If I have seemed a bit off form and lax in posting these last couple of months it could be that I have not been the happiest of bunnies. My old sweet voice has turned to a croak and I am still waiting to attend an appointment with ENT to see if there is anything obvious causing it, it could be the meds. to keep the bones in tip top condition! A little HRT could help do that job but I am still waiting for that box of sweeties. My local health service has given up on me, took their time! I have been passed on to a clinic which has turned out to be a bit over 180 miles roundtrip.
I had called to make an appointment in the second week in December when the letter arrived and I was given the choice of early on the next Monday just 60 hours hence or today. I had something arranged for the Monday which would take so rearranging so I went for today with the risk of awful winter conditions to contend with. As soon as the phone call finished I set about rearranging my Monday so as to be able to call back and hope the Monday was still open. By now it was lunchtime so I left a message to make the change and I would call back to confirm later. No calls either way worked all afternoon so I was resigned to a five week wait for an appointment for I knew not what! I presumed it would be endocrinology since that was the department which had thrown me out but… I emailed someone who had been to this clinic to get some idea of what it was like so as not to arrive totally cold, then I started to stew. This is someone who refused to say that their appendix was grumbling because I did not want to be on a two year countdown on a waiting list, I don’t do well stewing like that. I eat too much and gain weight and with this miserable weather have not had much exercise!
As predicted but times ten! The weather has been beyond anything we have seen since 1981 when we smart enough to spend a month in northern France enjoying the winter markets and the fabulous christmas food that was available and missed it all. For over three weeks it has been almost impossible to even get the car out to the road and everywhere has had walkways of solid ice causing record numbers of broken bones. It is not a good time to be dying, all the long term beds are full of multiple fracture victims! Local authorities have failed to stock salt since we have has a few mild winters, this is like not having a fire extinguisher because there has not been a fire for a while! As it turned out it has been the best day for a couple of months and Glasgow, a city where webbed feet is almost obligatory was mild dry and bright. This was going to be a solitary trip, who in their right mind would put themselves through such a trip in the winter if it was not necessary? Julie never questioned the calendar note and I would have slipped off for the day and then done some me things in the city after the 11 am visit to the clinic but stir crazy Julie saw the weather forecast and declared that she wanted to come for a visit to the refurbished Kelvingrove museum. We used to visit this city quite regularly but as the places we were interested in slowly closed down or changed we have only passed through, we finally worked out it had been nearly a decade since we had spent a day there together!
As luck would have it the museum is only a short walk from the clinic so all was arranged. The drive through was an eye opener, mile after mile of near stationary traffic heading into work in numerous place, we arrange our travel to avoid traffic, a minute holdup at lights is a traffic jam to me. Then there were countless miles of the only east west road completely dug up for rebuilding, about a year so far! 40 mph limits with camera controlled average speed limit computer system did not help. So instead of a lazy coffee in the museum cafe then a lazy saunter to the clinic I arrived with only six minutes to spare, no coffee.
The clinic was quite busy with dozens of people waiting in the reception area many of whom seemed to have interestingly contracted infections if what I overheard was correct. I was given a short form for personal information to fill in and told to wait in the first floor waiting room. I just had time for bladder relief and tidy up myself then a couple of minutes in an empty waiting room to myself before I was called and led to a very small room and given a seat. I felt a little naked with no nail colour but I had wanted to be able to show my poor shattered nails. Julie had marvelous nails when she was on HRT, now for the first time in thirty years she has longer stronger nails than me. Suzy who had met this doctor had not mentioned a salient fact which became obvious within microseconds! There was not going to be much discussion about my nails or my interesting blood chemistry and no new blood was going to be sucked out, this was going to be the kind of intimate chat I had manage to avoid for a long lifetime! I was trapped and all that anxiety about this sort of situation had not prepared me for the actuality.
When he started by saying “we have an hour” I knew I really had been caught!
“Do I want to ask any questions?” was an easy start. I was lost for words so let him start his interrogation. Clearly this guy has watched all those spy films where enemy agents are encouraged to cough up all their deepest hidden secrets. I have been absolutely open with my thoughts and memories over this last year on my blog and have covered quite a range of time and experiences over the last year. His interrogator seemed to suck most of that out in this one session!
Something had clicked in my head that said here is your chance to say what you feel once and for all, at last, for better or for worse there would be some sort of record. Being me I answered all questions openly and honestly even when they sometimes brought me to moments of emotional speechlessness. I also said exactly what I thought about the process the system puts us through and what I thought was absurd and back to front about it. All together it was really cathartic and I was left feeling like a tension had been released. At that point he said well I am the psychiatrist you have always feared and now you will have to come back for another appointment with another to see about desired drugs! Oh well. And then the killer statement “that he felt that he could support me for as far as I decided to take this process…”
Knock over with feather springs to mind! I know we covered a lot of ground in what turned out to be an hour and a half and I had said things which I thought would count against me, I only wanted a box of sweeties and something which I had never imagined possible, in fact had been told forty years ago would never come to pass has been dangled there as an attainable goal on day.
I have been through a second grilling and the mood in the house is strange to say the least. I have said that this was a step I did not think I would be able to take or one I would ever ask Julie to have to support me through but suddenly as if the seriousness of my state has become totally clarified and authenticated has subtly changed from accepting to supportive. Will she still be like this when she has had time to sleep on it? Just what will the future bring? I just don’t know.