“Do you have someone with you?” The consultant asked, without bothering to look at me. I sat for a minute, waiting to see if he would throw me a glance; he didn’t. I started to bite my lip, not to stop the tears, but to stop the sarcasm that was brewing below the surface. Ouch… I could taste the blood. “I have been allowed out on my own for quite some time now, providing I contact a responsible adult on the hour…..every hour.” Sarcasm won again – but he did look at me – and there was a hint – albeit a very small one – of a smile. “There is nothing else we can do for you.” he told me. Ok…. I only came in for a blood test. I got up to leave…. “Hold on, you don’t understand” he turned towards the nurse “this is why we like another person with them; they are more likely to listen.”

As it transpired, I wasn’t getting the “you’re not long for this earth” speech, but a “you’re in the lap of the gods” speech.  I was going to point out that if he was just a tad clearer, there wouldn’t be any need for a minder; I managed to resist the urge as I was still wondering what the hell he was on about.

Over the years I have made many visits to hospitals and GP surgeries and I assumed that the issues with listening lay firmly with me, as sometimes, even with the best of intentions, we as mere humans hear only what we want to hear. We easily accept  what the Doctor tells us is the be-all-and-end-all, never even thinking that they may in fact be wrong. They too are human and therefore not infallible. For goodness sake, I listen to people on a daily basis, and have sat through what seems like incessant courses on the subject. (The hardest part of those courses, was to actually listen and preferably stay awake) But I still kept quiet, even though I knew they were wrong.

The change came when after a dodgy episode, the Consultant told me off for not being on the correct tablets. Now I am aware of self-diagnosis but not of self-prescribing. An almighty row ensued, which I could have easily bled to death as I went into a strop, removed the drip from my hand and blood was pulsating out of a gaping hole, but my spontaneous witless act meant the argument was short-lived, replaced by the ruckus of trying to cap the well. From then on I was refered to by the consultant on his rounds, as “Ah, the lady with the episode.” Well at least he called me a lady. I did manage to have a few chats with him as I had been put in a side ward in case “I went off on one” again: my cannula was set in concrete.

So from that day I have made sure that I listen intently, ask questions, check on my understanding and on rare occasions even dare to make suggestions.

I will not just be a number: I am a person. No two of us are alike and what works for one, may not work for another. Don’t accept, follow your instinct and keep on until you get an answer; admittedly it may not be the answer you want or like, but eventually it should be the correct one.


One click from an idiot!

If embarrassment could be measured in size, mine would reach to the top of Blackpool Tower ! All I wanted to do, was get a blog. Nothing earth shattering; just a blog. Now those who know me well, but will not admit it, will tell you: nothing I ever do is easy, in fact I have a secret gene, ensuring that everything I attempt to do is never easy! So I cracked my knuckles  and made a start, expecting a difficult time, i was surprised how easy it was…..  I followed the idiot’s guide, which seemed to be written with me in mind. I got myself a blog name and off I went…

When did I realise I had a small issue? Well that’s difficult to say, as I was blissfully unaware of what I was doing, or what to expect, so putting the issue aside I updated my profile; that took 5 minutes. I returned to try to write a blog. Yes that was the small issue; I didn’t know how! I reloaded the idiots guide and then followed the instructions….Click on… new post Ok looked all over for the…. new post to click on, nowhere on the page to be found. At one stage, in desperation, I looked at the screen side wards, praying it was hiding or at the very least, playing a funny trick on me!  I knew what I was looking for, and this was confirmed by a fellow Twitterite, whom I was having a tweet with on the issue, she pointed out another click prior to the click…..still with me?  Armed with the extra click info, I waited until after work the following day to try it, still no joy, so I changed my profile again.

The situation became ridiculous the day after. I was click…click…and bloody clicking, on everything, even up the nose of an innocent bystander on the home page, what i hoped to find up there was nobodies  business………nothing, zilch, naff all! So for the want of something better to do I changed my profile again.  I am normally a very laid back person, but this  clicking and getting nowhere fast, was getting my mad up.  Click…click… and then, well that was enough: my scream was heard four doors away. I got a text off my neighbour ‘U ok Hell’ a quick reply ‘YES’ followed by a …..’OH SOZ’ I was preparing to ask her why she was sorry, when I was interrupted by a rap on the door. I was confronted by an officer of the law, asking if all was  well!. ‘Yes officer, I am fine…. No officer I was trying to blog…. No that’s not an illegal act (maybe it frickin well should be)… I am not being rude…I am trying to do a bl** …Yes officer I will do it quietly in future….’ A quick check…nobody watching and I return to the laptop once more. I was going to finally contact the support centre, when a box popped up. ‘I didn’t exist’ this is where the embarrassment kicks in: I hadn’t actually finished setting up the blog, as I had missed the important bla de bla http: //, or whatever. To add insult to injury the on-screen message read ‘Well done, you are finally finished. Now write!’  The cheeky git, was it timing me?

I couldn’t be bothered to do a victory dance, as i normally would, with victories so rare, i usually celebrate in style, but as this one was a tad hollow, I limply punched the air and lay down; the hard floor cooling my brow. I was now silently weeping, as I was so happy that I wasn’t imagining my stupidity, it was actually real!

My next blog will either be on

a) The failure to post the link for the blog or b) Police response times on a Wednesday afternoon.