Entering the realm of the unwell





I have had a headache, nausea and dizziness for over five days. Lucky me.

I feel as though my eyeballs are being pressed out of their sockets by a great pressure behind my eyes, swirling waves of nausea wash over me at inopportune moments and every now and then I lose track of where my body is in relation to the space around me: accordingly, I have a tendency to waiver and wobble, even when sitting still. Hours of fun, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Teaching while feeling this shitty has not exactly been a laugh and a half- my concentration is shot to pieces and yesterday I forgot what I was saying in the middle of explaining the tortured and tortuous uses of the semi-colon. I’m not sure my students noticed: I’d lost them at “good morning.”

Reluctantly, I’ve had to admit defeat and call in sick: if I can’t stand up (or even sit down) and talk without feeling as though I am going to vomit, I’m not really going to be much cop at informing and inspiring others.

I am also a little concerned- headaches aren’t supposed to last this long, this one had a double-barrelled gusher of a nosebleed as a precursor, I’m getting pins and needles in my hands and it isn’t being dulled particularly by over-the-counter analgesics. I woke up at three this morning in tears due to the pain in my head and so Mrs Gripes persuaded a very reluctant me to contact the local doctor’s surgery (I always think that I am wasting the doctor’s time, even if I’m in unfathomable agony) and so just after eight this morning I phoned to get an appointment.

The soonest appointment I could get? Next Thursday. The “emergency” appointments had already been filled by three minutes past eight. All two of them.

I hate to knock the NHS. I believe in the NHS. I believe in universal medical care, free at the point of delivery and that I should pay a fair rate of tax to pay for it. I even defend the NHS to others, pointing out the huge merits in the system –it’s just that I would like to be able to access it when I need to, without it being in response to a crisis. The NHS is – and will always be – underfunded (and most General Practices are the poor relations of the entire medical system) but underfunding alone can’t explain why the average schmo in the street can’t get to see a doctor without scheduling their illness at least a week to a fortnight in advance. Something is desperately wrong with the system and it needs more than money to fix it: it needs to be managed by people who understand that illness cannot be planned.

I’m convincing myself that I feel better. I still feel sick, dizzy and with a constant pain behind my eyes, but I’m telling myself that I am better because the NHS won’t allow me to still be ill. With any luck, I actually will feel better soon: I just wonder if I might feel better sooner if I received any medical attention - but I guess I won’t get to find out.

4 comments:

The Cynic said...

Dunno if this will help, but I had a similar problem earlier in the year... I called NHS Direct for Scotland (08454242424) and they were really helpful. I was told that your surgery has a duty of care (due to some such law or other) to see you within 48 hours of you calling in if it is an emergency appointment. I called my surgery back and 'reminded' them of this and I was seen the next day. Otherwise - go to casualty and wait.

c'lam said...

phone the out of hours doctor tonight... they'll come to see you

Pam said...

Awwww. Have a virtual hug and feel better soon.

Sass said...

Go to a & e. It'll be nice and quiet at this time of day.