Monday, August 17, 2009


Hospitals are funny places, or at least they can be if you keep your sense of humour.  I’ve seen more than my fair share in the past few years, but they still never fail to entertain me.

Every three months or so I have an appointment at 11.15 to see a consultant.  Sometimes there’s a huge queue, today there wasn’t.  Still I never get seen before 1pm – and then only for about five minutes.  They don’t do anything, just ask how I am and check bloods (which I will have had taken a week before).  I’m sure they could as easily just send me an ‘OK – See you in 3 months’ message by phone or mail.  

To keep this appointment I have to get somebody to drive me, – not nice when you know this is going to be a fairly regular thing and people have their own lives to live and jobs to do - because I couldn’t walk the distance from the car park to the lobby which is where one gets a wheel-chair.  I leave home at around 10.15 to be in time – not early, just in time. They won’t give you a wheel-chair without a porter, but will let your ‘minder’ take charge for the return trip, so it can’t be for safety reasons.   They park the wheel-chair slap bang in the middle of the narrow corridor where everyone else has to step over it or negotiate their way around you. 

Today I felt quite ill while I was waiting.  I overheard a passing nurse saying ‘that person looks tired’.  Stupidly, thinking she cared, I said I wasn’t tired but felt quite ill.  In my innocence I had said to daughter-in-law who was my transporter, what better place to get sick.  I was wrong.  There was no response of any kind from any of the four uniformed women standing roughly two feet from me who carried on their conversation.

Himself, the King, getting jealous of my relationship with this hospital had taken his turn there and booked in for the past week and a half.  Today I met him for the first time since he went in – but he was going in the opposite direction, being ferried home by another friend.  He had to be out before 11, whereas I had to be in by 11.15.  (All these arrangements had to be made by guess who?  Right, first time!)  Luckily grandson had volunteered to be at home when he got there in case he needed help – hubby had had surgery.  Needless to day both hubby and grandson were starving and waiting for lunch by the time I returned.

In case you think I’m feeling sorry for myself, I’m not.  I met a woman outside, older than me by about 10 years, who had been there since 5am.  Her husband has some as yet undiagnosed illness and they had sent for her to sit with him because he was restless and needed someone to be with him.  She had also spent Saturday  from 7am until 10.30pm on the same errand.  She lives much further away than I do, afraid to drive on the motorway, and has to get her son to get up and bring her there and collect her each time.

Ah well.  I suppose if there were no hospitals it would be even worse.  But it’s a much better idea to stay healthy and not get sick at all!


  1. Hi Joan - I hope you are feeling a little better now. Your equanimity and good humour is admirable - I must say all of what you described I know quite well and it makes me angry more than anything else. I am not impressed with the way the health service is going - it's all about money these days, not people. When I complained to my doctor about how expensive some diagnostic procedures are he said (with a haughty air) - 'if you feel that way you should take a loan from a bank' - a bit rich in a recession I thought! You're right, keeping healthy is looking like the safest option!

  2. Sounds like a bit of an ordeal alright, and funny timing! Good that ye made it back home in one piece.

  3. I see it more as interesting rather than annoying. OK so its hard to have to ask people to help when you're an independent cuss like me, but good for puncturing ones ego! And when you think of people who have been sick all their lives? God knows I'm no saint and I mutter and curse like anyone else and rail at the unfairness. But not for long - I'm far too frail for that. Have to get rid of it and on to the next thing. Must get writing instead of moaning....