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Friday, November 07, 2014

Doctor's Surgery Appointments and Weird People

I have had a nurse's appointment booked for today a week or two ago at Ashfield Medical Centre. I went with Carol on the Monday of Half Term and was seen by the doctor who wanted me to have a blood test so I had made this appointment then. Carol needed her own appointment today so we got to the surgery at around 7.45 and queued up. The weather was building up. It had been raining earlier but as we stood and waited it was fortunately dry but the clouds were threatening rain. She was able to get her own appointment fairly quickly. As I've mentioned in earlier posts, there is the option to ring in after 8 a.m. for an appointment but you will never have any sort of guarantee that you will actually get through and then get seen that day.  My nurse's appointment was supposed to be at 8.20, but I didn't actually go into the nurse's room until around 8.35. It gave me plenty of time to observe the people waiting in the surgery and queuing up. A lady with some young children with her was just before us outside in the queue before 8. The little girl with her had a scruffy dolly with her and was running around full of energy. The two older boys seemed to do their best to try and ignore her or to at least appear that they weren't anything to do with them. A bit difficult. I think the little girl must have been quite a handful. Most certainly a very demanding little thing. Once we'd sat down in the waiting area the little girl was causing her mother further grief, running around and demanding attention, but not in an unpleasant way. They went off to the doctor when their name came up on he digital screen. When they came back several minutes later the little girl was wearing her mother's wooly hat and proceeded to slide up and down the shiny floor. The mum told her to get up in a commanding voice which lead to the child screaming loudly. They then sat in the waiting area, supposedly to see a nurse or get the results of a test or something.

A somewhat belligerent man came in. Short, stocky, Scottish accent. Went up to the lady on the reception desk and demanded to get an appointment. All at the top of his voice so everyone could hear. If he'd got to the surgery before 8 as we had done he might have been able to get the appointment he wanted (from what I heard, it was for his son who was at work.) I was very impressed by how the lady on reception handled it. The gentleman left, but I'm not sure whether he got his appointment or not, but he was in a far calmer mood than when he came in.

Another odd person wandered into the surgery while we sat and waited. A woman who looked drugged up to the eyeballs. She was dressed in a fleecy dressing gown, tied tightly around the waste and wearing slippers. It looked as if she had just got out of bed and had wandered outside, got lost and turned up in the doctor's reception area. I don't know whether she went in to see a doctor, whether she signed in (incidentally, the automated signing-in computer which is on the wall beside the reception area, was out of order. You had to sign in with either of the two ladies who were on reception.) but she hung around for a while.  Perhaps she wandered back out when I went in for my appointment with the nurse. Anyway, whatever she was there for, if indeed she was there for anything, perhaps to get out of the rain, she wasn't dressed appropriately. Certainly not for a rainy day. And where do all these odd people come from? At one point she went over to the window near the door and leant against the glass, putting her head on her hands. I couldn't tell whether she was tired, just resting there and waiting, thinking whether to stay where she was, or walk out. Just seemed a very odd sort of pose, but considering her odd attire, it might not have appeared quite so odd. 

Carol went in to the doctor's surgery when her name came up and I remained sitting in the waiting area for mine to come up to see the nurse. Then this weird gentleman came in. He was tall, around sixty five, bald, about 5ft 8in tall,  and slim. He had darting eyes. You really didn't want to give him any sort of eye contact. I didn't hear him talk or make any sort of noise. Just had a strange sort of body language. He had a carrier bag with him and came towards me, and moved the chair next to mine several feet away from me.  Why? What had I done wrong? Did he just not like sitting near other people? More likely other people didn't want to sit near him. He gave me a strange look. He had on a sort of wet-weather jacket, sort of zipped up and with a high neck. Also what looked like a bicycle lock on a chain and worn round his neck, so I assumed he had arrived on a bicycle. He then proceeded to sort out the items in his supermarket carrier bag which included a bunch of pink flowers and one of those folding umbrellas, black and glistening with raindrops. I didn't give him eye contact, but from what I could see from the corner of my eye he kept rearranging the items in the carrier bag. He then went up to the girl on the reception desk and was given another carrier bag or something like one and then went back to his chair and started sorting the items from the supermarket carrier into this new bag. 

My name then came up on the digital display and went into the nurse's room. I'm never sure exactly which room to go to as there is a long corridor with doors with 'Nurse's Room' with numbers on, but the one I wanted was the last one along the corridor. I had my blood taken, laying on the couch as I'm prone to passing out, or have done in the past as I have explained in earlier posts on here. Then I had an E.C.G. which I haven't had for quite a while. All present and correct and then left to wait in the waiting room. By now Carol was back, having seen the doctor and having been given two prescriptions for medication. She had been to the pharmacy next door to have the prescriptions made up but it wasn't open so we will have to go back later.

She told me, when we got into the car, that the 'weird gentleman' was behaving very strangely when I had been with the nurse. Apparently he had sat next to her and had sat on the small table in the corner where I had sat earlier and had tried to sit on her lap. Sounds very odd to me. Where was he from? Some mental unit, such as the Campbell Centre, which is within the grounds of the hospital and not far from where we live. I expect the staff in the medical centre are used to him and are aware of his odd behaviour, or at least I hope so. Could put you off if you were to encounter him. Carol told me he went off on his bicycle and had the bunch of flowers sticking out of his saddle bag, and with his umbrella up. Not sure whether he held it over himself as he rode along, but it would seem a bit difficult to ride a bicyle and hold up an umbrella. Weird. We were just glad to get away from the medical centre and to not be in the centre of some outing from some mental institution.

Later on, around 5.30 or so, I had a telephone call from the surgery to say that the doctor had requested me to come for a routing appointment, which has been made for 25th November. Nothing serious, just to get feedback no doubt from the tests that will supposedly be done by then.
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