was here last week. I’m taking amoxicillin for it.” He looked at me, and looked at the bug they’d found, and said, “Oh, this one is sensitive to amoxicillin.”

I looked at him and said, “I see. So this entire visit was unnecessary.” He grinned sheepishly. I wasn’t grinning. “Well, while I’m here get the Professor to prescribe another 2 weeks of amoxicillin as what I have will run out in a week.” He got that and I left.

I have said before that the greatest problem with the NHS is not funding, it’s communication. The denizens of the Health Service do not communicate effectively. Obviously the podiatrist hadn’t put the fact that he’d prescribed amoxicillin last week into my file. When the nurse saw that this bug was still present, he thought I wasn’t taking any antibiotic and called me in.

So I went home and had a bourbon and Diet Coke. Some situations call for extreme action. I thought of calling London Stabbie in on this case, but he just can’t be arsed to deal with cold-call ambulance chasers and incompetent nurses and podiatrists. They are beneath his dignity.

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