No, I’m not dead, nor on holiday, nor did the infrastructure of the known world collapse, taking the internets down with it. I was just… sulking.
Shark week, it has been, and a good brutal one too. It’s day seven now, and I’m still bleeding like a stuck pig, which you’ll agree is not optimal. Cute Ute the Despoiler has decided she rather likes the trick of easing up on the bleeding, waiting until I am lulled into a false sense of security also mere ‘super’ tampons (as opposed to double-plus super extra ultra tampons, which can double as marital aids, frankly), and then yanking out the bathplug and laughing hysterically (ho ho ho) as I leap to my feet with a tiny shriek and flee to the bathroom, blood running briskly down my leg. I am very tired.
On Sunday night, a week ago now, as full of cramps and anxst as can be, I decided to check my medication supply to see if I needed to renew any prescriptions any time soon. There was no urgency. There was a whole box of diclofenac suppositories right there, see? I don’t remember leaving a half-empty box back on the shelf, so it must be a full box… you see where this is headed, right? Because you don’t have the IQ of a house-plant, unlike me. So on Monday morning, in quite heady amounts of pain and starting to spot, I took my slightly-out-of-date repeat prescription form to the GP, to see if they’d renew it urgently, as, obviously, to my mind at least, anyone on this kind of painkiller really rather means it when they say they need it urgently, nu?
I am, personally, absolutely freaked out and humiliated by what happened next.
The receptionist was adamant that they did not renew prescriptions the same day, it would take 48 hours. That there new policy was that GPs were not to be disturbed for anything short of an emergency. That renewing a prescription was NOT an emergency. That they couldn’t renew it anyway, as it was out of date. That I’d need to make an appointment to see a GP. That there were no GP appointments left for that day. That coming in that evening for the emergency appointments first-come-first-served slots was not an option because they were for emergencies, which this was not. At this point, in tears, I asked if it would be considered an emergency if I threw up or fainted while waiting, and the receptionist told me that wasn’t very nice. She actually thought I meant it as some kind of passive-aggressive twatweaselry. I actually meant the question seriously, because I was in pain and freaking out and what the hell else was I supposed to do?
I was crying too hard to speak at this point, and I was in a waiting room full of people, and so I fled home again. H, thank fuck, was still at home himself, and promptly grabbed his coat in one hand, me in the other, and dragged both back to the surgery, where he, very calmly but sternly explained to the receptionist that this was not about some idiot trying to game the system, this was about a person in serious pain, and that he’d seen how the pain affected me, and that I did, actually, need this drug with some urgency, thank you, and after a few minutes bluster she caved completely and arranged for my prescription to be renewed and waiting for me by lunch-time. So in the end all was well.
And I cried all morning, because I had been so very scared I’d have to do Shark Week with inadequate pain-relief, and because the whole thing was so humiliating. I’m thirty-seven. I’m a nice respectable middle-class over-educated lady with a cut-glass accent. I can, if necessary, out-posh the Queen. How was I reduced to weeping hysteria in a GP waiting-room, being treated like a moronic teenager having a tantrum by a GP’s receptionist?
I don’t think I can do this for very much longer – menstruate, that is. It’s giving me shell-shock. Every cycle, also, is doing more damage to my uterus. When I lie on my back and rest my hand on my belly, now, I can feel it even through my ample padding, a great heavy bruised fist buried in my guts, an obscene parody of early pregnancy.