Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Hospital: Doctor's orders: Have a big 50th birthday celebration

Uber to the zoom
For all the early planning I had done to get to the hospital on time, I barely had 20 minutes to hail a Uber taxi and make it out there. After exchanging pleasantries, I told the driver where I was going and he had the presence of mind to ask when my appointment was, we only had 15 minutes to make my appointment.
We made it in 17 minutes through no prompting of mine to take alternative routes or avoid traffic jams, for which I was quite grateful. Incidentally, patients can be sanctioned for missing appointments but medical establishments are rarely under obligation to meet the scheduled appointment time.
Mangled tardily
In most cases of my attending hospital appointments, I have rarely had the occasion of seeing my doctor or consultant on time and we all just accept that as the norm.
I registered and went to sit in the waiting room where there are five others in waiting, some 10 minutes later, I was called by an unforgivable mangling of my name, I swore under my breath at the lack of an attempt to do it well. Besides, my file already shows I prefer to be called by the shortened version of my first name than with that longish one that in the mouth of my mother spelt I was in deep trouble.
My weight as usual threw up numbers I could not bear to countenance whilst my blood pressure read the kind of figures that put me in my second youth. Three is work to be done about my gravitational displacement.
Called up
Returning to my seat, I chomped through my magazine waiting to be called in and at the 65th minute, I finally had my chance. Having seen many doctors in this unit, this was the first time I was meeting the main consultant. We had chatted before on my first visit, but only to hand me over to another to review my medical history and then when he provided a basic assessment of my situation.
Being in clinic today, he recalled that I was the very well-dressed man the first time that put all the other ward staff to shame and then ushered me into his office where he gave me a warm handshake and motioned to me to sit down.
Poring over my notes, we went over histories, analyses, results and prognosis within which I expressed my concerns about getting treated for a chronic condition that had not been addressed for over two years. He then suggested that I should consider the tough drug regime which would last 3 months instead of the original 12-month regime and that it is rather better tolerated now than it was in the early days.
All matters considered
I had my mind set on the alternative therapy and was really not prepared for this new piece of device that I felt I could not make a clear decision at this meeting. We then set a prospective time for 6 months hence whilst a new prescription note was filled in for the intervening period.
The bloods had their own story to tell, all reading good, a minor indication of my not fighting my condition as well as I used to and a slight inflammation without attendant discomfort. Not as good as I will have like things to be, but all within the limits of tolerance and expected responses medical opinion entertains.
Besides the essentials of this consultation, the meeting was warm-hearted with probably the most compassionate and empathetic concerns I have had from a doctor in a very long time.

Caring and nice
He asked at the beginning if I had found the love of my life, understood the angst and struggles in finding a suitable partner and was quite involved and personal when I asked about the consequences of the options I had before me in terms of treatment.
However, the deepest affection was shown to me when realising I will soon be 50 and I said I was unsure of what to do for my birthday; he said, having seen 50 and 60, the best thing to do is to go out and celebrate it well, have a party and be thankful for the joys of life. He also hoped by then I would have found the love of my life and be much fulfilled and happier when next meet in February.
On that note, we parted ways with a warm handshake and I feeling good at his wonderfully relaxing bedside manner despite the issues we needed to chat about.

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