Monday 3 July 2017

fritter and waste the hours in an off-hand way...

I've been expecting an appointment through from one of the many consultants that I see.  I had a consultation in December and was told to expect a follow-up in six months.  Although I've been anxious to chase this appointment through, I've been as patient as I possibly can be, hoping that my name will pop up on their system in due course and that appointment will come through and everything will be tickety-boo.

I nearly called to chase them at the end of May, but counted the months back carefully on my fingers and realised that I needed to give them more time, even though I knew it was probably going to take a while between chase and appointment.  So I waited.  I was hoping there would be something on my doormat when we got back from the USA last week... but there was nothing.

So, today I called them.

"Oh yes.  You're on our system. Well, as you're on the phone now, I'll check to see what's available.  How about the 4th July.... oh!  That's tomorrow! No? Well I have an appointment on Saturday and then nothing until November."

So.... I suppose the positive to take from this is that I have the appointment I've been waiting for later on this week, which is good.  On the other hand, I can't help but think about what would have happened if I hadn't made that call this afternoon.  Presumably, that appointment on Saturday would never have come my way, and I could feasibly have been waiting until November for my follow-up.  That seems ridiculous.

Look.  I love the NHS.  My father dedicated most of his working life as a doctor to it and I've experienced up-close just how amazing it is.  Since my diagnosis with MS, I've received literally hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of care; the drugs I inject every week are worth hundreds of pounds each time, never mind all the scans and consultations and diagnostics and things.  The quality of care has been excellent and unquestioning.  I've never paid a penny directly for any of it.  That's an amazing thing and something to be celebrated and cherished.

But this episode with my appointment just seems a bit....haphazard.


  1. I had an appointment to see my doctor for a checkup on May 25. Earlier that week, I received a call from his office telling me that they didn't realize that he'd be out of the office that day (long Memorial Day weekend, perhaps?), and wanted to know if it was necessary for me to see the Dr, or would it be OK to see his Nurse Practitioner instead. I told them that I wasn't sure, since it was a 4 month follow-up/checkup, I'd think it would be up to the Dr as to whether or not it was OK. They said it would. I said OK.

    Then they say, "So we'll see you at 10:30am?"

    My initial appointment was at 8:30am. I told them that if I couldn't see her at 8:30am, we'd have to reschedule for the next available morning appointment with the Dr. The next one was July 14. I said that if the Dr was OK with me waiting that long on a 4-month checkup, then I was, too. They said it'd be fine.

    They've pulled this on me twice before. The worst example of it was they called me the morning of the appointment to reschedule it. I was in the waiting room when they called me.

    Other than that, he's an awesome doctor.

  2. I've been waiting since March for the 3 times a week copaxone to get sorted. I knew there was a bit of a delay as the MS Nurses had left a message a while back. Inspired by your post, I thought I'd give them a call to see where it's at: "OK, I'll sort it for you this afternoon. You should hear in the next few days"... !