Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Being sick in London

I had the horrible ordeal of being sick in London but before I begin this story, let me take you back to the day where I decided to register with a doctor in Putney... I thought that before I got sick in London I'd register with a GP so that when in times of crisis I'd have help at hand... Well.. It took me a week before the doctors surgery even had time to regsiter me on their system and making an appointment was even more tiresome than getting registered. It turns out, in London, if you are going to be sick you need to know in advance and inform the doctors surgery at least 3 (preferable 4-5) days in advance so that they can see if they have a slot available for you to fit into... And then they only spend 5 minutes with you before shuffling you out to see the next 'patient'.

After an enjoyable 2 weeks in the Greek Islands I came back to London and got straight back into the routine of work... Only to then discover that one of the snotty nosed little shits that I teach had given me some disgusting illness which made me feel like I was going to die. I was in pain - I had a runny nose, an annoying dry cough, sinus issues, headaches which would not disappear even after taking 6 panadols, sore throat, loss of voice (no cheering!), earaches, sore jaw and I'm probably sure there were more symptoms which I've forgotten about.

So, after 10 days of suffering and taking several days off work I decided that I should go to the doctor. Anyways, I knew it would take ages to get an appointment if I went to my normal GP so I decided to go to a walk-in centre. I wander in around lunch-time and find a whole heap of people waiting and after hearing horror stories of people waiting 4 hours for an appointment I was a bit stressed.. Luckily I only had to wait an hour for my appointment and got shuffled in to see the nurse who told me that 'oh it looks like your problem requires you to see a doctor'... I wasn't sure what to say... I had so many thoughts running through my head mainly 'what the heck, isn't this a doctors clinic' but apparently you see a nurse who decides if you need to see a doctor and because I did I needed to get an appointment which they couldn't give me until 7pm that night! Frustrating times! Still, I was sick, I needed to get medication so I went home frustrated and came back at 7pm and got my antibiotics (which apparently you're not allowed to drink alcohol at the same time as taking them... Saturday night will be messy as a friend is having a house party!)

Anyways, it was such an interesting experience at the walk-in centre. Some of the people who came in were crazy. One guy came in with his eye pouring with blood and he pushed in front of the line to get to reception.. and one of the ladies in line had a go at him because of the fact that he pushed in even though his eye was pouring blood. He yelled at her and told her that his condition was more serious and she got really narky.

Later in the evening, a lady was in the waiting room drinking BEER and it appeared as though she'd wet herself. Hmm... and then, there was the woman who came in demanding to see a doctor because she was disorientated and was thinking about committing suicide and could she call her neighbor to look after her birds while she admitted herself to hospital! All at Charing Cross Hospital! Excellent stuff. I love the stories you get from living in London!

Anyways it's bed time for me, hopefully no more coughing fits during the night and antibiotics kick in and get rid of this chest infection/sinus congestion!!

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