Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Flu-tastic - of the swine varity

It's been quite a while since my last post, and you'd be forgiven for thinking that I'd come to an unfortunate end on my bike, given my most recent updates. However, this is not the case. In fact, I've been struck down by the dreaded swine flu, which I've discovered is not pleasant at all. It's been ages since I've had any type of flu - we get the flu jab at work every year (it's a company benefit apparently - I bet I'm paying tax on that somewhere along the line) but this is a good reminder why I do it.

Now, I'm not usually one for going to the doctor - I generally feel I can take care of myself - but yesterday the final straw was reached when I couldn't actually get out of bed to go to the loo. Enough, I thought. I'm getting a doctor to come to me. Admittedly, I haven't done this in a long time - in fact, I've done it once, when I was 15 (so, technically, it was my mother who called out the doctor) because my appendix was in the process of bursting, so I figure that I'm due a call out - right? Wrong. I call my doctor's surgery, who inform me the doctor doesn't do home visits. If I'm concerned, I should call NHS Direct or go to A&E. Brilliant. What sound advice. I'd much rather head to St. Thomas' and wait for 19 hours to see a nurse - if I'm not dead before I go in, I definitely will be when I come out.

I was so desperate to get whatever drugs I needed to make this suffering go away, I practically crawled to my doctors - luckily it's not too far from my house. It was then that I noticed the opening hours for the surgery. I always knew they were pretty limited but 9-11am and 4-5.15pm? ARE YOU HAVING A LAUGH? What on earth are the doctors doing during the other five hours of the day if they're not making house calls? I remember reading somewhere that GPs have an average salary of £70,000. If I could get a job paying me £70k for doing just over three hours a day (except on Wednesdays, when they are closed in the afternoons, so it's only two hours that day) then I'd be a happy lady.

Don't get me wrong, I know people train for a long time to become doctors and I'm sure not all their patients are pleasant etc etc. It's a hard life. But how on earth can you justify only being open for 3 hours 15 minutes each day? Surely you need to be open longer than that to give people the opportunity to see you? Plus, I'm not sure I agree with the advice - 'Go to A&E'. With A&E departments being closed down all over the place, surely the ones that are left are already bursting at the seams with actual emergencies?

The surgery wants to be grateful I'm so knocked out with swine flu. If they thought I was rude on the phone yesterday, they want to see me in action when I'm actually feeling well... but then again, I suppose that's how they get away with it in the first place...


  1. Oh no! Hope you're better soon!

    We're not allowed through the door at our local doctors if you so much as sniffle or cough. NHS direct and the flu pandemic line misdiagnosed my cousins little girl with swine flu when she actually had bad tonsillitis.

    They complained so much the doctor agreed to stay out of hours to see them one day and eventually they got the trwatment they needed for her poor throat.

    The system is a shambles right now!


    P.S I have an award/meme for you at mine if you want to play:

  2. Thanks IM - both for the well wishes and the award! Will play soon.

    Re the doctors - yes, I think not giving them the details of my illness also irritated them...

    I hope your great niece (is that right? It's too complicated for my poor brain right now) is better, or well on the road to recovery too...