I’ve alluded to this on my Twitter feed and Facebook page but I’m so stunned I feel it needs further comment. File this under “What the heck are these people thinking?”
So, on Wednesday the nice radiotherapist gave me my schedule and almost apologetically said, “We’re in next Friday, would it be ok if you came in?” Well blimey yes! That’s another day towards when I finish so of course. I replied something like “Oh I love you guys, that’s brilliant!” He looked a bit pleased and said “well you’re the first person who hasn’t complained that you’ll miss a bit of the Royal Wedding.”
Now I’ll be glued to the telly next Friday. I love a nice frock and mangled wedding vows as much as the next girl. However if it comes to a decision between possibly seeing Kate get out of the car and having a treatment that’s saving my life then frankly I’ll catch up the first sight of the dress later thanks.
I expressed my surprise that anyone would not be grateful and was told some people quibble about their appointment times. “No if I can’t come in at 2pm I won’t have radiotherapy that day.” WHAT?? Now ok I concede that I’m very lucky and live close to the hospital, I also concede that apart from a spoilt dog I have no other commitments but surely even so isn’t treatment kind of number one priority to anyone having radiotherapy?
Then yesterday I had to nip up to the chemo day ward for a blood test and a PICC line clean out. It was about lunch time and the place was heaving (so to speak, possibly wrong word choice for a chemo ward). I’d assumed they’d be busy so had taken in my earphones but I hadn’t imagined that even the waiting room would be standing room only. I popped my head round the nurses station and blatantly playing the “weak and feeble” card asked if I could wait in the ward itself. They took pity (I think it was the sorrowful puppy brown eyes that did it) but all the comfy chairs for patients were full and quite a few bottoms weren’t patients’ but their companions’. Hmmm. As it dawned on the ones around me that I was a patient and I was perched on a typist’s chair there was a sudden flurry of hand patting. The internationally recognised sign for “I would give you my seat but my companion is far sicker than you in your pink t-shirt having a laugh with the nurses”.
Anyway, I had a bit of time to notice just now hard the nurses work in there. I was probably there for an hour and they just didn’t pause for a second. I was told I should have come in the afternoon when it’s less busy but in a “concerned I’d have to wait” way rather than a “another one to deal with – tut” way. I said I understood and clamped my earphones on and listened to Stephen King’s latest on my IPod fully expecting I’d get through a good few chapters. Was it a coincidence that it was actually only about an hour? Was it also a coincidence that the grumpy chap posturing at the reception desk threatening to leave if he wasn’t seen in ten minutes was still harumphing as I left clutching enough plastic cuffs for covering arm while bathing to start a shop after I’d mentioned I’d lost one? Hmmm.
This isn’t an “ooh I’m so patient, aren’t I a hero” session because if you’re reading this and I know you then I assume your attitude would be exactly the same. Cancer is scary, people react in different ways but being at best “snippy” with the hospital staff seems – well just wrong and unappreciative in the extreme.
Now if you’ll excuse me my pillow would suggest I’ve had a one-night stand with Chewbacca so I have to get busy sweeping up a bit of hair. Shhh, do NOT tell my hairdresser. He’s sensitive! 🙂
Thanks as always Constant Reader (little Stephen King reference for you there). Got a big week coming up – think happy thoughts.
As a self-employed person with a lifelong, currently-incurable-but-manageable-condition, I have cancelled jobs for a hospital appointment in the past. I definitely choose my wellbeing over earning money. As for a (royal) wedding (on TV)… pah!
Love ya, Toots x
Reblogged this on Not Quite Ripley and commented:
Sorry to reblog but think certain readers thought I was a private patient when I wrote this. No. This is how good NHS are