Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Fuck you very much, NHS

I am a life long, stalwart supporter of the NHS.

I have had eight operations on various parts of my anatomy, one of which was an emergency style thing, and I have generally been treated with kindness, compassion and efficiency. 

I mean, there was that time where I had to wait over a year for my gall bladder to be removed after the consultant 'ticked the wrong box' at the assessment stage. And yes, it did nearly go gangrenous. Oh, and the time they nearly sent me home with a UTI when my appendicitis was actually turning into peritonitis. And the time they told my dad he had a virus two days before he died at home. Apart from all of THAT they've been pretty good. In that they (eventually) removed the organs I needed to have removed and I didn't die.

They are, after all, mostly people just trying to do their best under difficult circumstances, slashed costs, time pressures and, of course, the personal problems they're inevitably dealing with because they are but human.

I have been waiting for quite a while for an operation to burn off my endometriosis. This involves general anaesthetic and laprascopic surgery. I've had it done before. It's pretty unpleasant, it's true. But until I have this done I can't start my treatment plan proper for an illness that is basically - and I don't actually think I'm being dramatic in saying this - ruining my life. A while ago I was given 1 May as the date for my operation.

Because they won't let you go home on your own and you have to have someone to look after you for 24 hours after general, I had to bother my mother. Again. And no, they really really won't let you  go home on your own. I asked them whether a taxi man counted and apparently not, unless he stays overnight and, frankly, I can't afford that. Could you imagine the meter? So, ma organised time off and agree to come and stay for a few nights.

I had to book it off work and they were kind enough to sort that out for me - you have to have a couple of days off afterwards. As I now work for people who are generally lovely and not massive assholes like others I could mention, that wasn't a problem.

Oh, and then I had to organise a complicated operation to remove Fatman from my house for long enough so the estate agent can come round and do what is apparently a necessary inspection. I have been in this house for about five fucking minutes. Much logistical nightmareness later, I had it all carefully in place.

I attended the pre op assessment yesterday like a good girl, even though the hospital had fucked up the times and it caused me yet more trouble. I haven't slept properly for a few nights because I'm all keyed up and anxious and worried and scared. So this morning when I woke it was with a sense of relief - it's the last day I have to worry, it'll all be over this time tomorrow, I can start getting my life back etc etc.

Sooooooooo, when the hospital called at 9.30 this morning I just knew that it wasn't going to be good news. And because I have the luck of the truly, truly DAMNED, it wasn't good news. A secretary cooly informed me that I had been removed from the consultant's list in favour of someone more important. And no, she can't tell me when it will be rearranged for. And, yes, she quite understands that it's a nuisance but really, what can she do?

I cried. In the office. In front of everyone. Although it transpires that most of my lovely co-workers didn't notice, so immersed they are in developing apps and suchlike. Which is a good thing. It wasn't my finest moment. Managed to get hold of my mum before she actually got on the train to come up here and cancelled my time off at work.

So here I sit, upset, angry, miffed, scared that no one will ever help me EVER with this illness that is plaguing my life every two weeks out of four. My symptoms of agonising pain,getting sick to my stomach, blacking out and haemorraging for 7 days every month aren't considered important by the consultant - so who the hell IS going to help me?

I did pull myself together. I stopped crying. AND I gave much thought to the fact that it must be someone in a much worse condition than me and who am I to get in the way of their treatment and it's not like it's going to kill me and I have lived with it for five years already so, really, I should just shut up. But I thought I'd had my last period that would make me want to curl up and die. I thought I would start to get better from tomorrow. And now I have to wait. All over again.

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