I only wanted a doctor’s appointment

So. After a few days of feeling absolutely wretched and having a strange tingly, numbness and heaviness attacking various parts of my anatomy added to my delightful half hourly menopausal tropical moments, I finally fell apart emotionally and spent most of Saturday morning in tears.

Mother nature is one nasty bitch, isn’t she?  As if it’s not bad enough realising that you’re well on the way  on the journey from Goddess to Crone she has to throw in emotional turmoil, forgetfulness, palpitations, permanent knackeredness and worst of all, hot flushes. Oh, how I enjoy those tropical moments. NOT! I only have to think a wrong thought and I’m off again. Well, thanks for all that, Mother Nature. Fook you too.

Anyway, back to the plot. I came back from walking the dog in floods of tears. The combination of all of the above finally proving too much to for me bear. Poor old Boofuls wondered what the hell was going on as I arrived home  sobbing. As normal he calmly took over.   A phone call to our GP confirmed what we already knew, there was no surgery on Saturday morning. The next opportunity to see our GP would be  Wednesday afternoon as we’d planned our summer holiday, all two days of it,  in the Lake District for Monday and Tuesday and there was no way I was giving up my summer holiday.

“Wednesday? I can’t wait till Wednesday.” I sobbed down the phone to the poor receptionist at the  out of hours service. She promptly made me an appointment for two hours hence at the primary care centre. Normally rarer than rocking horse poo I was so grateful for my appointment I cried even more.   The tingling and numbness was a real concern to me for many a reason I don’t need to share on here.

We turned up at the appointed time and saw a nurse practitioner. “Stand on one leg. Touch your nose, walk across the room.” I’m sure if she was testing for sobriety.

Eventually, she decided that she didn’t know what was wrong with me and said that she wanted to refer me to the medical assessment unit. In my naivety I assumed she meant she was referring me to a doctor. How wrong can you be?

We made our way to the medical assessment unit to be told. “Oh yes, we’re ready for you. Your bed’s over there, I’ll come and admit you in a minute.”

“What? Bed? No! There must be some mistake.  I’m only here to see a doctor.” I spluttered, wide eyed and panicky.

” The doctor will be with you shortly. There’s your bed.”

Oh dear Lord.

So that was me in hospital for eight hours while various samples of bodily fluids were taken from me, tests done, x-rays performed and reflexes checked. They clearly thought I was having either a stroke or a heart attack. Now I’m no expert but I could have told them that I wasn’t. I felt like a complete fraud taking up a hospital bed while women clearly in a lot more distress and with far more serious conditions than mine  were being wheeled in.

They did eventually establish that the tingling etc. is being caused by some damage to my neck so I didn’t feel like such a fraud then. I was eventually discharged with instructions to wait for an appointment for an MRI scan.

You know, we criticise our health service and it certainly is not without it’s flaws but when I needed help, help was available, and quickly. They were very thorough in their investigations and,  having established that what I was suffering,  while certainly unpleasant, wasn’t life threatening, they then made arrangements for me to go back and get it sorted out. Well done NHS – and all I wanted was a doctor’s appointment!


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