Another trip to the hospital, and it turns out my epiglottis thing is no longer a thing. Mr A had another good look around my throat, saw there had been no change and decided against doing a biopsy. Good news for once.
There is still a bit of swelling, but it’s no worse and nothing to be concerned about. Turns out it might be caused by the new inhaler I’m using for my COPD. In the handy multi-language leaflet that comes with the inhaler it says a side-effect might be nose and throat problems. So there we are, bingo!
And it’s not a one in ten thousand side effect like a collapsed lung or death, but a one in tenner, common as you like, up there with pathetic stuff like dizziness and headaches.
So it was smiles and high fives (though disappointingly only restrained, virtual high fives) all round in Clinic E, and now a four month gap until my next appointment. I’m back in the routine, run of the mill patient queue now. I expect I won’t even get to see Mr A next time.
Next time it will be one of his helpers. Next time it will be a Junior Doctor
And I’ll be there beeping my virtual horn in solidarity with him or her for their brave fight against that nasty Jeremy Hunt the NHS wrecker. Yes there I’ll be, side by side side on the virtual barricades with people who earn 70k a year and get an 11% pay rise.
But things were going smoothly for me. For once I was having a good day at the hospital. So headed to the handy (and obviously very profitable) Costa franchise in out-patient reception for a celebratory coffee and nice cake. Stopped off first at the ambulance people’s desk to let them know I was ready to be taken home.
But the ambulance people weren’t there. And their desk wasn’t there. What was there was an innovation
The hospital had made a change. Apparently this had been to improve the patient experience. When I hear that, my own experience of such things says there might be trouble ahead.
And guess what?
The innovation has made things worse.
A new Patient Waiting Area has been created. Which is a distance away from the Outpatients reception and the nice Costa franchise. In fact it’s tucked away ’round the back’. A long way ’round the back’.
But there is at least free coffee, and biscuits. It would be a bit churlish to complain that it’s cheap coffee served in those burny plastic cups. And it might be churlish to complain that it’s furnished like a badly furnished doctor’s waiting room.
Well call me a churl, but the truth is it’s all a bit shit. The waiting area has been created by faceless NHS bureaucrats who don’t have to spend time sitting around waiting for ambulance transport.
The waiting area is in the wrong place. It looks shoddy, cheap and unwelcoming. Even the biscuits are rubbish. And the thing will probably be hailed as a great success.
That’s if it lasts. I’ll see what it’s still there four months from now.