So, I have been to the GP’s. For myself, as opposed to any of the children. It took me 2 months to consider going and a further month to make the appointment. Because, when do you have the time? Who is going to have the kids? If you take them, will they behave? And how, for the love of God, do you EVER get an appointment?
I rang up last week and was offered an appointment on a day when I am in work. Am on the verge of being sacked and cannot possibly take any more ‘personal’ time. I could possibly tie it in to a site visit but I couldn’t think of anything off the top of my head. I was then offered a 7.40am appointment on another day. Technically I could do it, I could drop #1 off at breakfast club, take #2 with me…providing there were no delays I would still get #2 to nursery and still make it to work on time. But what if there was a delay? What if they were running behind? I calculated I had 6 minutes grace. It was possible. I then found out which Doctor it was with. Impossible. I would be lucky if a. I didn’t have to repeat my self 4 times before he heard me, and b. if he had even arrived at the Surgery, let alone be on schedule. I rejected that one.
I was offered another appointment at 9am on a day I was off work. Okaaayy. I asked for 9.15am as I had drop offs. ‘You can’t have 9.15am as that is reserved for Skype consultations.’ Right. 10am? ‘You can’t have that as the doctor is involved in telephone consultations. ‘ Hmm. How about in the afternoon? ‘Oh no, we reserve those appointments for requests on the day.’ Oh. I see. You mean the ones where you call at 7.59am and it is engaged for the next ten mins. You get through at 8.10am and all the appointments have gone? ‘Er….Yes.’ Okay – I will take the 9am.
This involved me parking in the pub opposite school and throwing child #1 at a parent, who afterwards I was concerned that I maybe did not actually know, and begging them to take her to school door. I then raced to Doctors to try and nab a parking space. Which was successful. I went in with #2, my charming 3 year old. I begged her to behave and let Mummy talk to the doctor. It is blowing a gale and there is torrential rain. She is wearing sunglasses. She wont take them off. Fine.
I go in to see the Doctor (having consulted the notes I made for myself on my phone) and went through (I thought ) a succinct and detailed description of my problems, what I thought they were, and what I would like her to do about it. I knew what the problem was, it is something I have previously had surgery for. I never go the doctors. I am not a neurotic nutter in there every 5 mins. I was expecting understanding, respect and a solution.
I got patronising, dismissive, and a stinking attitude. I don’t think she was even listening to me. She was clearly irked I had a child with me ( I mean, really, did she think I brought her out of choice?!?!!?). I was asked if everything was ok at home , and perhaps I ought to look at my diet? I wanted to throw something at her. She had not listened to anything I said and clearly had not bothered to read my notes. Something snapped inside me and I put on my ‘work voice’ as The Cyclist calls it – and told her in no uncertain terms what I wanted her to do. I eventually got what I wanted, but only through persistence and a strong tone. But what if I wasn’t feeling strong this particular day? What if I was having one of those days where you really don’t think you can make it to the end? Where you have had so many knocks, you can’t get back up, you are that tired you don’t even have the energy to shout , and your sanity has taken such a bashing , you are walking around in a daze and you have forgotten what normal even is?
Well – you walk out the GP Surgery with your tail between your legs and get on with whatever the problem is, allowing the pain to make you irritable, coping with niggling feelings of helplessness and generally grinning and bearing it. Because that’s what Mums do. Maybe we should campaign for a Mums Clinic not just one for Babies. Because Mums Matter. We always put ourselves last. Doc – if we come to see you – please put us first? Do us the courtesy of listening. Because if if we made it through your door – there is something wrong.