Wednesday, 26 November 2008

By Appointment

I think my feelings about the National Health Service have been pretty clearly established in previous posts.

I love it. I love that it is free, that it is here, and did I mention that it was free? But my god it frustrates me sometimes, and when it does I feel guilty. That whole 'don't look a gift horse in the mouth' idea. But to turn that analogy into something more tortuous: If you don't look it in the mouth and check its general health you may well find yourself with a horse buckling under you in the desert of infertility, miles away from the oasis of medical intervention.

I've just received a letter from them:

Dear [womb4improvement]
On: 5 Feb 2009 at 14.00

I regret to inform you that it has been necessary to change the above appointment. I apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

A new appointment has been made for the date and time shown below:
On: 10 Dec 2008 at 11.00

Yours sincerely

Outpatients Team

And now I am going to give you a bit of an insight into the machinations of my mind.

Thought 1: Shit, why are they always monkeying around with my appointments? I can't believe they've cancelled another one.

Thought 2: Oh! Wait a cotton picking minute, they've brought it forward, it is less than two weeks away. Brilliant!

Thought 3: What appointment on the 5 of Feb? I don't know of any appointment on the 5 of Feb.

Thought 4: I'm still taking provera to sort the womb out and will be until the beginning of January. I'm not due any appointments until after I finish the drugs.

Thought 5: Was that fart the dog or the husband?

So I ring them.

"Hello, I've had a letter about a change of appointment to the 10 of December, but I am a bit confused. What is the appointment for?"

"Ahh, yes, well we had a new nurse so we thought we could up the number of clinics, so we were going to run more a week, now that we have 4 clinical nurses not 3. But she's now left, so we can't, so that appointment is going to have to be cancelled anyway"

"Right, so am I back to the 5 of Feb now?"

"No, we aren't having a clinic that day so you're in for the 19 of Feb"

"Lovely, that's fine, but do you think you could tell me what the appointment is for?"

"Yes, its to start your treatment"

"Great. I'm taking provera until January, do you have a note of that?"

"Oh yes"

"So I couldn't have started the treatment on the 10th of December anyway"


Very glad we got that sorted. So, to summarise:

I got a letter changing an appointment that I hadn't been told about in the first place, but then on calling them the appointment had been changed again anyway, and even if it hadn't been I wouldn't have been able to go because I haven't completed the first batch prescription of drugs, so now it is later than it originally was, but only by two weeks.

Actually, what am I complaining about? It all seems quite straight forward now I think of it.

At this point a few months ago I would have got all excited about the 19 of February. But judging from past experiences I'll be tucking into a whole pile of hats for tea if the 19th really does go ahead as planned.


  1. Oh Yes... THAT'S the NHS I know and love!

  2. God that would drive anyone barmy. At least at the end of it, you got an appointment at the appropriate time. What would have happened if you had turned up on the 10th Dec though?

  3. I'm lost now anyway.

    For what its worth, we have this mandatory insurance situation over here, so you do pay a certain amount per year, and we still have those mess ups.

  4. HFF, it doesn't disappoint does it?

    Jane, yes, it all turn out alright, in the end. God know what would have happened on the 10th.

    Xbox, you've been lost for a long, long time.

  5. Great to have you back! And great that the holiday was reinvigorating, relaxing, reviving etc..

    See you soon,

    Gigi x

  6. My goodness they do sound infuriating. I can't believe that they just tell you when to come in! Are employers and the like typically ok with this?

  7. Ta G, I'd like to say it's good to be back but that whole reinvigorating, relaxing, reviving has been quickly evaporating ever since we touched down.

    Love 1st, typically I'm not sure employers would be all that OK with it, they all understand we have no choice with hospital appointments but obviously not everyone wants to tell their boss why they are having these appointments. I'm very lucky that I felt I could tell my boss and my work is pretty self directed so I have a degree of flexibility.

    Barb, lovely? Did you just read the right post - or do i detect a hint of sarcasm?

  8. Dear old NHS. Glad to see they haven't lost their touch.

  9. Sarcasm of course. I don't know how to be any other way. ;-)

  10. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


  11. What a lovely comment. Thanks Sarah I do hope you will come back.


I've resisted word verification for ages but I'm getting so many spam comments at the moment that I think it is time. Sorry!