Had an appointment at Bradford Royal Infirmary the other week. Back in January, I went to my GP about feeling some discomfort in my chest at night and getting a bit out of breath more than I usually would. GP didn’t think there was much to worry about other than general wear, tear and the slow decline into decrepitude that comes with being in my late forties. But, in the name of caution, arranged for an appointment at the cardiology department. So fast forward to mid-May and the appointment came through. (Good job I wasn’t dying really).
Cue crystal maze type experience of trying to find out where I was meant to go. I found a reception desk. Helpful lady there pointed me in the right direction to another reception desk where I checked in. Was told I was on the computer but not on the daily list of appointments. My name was added by way of a hastily scribbled post-it note. A 16-year-old sad looking assistant came to get me and told me to strip off from the waist up.
“Pardon me. Do what now?”
Was told to put my clothes in a basket and don the old hospital gown leaving it open at the front.
Was then sent down a corridor clutching my gown shut and led into a room where I was given an ECG.
If anyone has never had one of these, it’s essentially 5 minutes of someone sticking plasters to your tits and torso then plugging you into the mains for 2 seconds, then peeling the plasters back off. It’s about as dignified as it sounds. No wonder the poor lass looked glum. “What do you do for living my love?” / “I stick band aids on saggy old bodies every day” / “Awesome!”
I was then advised to get dressed and head to the blue waiting area. Did I know where that was? No. So she gave me directions along the lines of, “Through the double doors at the end of this corridor then take a right, then a left, then straight on to the other double doors, across the narrow sea to the island of Dragonstone; then through the seven levels of the Candy Cane forest, through the sea of swirly-twirly gum drops, and then walk through the Lincoln Tunnel”
I eventually found it, then was told I needed to sign in at reception. I said I had already signed in at two separate reception areas. An exasperated-looking nurse told me that neither of those was the blue reception area so I needed to, “go back down the corridor, through the double doors, take a left past Mount Mordor, through the revolving doors and past the realms of men; climb the Faraway Tree and then toss my name into the Goblet of Fire, then make my way back via the river Styx so she could take my blood pressure” (which would no doubt at this stage, be through the fucking roof). Obviously, I got lost, because as we all know, my map reading skills are sadly lacking. I also detoured en route back to go for a wee and got completely disorientated coming out of the loo. I ended up back in the waiting room but then realized it was the orange waiting area. Back through the shadow of the valley of death, I ventured. Passing Shergar, Madeliene McCann and Lord Lucan along the way!
Arrived back in the blue waiting room to find two exasperated nurses who were wondering where I’d got to. As they took me in a room to do my blood pressure, one of them declared that I wasn’t on the system and had I been to check in at reception? Refusing to go through all that again, they sent another nurse down to the blue reception to ask what the delay was. Are these computers not linked? It would have been quicker to use two yogurt pots on a string. Come on UK. Get our NHS back on track. Stop wasting money on shit and give them some funding FFS.
Anyway, I digress.
The short version (because there is one believe it or not) is that I’m not dying just yet. Doctor Klopek seemed quite happy with my health, but erring on the side of caution again, is arranging for me to attend some other test or other but that’s not until June. At least I should (?) know the way next time. I’ll leave a trail of breadcrumbs next time just to be sure.
You’d think that this minor health concern might worry someone like me who has a propensity for overthinking situations. But no. What kept me awake the other night was a throwaway comment from my daughter. She was telling me that the scrape on her buttock (from her cider rider injury at Swingamjig) was healing nicely and, “Not to worry Mum, I haven’t got sepsis.”
I then lay awake pondering my recent injury where I had scraped the back of my hand on the poolside and was quite sore. What if I had developed sepsis? Would my hand have to be amputated like Kevin Webster’s son’s leg in Coronation Street? Could I still teach swimming with one hand? Yes, I thought, that would be no problem. But how long would I be out of action workwise while the stump healed over? Should I get a golden hand like Jamie Lannister in Thrones? What if they had to amputate at the elbow? Could I still support the children in the pool with a shorter arm? Yes, I decided. That would also be fine. Trickier than just having a stump for a hand, but not impossible.
What though, if the entire arm had to come off? What a waste a lovely tattoo on my upper arm? That would be £160 I could have saved. Typical me. Not bothered about losing an arm. More fussed at wasting money unnecessarily like the stereotypical tight northern fucker I am.
Would I still be able to teach successfully then, with no arm? I expect so, with time. And I could always dress as post-Pennywise-arm-torn-off-in-a-drain Georgie from ‘It’ at Halloween. I already have a yellow raincoat so that would be a money saver.
And this is me at quite a mentally stable stage in my life. You can imagine what my head was like a couple of years ago when the demons got in.
And don’t try and deny that many of you aren’t just as overthinking, nuts and weird. I’m just not that bothered about admitting it.
Watch this space MoFos Xx