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The Doctor Will See You… Eventually

callocallo morte

“I just came in to get an ingrown toenail seeing to. That was in 1947.”

Don’t be alarmed, dear reader, but I have been struck down with a mystery illness. I know it comes as a great surprise that one so mighty and all powerful could be afflicted with a physical ailment but it happens to the best of us, just to remind us of what it feels like for the mere mortals around us.

If you must know, I’ve been doing a marvellously accurate portrayal of a fading Victorian romance novel heroine and swooning all over the place. Most inconvenient, and I have to say, it must make the place look really rather untidy with me draped all over a tube station platform. So, having made myself about as popular as an eggy fart in a broken lift with my work chums, due to my having to jettison work duties left, right and centre, and spending the days feeling as flat as a burst balloon in a training bra, I decided (with a severe arm twisting little encouragement from my Boything), to visit the doctor.

Of course, I’m only visiting the doctor because I’ve Googled my symptoms and have already diagnosed that I either have a very rare blood disorder that can only be cured by having my blood replaced with that of a budgie, or I’m a Ford Fiesta. Either way, the professionals need to be notified and therefore an appointment must be made. Simple, right? Oh come on! Why on earth would I be writing about it if it were simple? If it were simple, I’d have said “I went to the doctor, it was fine. The end” but I didn’t, did I? Apparently, even though we have a magnificent free healthcare system, there are certain trials you must complete before you are considered worthy of an audience with one of the many complimentary practitioners.

First of all, you want an appointment now because you are ill now. Well, you should have thought of that before, shouldn’t you?! Suddenly you realise that when you moved house in June, the one thing you didn’t do was to register with a new doctor, because you carelessly didn’t plan on getting ill. Well, now your old doctor won’t see you because you’ve moved out of their catchment (they really don’t deal with rejection well) and your new doctor won’t see you because you haven’t passed the Three Fiery Trials Of Hippocrates yet.

The first of the fiery trials would be Trial By Telephone. Normally, one would assume that a telephone is there for the function of being answered. Not so at the doctor’s surgery. There it is a test of your resolve and of just how sick you really are. You see, people who are just a little bit poorly will give up after the first three hours of being on hold and the ones who are really sick will have died, so that leaves only the ones who are just the right amount of sick for the doctor to bother with and after 14 more hours of waiting on hold, they can be put through to the nosiest receptionist on Earth, who gained her delicate questioning technique at Guantanamo Bay.

Having ascertained as many of your most embarrassing secrets and patronised you to within an inch of your last nerve, she presents you with the second fiery trial – Trial By Registration. You will be made to schlep all the way to the doctor’s office to fill in some forms and present 17 different documents confirming proof of address, proof of ID, proof of bra size and favourite Skittles flavour. There is no way this can be done by fax or phone (can’t you see she needs to free up the phone line so she can sit listening to it putting someone else through their first fiery trial!) and so you must take half a day off work to go and fill out your name on 26 identical pieces of paper, while delivering your passport, school report from 1991 and 3 special tokens from a cereal box. Having done all this, you are then ready for the third fiery trial. The Nurse.

Having completed your registration paperwork, you must take one of only 4 available appointments in anything between 2-47 weeks time to see a nurse. For those who live long enough to make the appointment, you might think this would be a chance to discuss your primary health concern. Oh no, this is to check how well you can lie when being asked how often you drink more than 3 bottles of wine a day, while balancing on a set of scales, being told you’re 12lbs heavier than the bus you arrived on, and being robbed of 4 litres of blood. The nurse will also try her hardest to suggest you should be on the contraceptive pill (even if you’re a man, are 80 and never have sex) and that she needs to stick her finger up your business end. Survive this, and you’re ready to see the doctor now.

Well, you would be if you could get an appointment because, ha ha, trick’s on you! The real fiery trial was in trying not to catch one of the numerous life threatening ailments being tossed around the waiting room by the hoard of germ infested mutants on one of your many pre-appointment appointments, and then in trying to actually book an available time slot with the doctor within the next 7 months, which you can only do if you call in the nano-second between the doctor’s office opening and the sea of 500 psychic appointment bookers all getting on the line before you. This call takes days to perfect so now you’re riddled with several varieties of flesh-eating bacteria and you’ve had to quit your job to focus full time on securing and attending appointments, all just so you can tell the doctor what Google said.

Thinking about it, maybe being a Ford Fiesta isn’t so bad.


About prettyfeetpoptoe

I live in London and have both my own legs so I am fortunate enough to get out and about on occasion. I form many views on the things that I see and do and love nothing better than a session of linguistic gymnastics in order to share these views.

28 responses »

  1. Sounds as though you might be better off with a faith healer. Good luck and feel better soon.

  2. I will be serious for a moment and mention that I do distance healing (energy healing – quantum touch) and would be glad to offer that service to you freely, should you want it (and no, I don’t ask to poke anything anywhere and I can begin as soon as I have your permission). All I need know is what hurts and where, if it’s sinus, whatever.
    For the other part, I worry that our wonderful medical system may just come to the same fate as yours; as for me, I wasn’t in school in 1991 and I don’t wear a bra, so I would be up a creek.

    • Thanks so much for the kind offer. I’ve never been a believer myself but you’re more than welcome to send healing thought my way while I droop all over the place.

      I do really think the free medical system is a wondrous thing but sometimes getting access to it can seem like Takeshi’s Castle!

      • Just keep an open mind. I have helped people in the past who didn’t think it would do much. Your attitude has a lot to do with it as I can’t fight your mind! Hope you do feel better.

  3. And I thought it was bad getting a hold of my doctor over here…

  4. Alas, I like my doctors. Same day emergency appointments and there is only one dragon receptionist out of three. She really flares up when she asks what’s wrong with you and I ask if she’s a qualified healthcare professional! I almost don’t mind paying national insurance… I had a doctor’s finger up my business end, but I got 2 lots of morphine and a shot of diazepam for my troubles!

  5. Jeez, I thought our health system was a bit dodgy! My condolences…

  6. eremophila

    Sorry you’re not as well as you ought to be. But it’s obviously not affected your wonderful writing skills, but given you a great topic to let off steam about!

  7. Get well soon…. You massive dick.

    : )

  8. charmedbylove

    your writing’s sick! brilliant!

  9. Hope you are feeling better soon.

    I had recently been a bit ill myself, so I feel your pain.

    (Insert shameless promotion of my post re. my visit to the doctor: )

  10. this makes me glad I live in Glasgow, Scotland where there seems to be no real problem getting a GP appointment….so far. MInd you, if we leave the UK in 2014 to become second cousins to Outer Mongolia, that might change……hurry up and get better soon. We can’t have you expiring on us.

    • I think London GPs are possibly the hardest to get access to, it’s because they’re all tied up administering Botox and methodone to dried out celebrities.

  11. Firstly, I think this has less to do with the 3 bottles of wine you drink a day and more to do with your obsession with salad cream. Which I still have never have encountered myself.

    Secondly. Ugh. You poor thing. Sounds like our dental system (except it’s ridiculously expensive here). You see the dentist, they tell you the 14 thousand things that are wrong with your teeth, the numerous painful things they must do to fix it, and the hundreds (literally) of dollars its going to cost you.

    And then when you rock up to get your stitches out after one of these appointments the dentist isn’t there and you just have to go back next week.

    Hope you feel better soon!

    • Dare you speak ill of salad cream?! The outrage, the blasphemy!

      Our dentists are horribly expensive too, it’s why I bought an expensive toothbrush! Dentists and mechanics go to the same training college – open it up, pull an “ooooh” face and proceed to list all the very expensive things they’re going to scare you into having and that you could live a very long and healthy life without.

  12. We have ‘free’ health care in Canada too and I’ve never understood why they so often say “Well the doctor is booking 3 weeks in advance” well, I’m sick now – not in 3 weeks, well if I am still sick or even more sick in 3 weeks I am going to be livid! It doesn’t make any sense, and then they say, “Well you can come to the walk in clinic and wait, but you can’t see your doctor” well, what is the point of having a regular doctor then? Maniacs, all of them! Hope you are feeling better soon – or at least adjust well to the life of a Ford Fiesta, my mom had one back in the 80’s, it was a lovely little red car, I remember it fondly.


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