Tuesday 20 August 2013

Thought Picnic: More Tests ...

Of expectations
The day came with uncertainties and the answer to yesterday’s question is, I am sad. The first meeting was laden with expectations, at least that is what the nurse and the psychologist suggested, these people are clued in, they know what to do and they have solutions, the urgencies and immediacies will be assuaged with ease.
I soon became aware that they do not talk to each other and the view that things might have moved on from where they were left soon was discarded – I had to tell my story again, a third time to people who seemingly interact, but the object of interact is not the files, data or notes but the subject – I was the subject in this case.
Apparently, having lived on continental Europe for 12 years and now returned for the UK for one long year, left me rather bereft of some of the rights that UK residents would have been able to subscribe to – it was disheartening.
Of options
The picture painted even got gloomier as my countenance changed, I could feel the welling of my tear ducts but, I held it all back, I am the cast of my macabre drama, I cannot inflict any more hurt on myself than what I have suffered apart from a looming prospect of destitution and vagrancy – has it really come to this? The way it seems, it has.
There is no breeding, class, education, life, luck or fortune that is not represented in the homeless class and they all have stories just as good as mine, if not better of events in their lives that led to where they have found themselves.
The meeting ended with a list of numbers, addresses and ideas but without certainty, assurance or confirmation, I was forlorn. As it transpired, he had enough examples of people in my situation they could not help, I should have asked myself aloud – why am I in this meeting?
Of strangers
I gathered my thoughts in a few tweets as time passed, another 40 minutes before I meet my new consultant; at least that is what I expected.
She came to get me from the reception and as she introduced herself, confusion clouded my face, I had to interject – that is not the name of the person I was expecting to see and no one informed me in the almost 7 weeks since the appointment was made that the consultant had changed.
She was to do his rounds and by interference she had only leafed through my medical notes that appeared to contain the amalgamated detail from the Netherlands, Wales and the new interactions I have had since June.
Of preparedness
Again, by the first question, it was not so much my filling in the gaps but a new narration of the same tale that was already becoming a recital and performance at each gathering, I was not too pleased.
With time, I commandeered the notes myself, linking the data from the Netherlands to the information from Wales, whilst charting a historical progression of the tales of the bloods which on a chart would have looked like a jagged-saw graph, the current readings on a depression after what was the best indicator noted in almost 4 years.
Eventually, we warmed to each other, though not to the level I was accustomed to in the Netherlands, we discussed my drug regime, my options and additional tests.
Of innards
To be honest, I was not keen on being probed or prodded any further today, I was barely keeping up with myself on a mentally distressed level but in the process, we settled for 2 vials at the phlebotomist’s, prescriptions to last 4 months, which is unusual because beyond 3 months in the Netherlands, insurance requires you pay for the extra and then be reimbursed. I did not have €2,700 in my pocket in December when I was last in the Netherlands, so I left with 3 months of medication even though my consultant had prescribed 6 months with consideration of the fact that I was then resident in the UK.
I will also be visiting the imaging department, having secured an appointment for a month hence, I am to fast for 6 hours ingesting nothing but fluids prior to the largest organ in my body scanned – Gosh! I have pretty much really mucked my life up too seriously to unravel in one short afternoon.
In between all this, I also saw the pharmacist who ensured my prescription went ahead to the pharmacy that I did not have to wait as long as 30 minutes to pick them up.
Of life
At the end of all these meetings, I was not in the mood to socialise, I got on the train and made my way home, burdened with an existence that clouded the glimmer of hope I had earlier in the day and smarter for the fact that I refused to take on more than what I thought I should handle in one day as advice from other friends came in.
As I stepped out of the station, a man approached me, “Please can you help a homeless man with some change for a cup of tea?” He said. But for his skin tone, I might well have been looking in a mirror, though, it was a mirror of circumstances looming as I emptied the coins into the palm of his hand, I said to him, “I will be homeless from tomorrow.”
I made for the place I had called home for the last 5 weeks, tomorrow being my last day, found a short break from my turmoil with some sleep and woke up to write this before I start to pack my bags and think of what really will tomorrow bring – there is no point asking if I will be happy or sad, any comfort will do to find a place to lay my weary head.

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