Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The Consultant

What time is the appointment? Says Hubby.

"It's either ten to ten or ten past ten", I say.

Being the organised types that we are, we don't seem to be able to lay hands on the appointment letter at 9 a.m. in the morning, so hubby, in his efficient mode, decides that it's best to play safe and get there for ten to ten.

We scrape in by skin of our teeth, register and sit down. The appointment is of course ten past ten, but better to be early than late. The consultant hasn't arrived yet.

At five past ten a little girl and her mother arrive. I recognise them. The little girl has a broken arm, and they were talking to us in casualty on the night of my - and her - injury. We chat. "What time's your appointment?" I ask. "Ten o'clock."

At ten fifteen we see the consultant arrive.

Ten twenty five, the little girl is called in.

Ten forty, hubby goes to enquire when we might be being seen.

Ten forty and three seconds, just as hubby goes to enquire, I am called. Struggle to consulting room with two leg braces (one too big, for the five foot ten person, and the right one), two books, my handbag and crutches. Haven't been using the various bits of paraphernalia for quite a few days now, so have brought them back to the hospital in good Samaritan style.

Ten forty one, Hubby then re finds me and joins me in the consulting room.

Eleven o'clock, no consultant visible. We are feeling a bit impatient.

Eleven ten: Flash of light!

............Mr. Consultant finally makes an appearance.

(When they finally make a film of my blog, he will probably be played by a cool glamorous type of Hollywood actor. The very beautiful, but a little too cool type.)

Wrenches my leg in various directions and causes pain! Declares that the next stage is physiotherapy. Gives us a sheet to take to the cottage hospital in Ross on Wye, discusses the book in Hubby's hand, with hubby, comments, with amusement,that I am wearing a pink leg warmer on my knee, and .........."vroom"! Flash again .........

He's gone.

Eleven twenty we try to dispatch the crutches to Draconian Nurse. We are dispatched down to another department in the depths of the hospital where all such things are kept. We walk past a large cupboard full of crutches. I'm tempted to throw them in there, but we decide to be good sorts and take them back to where they should go...................

So, at eleven thirty, hop along and Hubby eventually find the right department.

We stand and wait..........

Eleven thirty five, we get to talk to someone.

"Are they your crutches then" says the lady at the counter.

"No says Hubby . They are yours. That's why we are returning them to you."

"Put them over there then".

"Don't you want to know where they have come from, so that you can check them back in?" I ask.

She looks confused.

Clearly this is beyond the scope of questioning normally allowed to patients.

Someone else comes to the desk. I explain that I want to return the crutches, and for them to know that I am returning the crutches, so that we are not sent a letter in a few weeks asking for the return of the crutches, or something. By now I am feeling a little flustered. I hand her my letter that the consultant has given me, so that she can see that I am a genuine patient and not just an actress or something, acting on the casualty set. Oh yes, maybe they saw me coming.

Finally dispatch crutches and make our way back to the car.

Get back to the car at quarter to twelve. Drive to Ross on Wye to make an appointment to see the Physio.

Walk in to the hospital. See sensible person immediately. Have appointment organised within two minutes. Will have to wait two weeks for the appointment, but we are so shocked by the efficiency of the cottage hospital that we are bowled over, and don't mind waiting two weeks for the actual appointment....................

Still............. at least we were able to advise the consultant on which book he should read next.


Ignorminious said...

Wow, Ross on Wye! I went there when I was about 6 for a family holiday. We stayed in a converted barn. It was great.

NHS suck, but life would be a whole lot crapper without them!

Asha said...

OMG!! What an ordeal for a simple check up!!NHS I guess.
Here if they make you wait for more thank 15 mins,they go and complain to the management and Doctors will hear about it later!!
Hope next app. goes smoothly for ya!:)

ChrisB said...

PB is just right for the part. I'd consort oops or consult with anyone this handsome and probably forget why I was there.

After all our recent hospital experiences with my mother your story does not surprise me one bit. Cottage hospital friendly and effecient - aren't they closing most of them !!

john.g. said...

After my 6 month stay in Sheffield hospital they'd lost my x-rays!

Sally Lomax said...


Yes - Ross is about six miles from where I live. Very pretty! I agree about the NHS - but we did wonder while we were waiting, that although we wouldn't want to be without it, how much quieter the hospitals would be without it. Apprarently there are far less people in casualty wards for instance during major football matches...................

Also, my leg is actually getting better on its own in fact. So although I will see a physio in two weeks, that will be the first actual intervnetion of any kind. The rest has just been advice, pictures in various forms and common sense...............


I know!! Fifteen minutes would be quite long enough!


Glad you like my choice of cast. I thought he was just right too! Yes they are closing cottage hospitals aren't they? But the one in Ross is sort of a community run thing and is all part of the newish initiative, so won't be closed apparently! It's a brand new building and really nice!!


That's appalling!! I can believe it though!

Karmyn R said...

okay - I am of the belief that if you have an appointment for a certain time - that person should be IN HIS OFFICE ready for you at that time. but that's just me....

however, if the person I was meeting looked like Pierce Brosnan, I'd only be too happy to wait for him. (dreamy eyed sigh coming from me right about now)

swampiwtch said...

Ditto what KarmynR said.
I think when we have to wait, there should be a form at the desk to fill out and bill who ever it is we had to wait, consultant, attorney... My time is just as important. They may not think a witch cares too much about losing 30 minutes, but I have important things brewing in my cauldron.

Sally Lomax said...

Hi Karmyn!

He was good looking, but the arrogance and rudeness actually made the importance of that fade somewaht!

Hi Swampwitch!

Sadly though these people would never agree that our time is important too...... Good point though!

sarah said...

I think I must have missed the post about hubby's book. Do you want to give it a plug so that I can go and buy it?

Sally Lomax said...

No Sarah - you didn't miss anything! My bad wording. What I should have said was: "the book hubby is reading"!!!

Will go back and correct that now!!

pierre l said...

It's good to see that you are on the mend, and in a more cheerful mood.

It does sound as though the consultant was not that interested in your knee; at least, it sounds as though the damage isn't bad enough to get him excited - which is good. I probably have been watching too much "House" with Hugh Laurie.

Pithy about the book being one your husband is reading, rather than one he wrote. I like encouraging bloggers by buying their books or book they recommend. Sorry I am a bit short of ideas today; I used all my ideas and energies in my frantic comment of the other night.

Wendz said...

Geez that is make it sound so funny though. I'd have flipped - really got angry. I find here we do not wait more than 15 min or so to see the doctor - at the most.

Anyway - thanks for your comment by email - I thought it was a great comment and have posted it in my CB on your behalf.

ChrisB said...

Sally I have nominated you for 'thinking blogger award' I know how busy you are so there is no pressure to take it up.

Sally Lomax said...

Thanks Pierre! Maybe he'll write a book one day. We both keep threatening to!

Hi Wendz! To be honest i was just thinking about what a gret blog it would make!!!

Thanks Chris!! I had a giggle at the thought of being a "thinker"! I said to someone else - and I can't remember who now - that I didn't think I would get one, because I do more "flippant" than thinking!! I'll have a look though and give it a go asap I promise!!

Vicki said...

Oh goodness! Maybe if you started singing Mary Had A Little Lamb really REALLY loud they would have let you in quicker =) Try it sometime.

mjd said...

Oh no, I am sorry that you are injured and then had to wait for a long time for the appointment. Furthermore, I am sorry for the bizarre response about the crutches especially when you were trying to do your part. When my son had a broken foot in college, we received a threatening letter about the crutches that he had already returned to the university clinic. We paid 35 dollars for these supposed missing crutches so the son could graduate.

Was the recommended book, The No *sshole Rule by Robert Sutton? That might have been a good choice for the consultant or other hospital employees.

I hope that you are on the mend.

frannie said...

I hope that your appoinment in two weeks goes as well as the scheduling did!

Beccy said...

Sally when we took Mollie's crutches back to the hospital here they wouldn't take them. I was told to hang onto them in case I ever needed them again and now they're cluttering up my hallway!

Sally Lomax said...

Vicki - Great idea!!
MJD - Exactly!! That is what I was worried about - a letter chasing me usp some weeks later!
Frannie - Thanks! So do I!!
Beccy - That's bizarre isn't it? It's not exactly the sort of item that you are likely to need very often!! Presumably in Dublin you would have to have private medical isurance for hospital stuff would you? And stuff like that would put the premiums up... (Or the cost for those who don't have insurance).

Beccy said...

Sally I had to pay €60 for the visit, it's only free if you have aedical card (those on low income).

Private healthcare doesn't cover outpatients or GP visits. We've been paying into a private fund for years, thankfully we've never needed to use it.

Sarah said...

Shame, I was looking forward to reading hubby's book. Anyway, I look forward to buying yours if you decide to write one!

Glad to hear you're on the mend - the long wait at the hospital must have been worth it when the Pierce Brosnan look-a-like turned up!

Sally Lomax said...

Beccy - 60e? Gosh I bet that keeps the numbers down on a Saturday night!!!! Your heart must sink every time someone needs a GP or Casualty!!

Thanks Sarah!! (As for PB, I think he might do well to go to a manners school or something for a month or two. Looks aren't everything...)

Norma said...

Some things about your system sound a lot like ours, but ours costs more. Although I don't think I've been kept waiting since I don't see the ob/gyn anymore. I hope you're feeling much better, and I've missed your visits.