I have a fine relationship with the main receptionist and with the nurse who normally sees me for my asthma, but the doctor, no not really.
And three of the visits weren't actually visits to the doctor but visits to the surgery. Let me explain, I had heard a report on the BBC saying the at the NHS was not going to spend millions on advertising that the flu season was upon us and urging those at risk (me with my asthma) to go and get our flu jab. Now again, I am normally on top of this and I usually contact the surgery in Sept at the same time as I am due my MOT for the Asthma, you know the one where you blow into the cardboard tube, have your blood pressure and weight taken etc. Well I had the MOT and my blood pressure was normal and I was losing weight (well we all know that right!) but I forgot to ask about the flu jab. Well, with all that nice weather we had been having it hadn't been at the forefront of my mind.
Anyway I then heard the report about the NHS not promulgating the need for it this year but that they expected the local GP's to contact their patients directly. Well I don't think I have ever been contacted by them, but that's another story. so I decided on Monday 3rd October to pop in and ask when they would be available. I was informed between 11 and 12 that coming Thursday or the same time on the following Monday (today 10th October). So I began to ask when would we have been informed but without actually saying anything, I knew from the look, that they were not going to spend any money on postage or phone calls or text messages either!
Never mind, I called in, I knew, so off I went on Thursday to get my jab. Now as it happens, on the Wednesday I had started to get an extremely painful back in the area of my right kidney and it was as if a knife was being stuck into me. The pain had got so bad by Wednesday evening that I considered going to A and E, but I had loaded myself up with painkillers which had given some amelioration to the pain and so I thought I would just wait until Thursday, flu jab day, and see if I could get an appointment for Thursday night, or Friday.
Long story short, I spoke to another receptionist who I did not know and explained the symptons, she gave me an appointment for today, 4 days later. I then spoke to the usual receptionist who was on queue control for the multitudes attending for the flu jab. She then said, "hang on", disappeared and came back with a sample bottle telling me to pee into into in the morning and come back at 9.30 am to see the nurse!
Friday morning, peed in bottle, attended the nurse who tested it and said that she couldn't find anything wrong, "although it is rather cloudy" and with that said she would send it off for testing. Now between then and today I still had a bit of a twinge, a twinge I was aware of, but one that I would normally ignore, but having made the appointment and had my pee sent of for testing, rather than cancel the appointment I would keep it and so we come to today.
I arrived 15 minutes before the appointed time, kindle in hand, and waited.
Eventually, I got the call, went in and was told to sit down. As usual no eye contact was made, she never makes eye contact:
"Your tests have come back, there is nothing wrong with your kidneys", says she, looking at her pc screen.
"Good" I reply, "and I can report that there is only a little bit of tenderness still there, so it was probably nothing" says I.
"Pull up your shirt and with one finger point to the area" says she. And I do.
"You probably pulled a muscle, just take some ibuprofen or something like that", she continued.
"Now we need to do something about your lifestyle", she then launched into. "That chap who was in just in front of you has a similar lifestyle to you and he has just had a heart attack", still hasn't looked at me. "Empty your pockets and step on the scales please", she continues. I do, still fully clothed and wearing my shoes, asthma pump, step counter and car keys out of pockets!
"You are still to heavy and don't seem to be losing any weight" she says as she sits back down at her desk, "and your blood pressure is still too high", she continues.
"No, I don't think so" I respond, My weight is coming down and my blood pressure when the nurse took it in September, was normal, you haven't tested my blood pressure this morning, how can it still be high? And as for my weight, how can you say I am not losing any weight, in the last two years I have dropped three waist sizes, the slacks I am wearing today were cleaned at the weekend and haven't been worn for over four years, even you must recognise that and also that I am not wheezing like a horse who has just ran the grand national"
"My scales aren't wrong", was the reply, "They do not have springs in them like yours at home and they are calibrated every year"! She went on. "Just look at your BMI here on the screen your ideal weight should be between 8 and 12 stone. I pointed out that at 5' 11 inches or thereabouts that if I were 8 stones I would be anorexic. "Well it is 8st 13lbs, nearly 9 stone....." "Well that makes a difference, 13 lbs", says I and went on to point out that;My scales did not have springs in them either, that they were digital, like hers, and they certainly showed me when I was not losing weight and when I was losing weight, but she wasn't having any of it retorting, "Well if you want to take the negative spin from my comments.....", and I am thinking 'How can I take it any other way. With that she turned to her writing and pushed a script across to me for a blood test and turned back to her screen without another word. I assumed we were finished, but thought I would ask and was given a peremptory dismissal.