Here we go, it’s time for another outpatient appointment, so up we get at a ridiculously early hour, (8.30am, which feels like 6am these days now we’re working on retirement time) just to make sure my tablets have kicked in and I can get myself out of bed. I manage to make myself look semi presentable and off in the car I go. As I sit in the waiting room, many things go through my mind; how long will I have to wait today, will there be enough chairs today (there always seems to be a dearth of chairs at Rheumatology outpatients- you know the one, the one where people with mobility problems and may need to sit down quickly go?) and who will I see today, the consultant in room 2 or the lovely registrar in room 1? The big monitor on the wall shouts out the names as our appointments are ready, the electronic voice that cannot get its virtual tongue around these pesky Welsh names so you never know who they’re calling. It tells some lady to go to room 3, she looks around trying to see the room, room 1 is in front of her, room 2 is next door but where is room 3? Not next door to room 2, no that would be too easy, not even next door to that. She stands unsteadily still unable to work it out. We all look at her, scanning the corridor in order to help her. At last, an elderly gentleman interrupts by telling us all that ‘room 3’s behind you love’ Ahhh, he obviously has been here before and has discovered that room three is not just not next to rooms 1 and 2 but is in a totally different corridor behind the reception. Next door to room 2 is an office and then room 4 (of course, where else would it be? Next to room 3?, don’t be ridiculous!)
We sit, we look at our phones, we look embarrassed when someone’s left their phone on and some supposedly hilarious ringtone comes through, we whisper about who do we think is next, us or the lady with the blue bag….. Eventually the monitor calls my name, well, the best effort it can make with a weird first name like mine, but thankfully I can read it and discover that my appointment is in room 2 (yes, the big man!) It all goes very routinely, as it tends to do these days now they’re not looking for some other drug, some other treatment or another procedure that might ‘help’ me manage my pain. In and out in 5 minutes flat, no bloods tests today thankfully and out of the hospital we went.
It’s a bitter sweet one today, part of me is glad that we’ve been seen so quickly, the other part is heartbroken that from now on, this is what they’ll all be like, no more ‘let’s try this’ or ‘what about another injection, might work this time?’ Just a quick hello, have you fractured again since the last time I saw you and how are the tablets going. Ah well, at least I’m not stuck there for hours waiting for various people to draw my blood or scan me or something else, could be worse I suppose.
Big deep breath, a hug from P and a practical pressie on the way home and it’s all good once again, I’m so easily pleased these days! Well, they do save breaking my nails so………. 😂