Acts of NHS

I am bored. Everything is boring. Satsuma is still playing ‘did-she didn’t-she, will-she won’t-she’, and it’s very boring of her. I haven’t lost any weight at all for a couple of weeks, which is boring too. My job is still being boring as all hell. The telly is boring. Books are boring. Knitting is boring. Ladies and gentlemen, I am losing the will to live, here.

Anyway. I got through to Miss Consultant’s secretary (an actual person! Huzzah!), who confirmed that I had indeed been put on the waiting list for a follow-up appointment with Miss Consultant (huzzah!), but that the clinic, now, no longer booked its patients in for appointments itself (what?), but rather, the waiting list was forwarded to the hospital’s main booking centre who would do the booking and letter-sending for them (the fuck?). She gave me the number of the booking centre, and now I feel exactly like I’ve completed level 1, killed the boss, and now am doing it all over again only with more bullety meteorites being flung at my head for longer. On the other hand, I am on the waiting list. I haven’t been flung into the NHS oubliette yet. *sarcasm* I am a mere tadlet more relaxed now *sarcasm*.

It’s been two months since I had surgery. I was looking at my scars in the shower yesterday morning. The so-called (lying liars from Lie-Land) soluble stitches never dissolved, so in the end I cut them loose with the sewing scissors and picked them out with tweezers. Don’t look at me like that. I had to. They were digging in so hard they were cutting my flesh. The one in my belly-button damn near overlays the one from the previous laparoscopy I had in 2007. The stitch-holes from that had pretty much vanished, leaving a fine white line from the main incision, so now my scars look like this:  :ll:

No doubt the redness will also fade in another few months and the whole thing will be discreet and unobtrusive.

The other scar, the one just above my left hip-bone, was stitched with unnecessary vigour and the loop of thread holding the incision shut had pinched the flesh up into a little bulge even before my healing person began to object to and swell around the stitches. The ‘soluble’ (hahahaha) thread therefore simply sawed into me like cheese-wire and left me with this: IlI , instead of this: :l:. That particular stitch was a fiddly bastard to remove and all, I can tell you. Anyway, two months later, it now looks like this: ilI , which is a minor improvement, and still itches, which isn’t. I’m not pleased.

(None of the above will make sense to you if you get my blog-posts by email or reader. Sorry).


16 responses to “Acts of NHS

  • Betty M

    Oh no! Sounds like you’ve been caught in some management initiative to make those fabled “efficiency” savings Lansley the Evil is always going on about. Hopefully it won’t be too much longer. Sorry about the myriad scars in interesting variations.

    And January is f’ing boring. I think we should just cancel it. Start again in Feb.

  • sharon

    De-lurking to suggest you try a zinc based cream on your scars. I scar really badly and have the abdomen to prove it. After more recent surgeries one of the nurses told me to try it. It certainly made a difference. I used Sudocream – yes, the nappy rash stuff!

    Good luck with your follow up appointment.

  • bionicbrooklynite

    uh, this is one of those posts that makes me think our wretched health care “system” could be worse, actually. damn. well, maybe it’s practices more than system — i agree our insurance business sucks. i’m a little shocked that no one wanted to see you sooner than this.

    at any rate, well done taking those stitches out. it’s not brain surgery, luckily.

  • a

    I have one of these :|: on my middle finger, but I had giant black stitches in there that were not soluble. I did, however, have soluble stitches inside my mouth when I was 7. I’m convinced I can still feel them.

    I’m not bored, I’m stressed. I sort of prefer bored.

  • Kylie

    Sounds like an “efficiency” drive. The kind that takes a semi-functional process and makes it completely non-functioning, in the process getting rid of the workers who knew how the system worked in favor of the ones who know the correct buzzwords. 6 months, 2 years from now it will revert, as the higher ups finally realise that it isn’t working.

    The non-soluble stitches- that sounds like someone made a stocking mistake (or a labeling mistake), possbile as the result of staff cuts to save money.

  • Phil

    Central appointment generation is the kind of efficiency drive that has for the last 2 hospital appts I’ve had to wait for a couple of hours to see people. Before that the specialist clinic did their own appts and I could get one at a time that suited me AND they didn’t overload the clinic with patients so you would see the medical team at near enough your appt time.
    I don’t look forward to the next visit whenever it happens at some point in the next few months.

  • Jenny F. Scientist

    I believe the word for that scheduling system is “Byzantine”. Of course, our billing system works largely like this:

  • Illanare

    When we were told that we were going to move to a “contact centre” system, there was in instant outcry. None of the staff – medical, nursing and admin – thought it was a good idea. We were, as usual, over-ruled.

  • korechronicles

    I’m equally stunned and furious when efficiency gains are chased after by organisations because, inevitably, they(may) make things more efficient for staff but the certainly make it exponentially less efficient for their customers/clients/patients/currentmanagemenbuzzwordforpeoplepayingforaservice. Every time. While their mission and values statements, beautifully framed in the foyer, rabbit on about their commitment to outstanding/excellent/brilliant customer service. Rhetoric has crowded reality right out of the contact centre.

    My C-section stitches dissolved as promised. Nearly two years later I was having problems with a very itchy spot on my scar. After closer inspection I could see a tiny dark thread which needed removal with tweezers. Given that it was at the end of the scar where I had developed a keloid scar…AyYyYy! Silicone scar gel does wonders to (a) lessen the keloid tendency and (b) helping it fade to nothing.

    Sorry about the boredom – it is my very least favourite state of being. Hope things improve.

  • Womb For Improvement

    It does sound a bit like your scars are becoming cuniform script. Maybe in hundreds of years when all that remains are your ‘soluble’ stitches they will be analysed for the message they bear.

    Keep on at the waiting list, make them aware you are up for slotting into cancellations – worked for me.


  • Hairy Farmer Family

    The NHS oubliette is an ever-present danger we all skirt round, nervously. Hurrah for dancing nimble-footedly clear of the crud-encrusted rim!

    Ehh. Stitches. My lap stitches were also about as dissolvable as sheet steel (does anyone feed this info BACK to them?!) and turned manky. Such a descriptive word, manky. I begged surgical scissors from the Drs next door; they were fresh out of scissors but DID have a surgical scalpel of ferocious sharpness. I couldn’t quite manoeuvre it into place properly while peering over the dome of my belly, and both John and Neighbour were making indrawn-breath noises while they watched from the edges of their seats; I eventually ended up juggling some tweezers in there as well to pull the stitch free of the gunk so I could get a clear sawing action going. Miracle I didn’t lose a finger, too, apparently, the way I was flashing the blade about.

    I think… that was the most revolting comment I’ve ever left, and I’ve left a few.

    And God, yes, let’s cancel Jan.

  • Melissia

    I’ve had two laps and now have scars at 12 and 6 o’clock. The surgeon who did both swears that eventually I will end up with a clock face!

  • g

    Sometimes I think Yes Minister should come back with a NHS reincarnation. There is something wonderfully terrible and vice versa about the NHS.


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