Friday, 28 May 2010

Why the NHS hates me

I am so sorry I have been silent for so long. I had all great plans of ensuring I posted every day - or at least Monday to Thursday whilst I am pretending to work! However, my health and I haven't been the best of friends recently. Or should that be for a long time?

I have been suffering (on top of the usual crap) with double vision in one eye, total light sensitivity in that very same eye, a killer of a headache in that very same eye (the sort where you feel there is a drumming competition going on inside your skull, and you weren't given any kind of notice!) as well as a pain down that side of my neck.

This went on for about a week, when The Mentalist decided that I should go and see a doctor, as summat clearly wasn't right. So off we toddle, and I tell her my symptoms. She sends me straight to A&E (at the hospital where I had vowed never to set foot again - I should have listened!). We drive straight to the hospital where we manage to jump all the queues and get seen by the A&E doctor. Who decides that I need to be admitted. By this time it was about 8 pm in the evening (nothing ever goes quickly with the NHS).

The Mentalist and I were shipped off to a ward, where I was to have a private room (result), so had a quick chat with the nurse, and told her we would just have to go and get some food. As we hadn't anticipated either going to hospital or being admitted, we had no bags or anything, but I didn't worry, as the room had been allocated to me, right? Wrong. By the time we got back (15 minutes later) there was someone else in the room, and they had no idea which of us was to stay and which of us was to be moved to a different ward. Guess who picked the lucky straw?????

So I end up on one of the wards that I had been in the last time (when I vowed never to return, remember). Which was fine, only I was in a room of 6, the other 5 were 90 if they were a day, had incontinence problems (the smell of three different kinds of pooh really isn't all that appealing, let me tell you!) and to top of a really spectacular day, the woman in the bed next to me spent the entire fucking night asking Jesus Christ why he was picking on her. It's probably a good job I smoke, or that woman could have asked Jesus Christ face to face.

The next day I have to hang around waiting for my "consultant". I am lying on my bed, with a pillow over my head to block out the light, and my hands lying across my tummy (so the canular that I have spent all night nursing with great care is in full sight!). The consultant and his minions come to my bed, and draw the curtains round for "privacy". He shakes hands with me (squeezing said canular quite painfully), and asks me what is wrong. I knew the twat hadn't read my notes, so I explained the entire situation to him, ending with the statement "and I just can't cope with the extra pain". All the idiot hears is that I can't cope, so tells me that I need to see a psychiatrist. I hasten to add that I have seen two this year alone. It is not psychosomatic, and yes, I may sometimes be a bit down (ok, a lot) but to me that is not really a diagnosis. He then starts interrogating me on why I am on two crutches. We have a blazing row, he leaves, and I go outside for a smoke, a cry, and a call to the Mentalist.

The Mentalist then comes down to the hospital, and pages the idiot who calls himself a consultant. When he deigns to appear, The Mentalist and he have a very dignified discussion (read argument) which ends with The Mentalist saying that we would be leaving today. The consultant says that would be going against medical advice, to which we pointed out that he hadn't actually given me any medical advice, just been a complete prick.

We went home, and I spent the weekend feeling sorry for myself again. Do you sense a theme? For anyone who suffers any kind of ongoing illness, Pity Parties for One occur quite frequently.

Fast forward to Tuesday, and I receive a very polite letter from the hospital requesting that I go down and have an MRI. Now either the Consultant is just covering his back, or he has in fact now read my notes. Either which, at least we are taking a step forward. My pessimistic internal monologue keeps saying that it will lead to two steps back, but I ain't having any of it!

So I shall keep you posted.

Am going Oop North this weekend, to visit The Mentalist's brother. Which means chip butties, walks (or not) along very beautiful but freezing cold beaches, and getting the fuck out of London. Hopefully I will come back with a more positive outlook, or at least a not giving a fuck when it comes to work, so using my time here usefully to post!

Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Another day, another pile of...

Monday's are always the pits.  Not just for me, for everyone I should imagine.  Unless you start work on Tuesday, in which case you suck, but I imagine you hate Tuesdays!

Had a doctor's appointment this morning.  Which is always 1 part entertaintaing, 12 gajillion parts frustrating as fuck.  The whole reason we went is because I appear to be getting worse.  I assure you, I am not making any of my pain up just to get meds (and if I were, surely after three years they would wake up and smell the fucking coffee - I could order meds from India that would be cheaper than the NHS, and I wouldn't have to have the same fucking conversation with my GP every 10 days!)

So we went in (I no longer go in and see the doctor without The Mentalist.  What's the point in having a doberman if you just don't use it?) to see the young doctor first thing this morning.  There is a supposed pain specialist at my surgery, but she has the compassion of a rock.  No, worse than that.  She has the compassion of a surgeon.  As a result, I won't see her.

We went in, armed with a list of what has been getting worse, and where, and as per usual, they just don't listen.  I told him that my headaches are getting worse along with my light sensitivity, my centre of gravity is non existant, my skin pain is almost unbearable, that I have been throwing up, and that I would like a sick note so I don't have to go into the office.  So I ended up with tablets that should not be used if you have the sort of headache I have, and the advice to check out alternative medicine.  So massage - which is grand if you have skin pain.  It's just what you crave when your skin is hurting so bad you are tempted to slice it off yourself.  Or the other great alternative for those in pain - accupuncture.  Again, see my reasons why this is such a fucked up idea earlier.

And as for the sick note.  In the UK we no longer get sick notes.  We get notes stating what we are able to do.  Which is just pathetic.  So here I am.  At work.  Getting more and more stressed.  Feeling more and more pain.  And working out the best way to get the hell out of dodge!

Anyone up for a commune in Argentina, drop me a line.  Don't worry, the only plan is to grow wine.  So then we can all get drunk and forget about the bollocks that is real life.

Am sorry for being negative.  Am sorry for being down.  Am just in the midst of a pity party for one.  And y'all are invited on the promise you bring booze.  Or drugs.  Or AK47s!

Tomorrow, my pretties, I will be happier.  And if not, you can custard pie me - although that offer does not apply to The Mentalist or Tiggi.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Back from the wild

And I am sure you are all extremely excited to hear how my past two and a half weeks of being a stroppy teenager have been, so I shall leave you in suspenders no longer!

Before I begin, I would just like to tell anyone that is planning on ever flying South African Airways not to bother, as they are possibly the worst airline I have ever flown with, and I shall never fly with them again!

So, to begin.  We finally managed to fly out a week later than anticipated.  The journey out was horrendous, but we did finally make it to sunny Africa!  Although it wasn't even slightly sunny.  We landed in Botswana in the middle of a torrential storm that ended up lasting for 5 days (and to hear the locals speak, they had never known weather like it this close to winter!).  The fun started when the plane landed, as there was no lift for me to use to get off the plane, so I had to climb down the stairs in the rain, clinging on for dear life!  Still, we had finally arrived, and once we had completed the comedy that is African immigration procedure and collected our bags, it was time to stagger through the only working door (being Africa, it was a shock there was at least one!) to the open arms of my ma.

Going back to Botswana is never really a holiday.  It isn't quite a chore, but there are times when it feels like it could/will be.  It is always great to go home to see the olds, but on the flip side, I do feel that I have regressed a number of years.

We spent most of the first week huddled up on the sofa, as it was the wettest week they have ever seen, as people were very keen to point out to The Mentalist.  We did, however, go on safari over night to a private game reserve just over the boarder in South Africa - I will put a few photos up later on, so you can see some of the wildlife we saw.

The last week and a half was spent sitting on the Veranda, drinking Lemon Twist, and just generally relaxing.  It was nice to spend time with some friends and their two little girls.  To most of you, it might seem that I am getting broody, expecially if you see some of the pictures.  I am not. Or at least I don't think I am.  It was just nice to be in the company of children that didn't scream, were perfectly content just to hang out and didn't need to be entertained, and were just generally very cute.  I guess you could say that I am broody only if I can be guaranteed to have children just like that!

Still, I am back from the wild.  It is brilliant to be in a place where there is fast internet, but not so great to be back in England (which is a hole), and work (which is worse!).  Which means that I shall now be able to much more frequent posting, which is good, as I have a whole lot of things to regale (read bore!) y'all with.