Don’t ring us

November 3, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Now this is another male/female thing so all you feminists who don’t like being told what to do and when to do it, look away now.

It’s just a note to doctors about us men really.  I’m not talking about countries where you have to re- mortgage your granny so that you can have that breast implant (“just the one side please, old people are worth so much less these days”), where your doc has to be nice to you because you’re the paying customer.  I’m talking about the good old, much maligned, National Health Service in the UK where, funnily enough, we are all paying customers but you wouldn’t know it if you tried to ring for an appointment here.  There’s a ‘system’, I’ve discovered, and it goes something like this:

If you’re pregnant, have small children in need of injections, elderly or just a female with unresolvable issues, please press 1.

If you’re male or anything resembling one and are not sure whether this is an emergency, please press 2 and hold for a very long time or preferably,  don’t bother us.  Tch tch!  Can’t you see we’re very busy?  Really!

I once foolishly decided after a heavy cold, being the inconvenient man I am,  to seek advice for an alarmingly noticeable drop in hearing. To my mind this seemed not entirely unreasonable given that freelance piano tuning is how I get to eat.  Getting past the receptionist is an ordeal in itself.

“Is it urgent?”

Hmm, self-diagnosis time … is my being able to provide for my family important? Hmm… no, I suppose not now you mention it.  If I rang with pains in the chest I’d get the same same question.  Weeks later a brief examination revealed ‘nothing wrong’ in spite of the fact I was very aware that all was not normal.

Could I get an appointment with a specialist?

Good God man, I’ve looked into your ears, what more d’you want? Alright then, go and see this lady.

‘This lady’ gives me a hearing test, tells me my herring is ‘down’ and tries to sell me a herring aid with the line that ‘no buggy likes admitting they have a herring problem’.

I HAD A HEAVY COLD! I’M JUST BLOCKED UP!  (I’ve had time to make my own diagnosis by this stage in the game)

And you’re sure you’re not pregnant? That sometimes messes up your faculties. Your name is Hilary after all…

Ah! It is, isn’t it. I may use that in future.

 

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