I was having a perfectly delightful Friday evening. H met me at work, and we went out to dinner, and then we wandered about town looking for a pub with one or two square feet of space in so we could have a drink, and then we went to the theatre – Spamalot, thank you for asking, and yes it was extremely silly and yes I did laugh like a drain throughout, and go home cheerfully shouting ‘strange women lyin’ in ponds distributin’ swords is no basis for a system of government!’, luckily only at H.
There were two medical-in-appearance envelopes waiting in the post box when we got back. Ah ha! said I. I bet these are from Miss Consultant, telling me the information I finally begged, pleaded, nagged, cajoled and fussed and eventually revealed details of my menstrual cycle to her secretary for! In that, yes, she’s not too bothered about the fallopian tube (‘ray!’), so do the three cycles of Clomid (‘ray!) and she’ll see me in February (‘ray! Not that we’ll have finished with the Clomid by then, but ‘ray! anyway) because she thinks I might have a fibroid (‘ray – no, wait, what? What?).
I opened envelope 1. Come and have a smear test! its contents demanded cheerily. Oh. OK.
I opened envelope 2. ‘Because you did not answer our previous letter within 14 days, we have taken you off the IVF waiting list. If you think there has been a mistake or you still want treatment, please get your GP to re-refer you.’
FUCK, I bellowed, frightening the horses in the next county.
Look, you tomfool list-managing person, we never received any such previous letter at all. We did not. So we couldn’t answer it. Could we. No. We could not. I work in a library. When we wish to contact our patrons over fines and books they really should give back, we email them three times, attempt a phone call if none of those produce a response, and finish it up with two (2) Official Scary Letters before giving up on them. And this over mere, faffy, not-very-grand-in-the-grand-scheme-of-things £2 LIBRARY FINES. You, of list-managing duties for HUGE GREAT FUCK-OFF-BIG-HAIRY-DEAL things like IVF, can’t manage a simple check that we got the letter before flicking us off pitch. You suck. You suck so very very much. You, and your stupid bureaucratic systems, designed to make life nice and easy for you and your staff, with absolutely no thought or care or safety net, for any mistake or postal-service hiccough, you, playing one-strike-and-you’re-out with people’s deepest hopes and dreams, you not even giving us a contact number so we can call your team and say ‘but we never got the letter’ but instead making us get a re-referral when we’d already been on the 2-and-a-half year waiting list for a year and nearly a half, you, you, you… ARGH.
I pay a lot of taxes to the NHS. I am happy to do this. The NHS is bureacratic, slow, occasionally staffed by idiots, scruffy, and slightly deranged, but it is there, safely there. I can come down with the complicated illness of my choice and the NHS will scoop me up, diagnose me, medicate me, and patch me together again as best it can. It will not charge me for the hospital bed, or discover my insurance doesn’t cover the treatment, or make me wait in an Accident and Emergency room while some officious little shit phones around making sure I have insurance at all before transferring me to a ward. It will not refuse to treat my cancer for free the day I turn 18. It will not refuse to treat my infertility while ladling viagra out to elderly men like smarties. And what is most wonderful, it will do this for everyone. All residents in Britain are covered by the same safety-net, rich or poor, educated or illiterate, terminally arsey or lovely and polite. And this, dear God, is WONDERFUL.
Until they pull a stunt like this on you.
Anyway. Must see GP. Must write (hopeless gesture, no doubt) to list managing person and patient complaint service explaining situation with no swear-words or insults, because even if it doesn’t help me it might help someone in the future. Must try not to worry and fret, as tube is not fatally cucumbered and IVF might not be necessary anyway. Must remember that I have saved and saved and have a little more money than I realised and I can afford one go and my mother has offered to help financially if IVF should become only option. Must, above all, not let this ruin my Christmas.
Must not cry.
This must be the one time I am positively encouraging myself to obsess over my two-week-wait symptoms, to keep my mind off the dear old NHS and its lovely little fucktard ways.
*pokes self in boobs*