This blog is late today. I wanted to do it ages ago but I have returned from spending TWO AND A HALF SHITTING HOURS waiting at The Whittington Hospital for a TWO SHITTING MINUTE APPOINTMENT. Now, it would be wrong for me to say hospitals are bad places. Without them, many people would die, or at least constantly have ailments to complain about. Worse still Casulty wouldn’t be on the TV because no one would know what it was referring to. That would create a massive pile up of people who can currently pretend to be actors because they once played a drug dealer who got trapped under a falling bin that was full of fire or bombs or firebombs, or some other highly overwritten and implausible scenario. No, hospitals are ace, and in fact the NHS is also brilliant as without it we would have to pay an arm and a leg to fix our arms and legs that had just been sold. It would be a horrible mess of limbs. What I do hate is the constant admin complacency of the entire NHS hospital system. I say entire system, but like a Daily Mail reader I am basing this entirely on one hospital without looking at statistics or facts. Unlike a Daily Mail reader I won’t blame it on immigrants.
My opthamology appointment today was for 11.10am. I got there early because I am naive and a fool and assume this means I can do all the stingy eye drops business in time for the doctors to see me at 11.10am. Arriving at the reception the woman asked me my name. I told her. She said ‘oh god. How do you spell that?’ So I spelt it. She then said ‘D…..D….What was it? Oh god, what a name.’ Living in North London you would think she encountered all sorts of names of all pronunciations, but I can only assume that she was someone that was easily confused by words she didn’t know. Like GCSE. Or common sense. She was an idiot. This was further proved by proof of a complete lack of customer service when she asked me if I had brought details of my GP along. I said no, but I knew the name of the surgery. She barked at me ‘Thats not good enough!’. I had no idea that our appointment would guaranteed only after some sort of doctor based test. She had a computer with hospital info on, she should have known already. I eventually sat down and prepared for boredom.
I knew there would be some waiting. I’ve been diabetic since I was 4, a rather large amount of my life has been wasted away through hospital incompetence. To my surprise though I was called in to see the nurse very quickly. I aced the eye test, which I like doing. I always have an air of smugness about being to read all the letters. I may have a failing pancreas but my hawk like eyes can spot a needle in a haystack at 100 paces. Unless Im having a hypoglycemic attack that is. Then I just fall over and black out. Then the nurse put the stinging drops into my eyes. She warned me that it would sting, then put a drop in each eye. She then decided she should put another drop just to ensure my eyes were really really burning. Then she said that she had to put another type of drops in, incase the first didn’t work. By now you could actually set fire to my eyes and it would’ve been a relief. Although it would have been hard to set them on fire being that they were so waterlogged with stingy drops, flies could’ve waterskied on the surface. Had they fallen in though they would have burned up and died. Already I’m wondering if there is a game show there. Get someone with really big googley eyes, like Stephen Merchant and train flies to water ski on them for prizes. It could be called ‘Flies in your Eyes’. Anyway, the nurse told me the doctors were running late with appointments but it should be no more than 30 mintes late. 30 minutes? Thats easy I can do that. Then as I walked out, eyes streaming, I swear I saw the nurse cackle a bit. I knew I shouldn’t have muttered champion to myself after I’d read the eye chart. I got powned.
Then I sat. And I sat. My vision became more and more blurry, making my boredom even worse as I was unable to read or write anything. Luckily I had brought my i-pod and I caught up with my several hours of podcasts that I’ve missed out on the past week. The sitting continued and more and more people stacked up in the tiny waiting area. At one point an ambulance lady walked in looking very distressed. She was calling someone’s name and everytime there was a massive lack of response she started saying quite loudly ‘oh no, oh no thats not good’. I can only imagine there was someone dying on another floor. Either that or they’d wheeled someone in and just left them in the wrong place. She reappeared several times with the same frightened expression and bored of her as a distraction I went back to my pod. One man around me fell asleep. Another had his two kids with him and he started shouting that he had kids with him. We could see he had kids with him, even with blurry vision, so everyone just assumed he was an idiot stating the obvious and we all ignored him. A very old man opposite me took the opportunity to tell every member of staff that went past that he had been waiting for his appointment since 1937. It stopped being funny after one attempt.
As the realisation kicked in, about an hour after the stingy eye moment, that I might not be leaving for some time, the angry receptionist appeared. She was offering people a voucher for a free hot drink. What should have been a nice gesture was presented in a way that made everything worse. She walked up to an old lady in front of me and very kindly said ‘Would you like a cup of tea?’ The old ladies stingy watering eyes lit up and with a big smile she said ‘oh yes please.’ At which point the receptionist took great glee in saying ‘well you have to get it yourself from the bottom floor and be careful you don’t wander off when the doctor’s call your name or you’ll miss your appointment.’ It was a trap. Everyone was thirsty and in desperate need of tea salvation, but could we risk missing the only reason we had been sitting for nearly two hours? More importantly would the old lady, who had taken considerable time hobbling to the toilet and back, physically be able to make it to the cafe without keeling over? She didn’t take the risk. I’m sure the receptionist must have a backlog of bad karma so big that she will face the sort of gruesome death only reserved for Bond villians.
Finally after two hours and twenty minutes I got up and told the evil receptionist a lie. That lie was that I had to be back at work by 2 o clock. Had she looked at my file she would have seen I was self employed, but because she cant read I was safe. She told the doctor he had to see me next and as I strolled into the consultancy room the man with the children stood up and shouted at me. “I have children!’. I gave him a nonchalant shrug and carried on. The appointment itself took two minutes. That was it. Two whole minutes. The ratio of waiting to time is completely imbalanced. Its not even an hour per minute. They told me my eyes were fine and to come back in 18 months. There was no apology for making me wait. No compensation for the two hours of my life they had removed. I left feeling a victim of time theft by the NHS. And my eyes still hurt. I had brought my sunglasses to make it easier on them, but as its the first cloudy day in ages I looked all suspicious wearing them around Holloway Road. So I took them off showing my massive pupils, which just made people think I was on party smarties instead. Sadly for me there was no high feeling of universal loving and more stingy eye pain and knowing that my whole morning had been wasted when I could have been sat at home shouting at Loose Women.
I could say more about how shit my local hospital is, but this blog has gone on way too long. That and I’ve already written about it before, here:
In other news, why not co-sign this letter to the Guardian telling everyone what dicks the BNP are. Its amazing how a Griffin, in mythology had the body of a lion and head and wings of an eagle. Yet Nick Griffin is all cock. I’m belittling a rather big subject here. Don’t let them get in. Not even one seat. Unless its an electric chair. That’s allowed.