Peine forte et dure

Life, as many wise people have ever-so-often remarked, isn’t fair. Of course, there’s no reason on earth why life should be, what with life being a complex biological process and in no way having any organ or other method for appreciating such human gibberish as Justice, Equality, Common Sense, etc. But anyway, being human and full of gibberish myself, occasionally it gets mightily on my wick.

For example, followers of this blog may have noticed that on Sunday evening I went down under the weight of 1 (one) uterus (bijou, several previous short-term tenants, unusual architecture, must be seen to be appreciated) having an internal (and external) haemorrhage and thereby rending itself in the gobberwarts, see if it doesn’t. I limped back into work on Wednesday, still in considerable discomfort, hoovering down pain-pills like Smarties, or rather, in the manner I’d like to eat Smarties given half a chance, only to find the office semi-deserted and those denizens still in residence lying about in various stages of malaise.

It bodes well, doesn’t it?

So, I, keeping in mind that I am trying not to double over or faint, to my intense astonishment find myself landed with extra shifts to cover for everyone else, while the people I’m supposed to be on shift with alternatively

  1. announce their sore throat is just too awful and go home early (to be fair, this may have been true),
  2. complain about the effects of nervous stress on their immune system while I do most of the heavy lifting,
  3. have hangovers,
  4. don’t want to do anything that would aggravate their wrist, which was sore last week after all,
  5. explain to me in great detail just how awful their headache is (I want brownie points for not pointing out that when I have my most awful headaches, I can’t actually speak at all),
  6. fail to turn up altogether.

Does the fact that I am pea-green and walking about like an L-square mean nothing to anybody? The frequent and prolonged trips to the Ladies with my bag, large and obvious as it is? The taking of many, many drugs? Anyone? Bueller?

Also, one day, I will take slightly too many pills and point out to my boss that, actually, if I stayed in bed every day my uterus pitched a fit, I’d miss over a week of work a month, so ‘it’s nice that you feel all better!’, even if you mean it very kindly, is possibly not the ideal remark to make to me when I am scrabbling about in my desk drawer for some ibuprofen to wash down with the soluble cocodamol fizzing away before the both of us.

Never mind. Tomorrow will be better. And next week I won’t be going to work at all and they’ll all have to make do without me and my almighty biceps.

Meanwhile, the NHS has been batting my PA (H) about like a cat faced with a hamster in a ball. Eventually, he cornered and spoke to some kind of facsimile of a human being who, well, I’d like to use the word ‘confessed’ but ‘boasted’ is probably more like it, that the reason we hadn’t heard anything yet about our follow-up appointment with Miss Consultant – the one we watched her make notes about all over my paperwork back in February, the one to discuss the adenomyosis and any further recurrent pregnancy loss testing, yes, that quite important appointment that Miss Consultant noted on my notes – well, the reason we hadn’t heard anything about it was because it hadn’t been booked. Despite the notes. How does October suit us?

(It doesn’t. We were supposed to be seeing Miss Consultant at the end of May, which is already over three months after the previous appointment).

I wish I could blame the Tories for this, but alas Labour were still in power when Miss Consultant’s staff ignored her very fucking clear and surprisingly legible request that I be booked for another visit three months thence.

Also, if, as the supercilious jobsworth H dealt with explained, the RMC is understaffed and overbooked and has waiting lists out the wazoo, why in fucking fuck isn’t the NHS spending more cash on RMCs? Elsewhere in Britain hospitals are going delirious with the amount of noughts they can fit on a cheque and buying computer systems no one has a clue how to use, and no one has a clue how to keep data confidential on, so the whole thing ends up overbudget and, crucially, still in its bubble-wrap. Why, the local RCM could probably get a clinic manager who can read for the system-designers’ biscuits-and-tea budget alone.

I am 35 on Monday. I do not have time for this ‘handle your own borked innards/recurrent loss’ crap. I. Do not. Have. Time.


15 responses to “Peine forte et dure

  • Cathy

    Hi May

    as a public servant in a Department of Health (admittedly on the other side of the world) I can only suggest that you or your PA write to your Health Minister and or local member. They do pay some attention – especially when they are new. Hospitals magically find appointment spots when commanded from on high. GPs can sometimes work magic but only if they were at medical school with Ms Consultant.
    Feet stamping on your behalf down under

  • a

    WTF? October?!?! Oh, um, Happy Birthday, by the way.

    And your coworkers…well, if you’re not complaining, then they will fill the void. So, to avoid all that, moan for all you’re worth!

  • The cheerleader

    Um, happy birthday.

    Just to say in Cathy’s support, letters work. My father wrote to the hospital manager and his MP about cancelled appointments etc when my mother was ill three years ago and said a Daily Mail story along the lines of ‘NHS fails nurse after 40 year’s service, can’t get bed in own hospital etc’ was the next stop and lo, a bed was miraculously found with consultants fluttering around it and the manager coming down from admin limbo in person to check all was OK. He wrote another letter later on after she died of hospital contracted MRSA and David Cameron read it out at the party conference at which point (too late, admittedly) the hospital started not only replying to our calls but actually ringing us.

    Being really annoying is the only thing that works.

    Good luck!

  • Secret D

    I’m right there with you honey!

    I hope you manage to get an appointment before October.

    Happy Birthday for Monday. I’m 35 on Tuesday.

  • Betty M

    Your hospital is beyond useless. If they are overbooked they can overbook you too. I agree with the above suggestions re writing to your MP – particularly if you have a newbie as they will be super keen to flex their MP muscles. With my civil servant hat on I can tell you that a letter to the Minister from your MP usually gets a quicker response than one from you so I would go that route. The PCT might be worth a shot too.

  • Solnushka

    No! Those Idiots! Sweary word sweary word Sweary word!!! (!!!!!!!). The hospital, although your colleagues are getting the Look too.

    Gah. If you need any help writing snotty letters, I quite enjoy that sort of thing (not that I would actually be able to do it half as well as you of course).

    And I sincerely hope that your week off next week is for something really nice and self indulgent.

  • Twangy

    October? Oh crap. That is unbelievably poor. What can we do? I am ready to mobilise, write letters, march on Westminster, etc, if it would help.

    You have countless brownie points now. Vast quantities. If they were cash, you’d be a millionaire. You’d be swimming in the stuff!

    Hey, and happy birthday for Monday. Many many happy returns of the day!

  • manapan

    Holy damn, what a suckfest! Hope things improve for you soon. ((hugs))

  • Hairy Farmer Family

    October not acceptable. Not acceptable at all. October is fucking absurd.

    You DO have time, sweetie. But you don’t, admittedly, really have enough time for the NHS to make you wait 5 months a pop for every appointment – and they will, curse them, they will.

    This can either be solved with judiciously-applied righteous indignation or by throwing money at it.

    Two suggested routes for righteous indignation, based on my regrettably broad experience of re-arranging appointments to suit myself: pure aggression or waily-charm, depending on the flunkey at the other end. I generally prefer to try charm followed by threats, but your approach may vary!

  • Phil

    Indeterminable waits for letters of appointment. I got a letter for a routine hospital visit a month before the appointment. I had also got the day before, the copy of the letter to my GP from the last visit I did which took place six months before.

    For an easy way to get in touch with your MP go to and you can get the info about them and contact them via

  • korechronicles

    Dearest May, I am overwhelmed with crankiness for you and the interminable wait you are being asked to endure and agree with your previous correspondents that a well aimed letter of complaint may well be a necessary weapon in your fight against Health System Terminal Stupidity. Also happy to help with construction of said letter should you need it.

    As fellow member of the Never Complain Stiff Upper Lip Brigade I know it goes totally against the grain. But I had the shining example of my mother in law who only stopped complaining when she drew her last breath and managed to get the best treatment, best room, best food and had every nurse telling us how utterly lovely she was. So yes, Squeaky Wheels do get the oil. Five months earlier than the Non Squeaky ones it seems.

    Weep, swear, and threaten. The moron who failed to make your appointment deserves nothing less.

    And I am wishing you a happy birthday and a year of improvement in all things reproductive.

    xx R

  • Bookmouse

    Hello…I’ve been reading for a while (found you via Ben) but not sure what to say until now. I have wept for you and H and the wrongness of it all – I know that doesn’t help you in the slightest but just want you to know you have someone else on your side, as it were.

    Do write the letter to your MP and send a copy to your stupid hospital’s PALs people ( They should be made aware of the failings of your consultant’s staff. I hope they can help you – that is (allegedly) what they’re there for!

    B/L x

  • Valery

    35 on Monday. I remember 35 and all the bad feelings of statistics, was afraid of dropping down the abyss. Nothing happened though, spectacular or otherwise…
    Good luck, and hugs

  • womb for improvement

    Oh this sounds familiar.

    I too am struggling with sick colleagues (who I suspect are only sick because they are annoyed at the amount of days other people are having off sick and want their fair share).

    I am, once again, going through hell with my appointments. (Latest trick to book me in for another test a month AFTER my appointment that was supposed to be going through all the test results).

    Have a good week off and celebrate your birthday. I know it is the dreaded 35 but I am trying to convince myself that after years of infertility before the age of 35 tipping over the mid-30s barrier isn’t going to be the fertility cliff-edge the media will have us believe. (We’re already swimming in that particular sea).

    Fucks sake. At least its sunny though!

%d bloggers like this: