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The Day of Stupid

Package from a friend yesterday; I bought two of her home solutions and she popped in a third because she's lovely. First two are to be drunk very dilute, third to be taken externally. If only I had read the label before drinking it! I did dilute it in water, but still the moment I tasted the geranium sweetness and the oil washed down my throat, I realised that possibly I had done a foolish thing. Phoned 111, they went nuts and told me to get to the nearest A&E, probably the Urgent Care unit, because apparently some essential oils are toxic, so off I went.


The first thing I realised is how desperate the situation would have been for people in this area had Lewisham hospital been closed as the last government planned. The Queen Elizabeth can barely cope as it is. The next obvious conclusion was that I had come to Bedlam.

There are 3 receptionists in A&E, and you must register with them before you go through to Urgent Care which is not quite the same as A&E, though no-one seems to quite know the difference... but there's no sign telling you this until you get to Urgent Care which is when you do see the instructions telling you to go back and register with A&E, so back you go to the receptionists, who have a sign asking you to bear with them because they are using a new computer system.

You register, you sit down until the 'Streaming' nurse calls you, and you discuss your symptoms with her and she decides what to do with you. She decided that if I wasn't suffering already, chances were that I was fine but she would send me to one of the urgent care GPs just to check me vitals. Back to Urgent Care I went. Cue the doctor staring at the bottle I had brought with me, saying, and I quote, 'I know nothing about this stuff.' She checked my stomach, pulse, etc, including my blood pressure which she did very roughly indeed.

'You are hurting me.' I told her, my sense of humour beginning to fade.
She shrugged. 'It will be tight,' she said.
'I have had my blood pressure taken many times,' I said, feeling said pressure begin to rise. 'It doesn't usually hurt. You're hurting me.'

She took it off. 'You're normal,' she told me, always nice to hear. Clearly I passed the ability-to-say-Ow-when-hurt test. 'But I can't tell you anything, I have no way of checking these.' She pointed at the listed ingredients. 'I can't help you.' I stared at her. 'Then why did they send me to you?' I asked.

'I don't know,' was her reply. 'Back there they have a leaflet about this stuff. I think you need to check this out with an A&E doctor.' She then took me back to the receptionists, waved some paper at them, told me to sit down and disappeared. I waited for a long time. Another 'Streaming' nurse called me in, and I explained what had happened. The first nurse joined us.

'I can't believe she's sent her back to us...' she said to her colleague. I told them both that it had been so long I was clearly all right, so I might as well go.

'Well, it is unresolved,' said the second nurse. 'You see, we have a toxins database and we can check these oils against that, only we can't. Only the doctors can access it.'
A little detective work revealed that the Urgent Care doctors could not access it either- indeed, my Urgent Care doctor was clearly unaware of its existence - the A&E doctors were the only ones able to do so.

'The good news is,' said the second nurse, 'that you are back in the queue in your original place, so you've probably got about an hour to wait.' At this point waiting time was three and a half hours. I waited for an hour and a half, checked with the receptionists who told me that I was one of the next, and it was just a matter of when a doctor 'clicked' my case, but they couldn't tell how long it was going to be. I went to the loo, accidentally broke a cord on the front of my favourite trousers and decided that enough was enough. Then I went home, disgusted with the day.

But the good news is that I am alive this morning, so it can't have been that bad. Must just remember not to drink massage oils in future...


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 3rd, 2015 10:42 pm (UTC)
Jesus. This very much fits with a good deal of my experience of hospitals under this swingeing set of cuts. Horrible though.
Nov. 4th, 2015 08:25 am (UTC)
I get very angry to see cuts in the NHS being justified by 'Because it's not efficient,' when the cuts are the reason it's not efficient!

The dismantling of our welfare state is heartbreaking. I wonder if this is truly what Brits want.

The QE was touted as taking over when it was proposed that Lewisham Hospital be closed because it overspent on its budget. Had this been put into effect, the results for local people in serious need of accident/emergency/urgent care would have been absolutely catastrophic.
Nov. 4th, 2015 11:06 pm (UTC)
Me too. It's transparent bullshit, and I get angry because they can brazenly lie and get away with it, as much as I get angry about the NHS itself and the horrible cost in human suffering involved.

I signed petitions re Lewisham, even though it's nowhere near me, because the closure rhetoric was so patently wrong.
Nov. 5th, 2015 07:57 am (UTC)
They lie and get away with it.
Yes. But I don't understand why they get away with it. What has happened to people?

As to the Lewisham Hospital closure, I'm so glad you signed the petition! The idea seems to have been that patients would be distributed among other hospitals in the area, including the QE, but this would never have worked. If what I saw constitutes current levels in A&E on an early weekday, people would have had to camp in the grounds...

Edited at 2015-11-05 07:58 am (UTC)
Nov. 5th, 2015 09:56 am (UTC)
Re: They lie and get away with it.
Little has changed since Thatcher wrt the lying I think. So I don't think that it's worse now, I just don't understand why more people can't see it. Too many people get suckered by the media into feeling powerless and scared maybe?
Nov. 5th, 2015 12:54 pm (UTC)
Re: They lie and get away with it.
It's a strange one. There is much more media clamour for sure, and maybe that confuses people. I also think that in general, our education is based on training people in what to think, not how to arrive at a conclusion - source checking, research, referencing are almost ignored, training in debate and logic seems unheard of. Instead we have generations who think in tropes and either vote the way their parents did, or don't vote at all.

I speak of course, only of England, because I don't know much about Wales and Northern Ireland, and Scotland seems to have re-invigorated interest in the political process. In England the assumption seems to be that things will just carry on bar the shouting, a kind of apathy with a shrugging expectation that yes all politicians lie, but less of a police force/ welfare state/ national health service, are just vagaries that will affect some other person far away.

Edited at 2015-11-05 12:56 pm (UTC)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )



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