I love the NHS, to the bottom of my heart and am incredibly worried by the current legislation and what seems the march of privatisation into our health system. I feel proud to have been looked after and continue to be so by some of the most caring, knowledgeable people to grace this planet.
Yes, there’s a BUT, coming! Once in a while, actually, probably 1 in a 100 appointments or treatments, you get that one well-meaning health care person ‘who thinks they know about your condition better than you’.
I had this happen to me the other day at hospital. Being of a particular small frame I need the tools and equipment to be that of a child’s size to treat me. The well-meaning person went to put an adult-sized piece of equipment in my mouth. Trying to be helpful, I mentioned that they needed to use the paediatric version, as my mouth too small for such equipment. Shuddering as I thought back to the other times, other professionals had tried and failed to carry out the same procedure.
Alas, the reply, when it came, was “well, I use these on children who are 7 and 8 and a lot smaller than you”. Double ouch love. Not only are you undermining my own knowledge of what my body can cope with that I’ve lived with for the last 30-odd years, but you’re also comparing my behaviour and shape to being a kid. Thanks.
They tried it a few times to get this piece of equipment to fit, and yes, I was proven right that it.would.not.work. “Well”, they replied, “…I guess that’s why you’ve come to us specialists because there is a problem”.
You don’t say, I thought.
Actually no, that wasn’t what I thought, I was too polite and as ever, didn’t want to make a fuss or been seen to disrespect a person in the medical profession, but it does leave you feeling vulnerable and questioning your own ability to speak with your own authority of your own experience.
Like I’ve said, thankfully these types of incidents are very few and far between compared the majority of the quality care I have received… just the surreality of the situation got me.
Long live the FREE NHS!