Well, obviously the social director didn’t liaise with The Big Whatever as I spent my birthday in bed and for none of the right reasons. I was felled by an attack of diverticulitis on Friday night and so was rather quiet all weekend. Quiet, except for the times I was clutching my abdomen and groaning in pain.
Saturday was my first experience of the local medical services. The weekend surgery is in the next town which is about 15 minutes away, so Mr FD was enlisted as my preferred driver (Driving with Mrs FD! I know someone had to say it!)
I phoned to make an appointment and was told that it was more or less turn up and wait your turn on the weekends. I followed the suggestion that I arrive at 1pm when they would reopen after lunch. At the stroke of one o’clock I staggered through the surgery door only to discover the room filled with people who obviously possessed insider knowledgeable of the system and turned up before the allotted time.
The number of people meant I got to sit in the cheap seats at the back with the heathen children. What is it about the children of the great unwashed in that they have no fear of strangers and no concept of personal space? There seemed to be a number of scantily clad young women with hordes of snotty nosed children who wanted to share my seat with me (the children, not the scantily clad mothers, guys). They did not respond to the usual teacher stare so I was left to shudder and watch the time clicking by too slowly on the wall clock which ironically had a sign next to it, instructing parents to keep their children seated and under control at all times.
I counted off that I was about 7 down the list at one stage, but people kept coming through the door with great sob stories and children with broken bits and so they were whisked down the corridor ahead of all those waiting. Why should a small child in pain be assisted before moi? Anyway…
Close to an hour later and after a period of musing that perhaps the people who had already been seated at my arrival were actually waiting from last weekend, I was overwhelmed by pain to the point where I thought I was going to pass out. I approached the desk staff and told them my pain level was 10 on a scale of 1 to 10 so they were kind enough to allow me to lie down on a bed in the nurses’ station.
An older nurse staffed this area. Well, she was walking about the area and eating an apple. She asked me by name, which she appeared not able to remember, even when she was reading it off the chart. She asked me a few questions and retuned every 10 minutes to ask me my name again.
The doctor arrived and the nurse relayed my name and information incorrectly, and so I explained the situation. I informed the doctor what I normally took for diverticulitis and he wrote a script. Not once did he ask what other medication I was on, or any other history – I was a new patient so I think he should have taken a few minutes to ask a couple questions.
Throughout the entire process I was more and more confirmed in my decision to stick with my doctor in the city, however to be fair I will give the doctors in the Village a chance. Perhaps a nonweekend visit will produce a better opinion. I know it is the country by that shouldn’t mean substandard service. Living in the country is no excuse for unprofessionalism, or poor customer service.
Anyway, the birthday had been postponed to next weekend when I shall make merry again. I shall also expect all the lovely birthday wishes to be extended again – just joking (possibly)!
Today is another day, and I am 55 years and one day.
[Thank you for all of your lovely birthday wishes. They did make the day so much less disappointing! As you can see by my mug shot, I look great for my age!]