Consider the following 8month saga:
1. You injure your thigh muscle through using a ball-throwing device, after going at it like an Olympic discus thrower.
2. It gets worse, so when you cannot even lift your foot from the floor, you visit Doc. You also mention you have noticed a strange swelling on the outer edge of right foot.
3. He sends you for an xray on your foot.
4. Results take ten days to travel four miles. Says nothing wrong with foot.
5. You do not get any better. You visit again. You lie on a couch, he picks up your leg, waves it one way, then the other and declares you have a hip problem, nothing can be done, come back when it is bad enough and you can have a new hip.
6. You suffer some more, your holiday in Ireland is spoiled because you cannot walk far, if at all. You go back and insist on xray of hip (to rule it out, in your opinion).
7. Results return after 14 days. You are not shown any xrays, nor is there any discussion. Verdict: Moderate damage to right hip; mild to other. You ask what does that mean? Eejit starts to tell you what arthritis is. You cut him short by asking: “Do I need a hip operation?” Answer, “No.”
8. You say now that that is ruled out, can you see a physiotherapist about your muscle problem. He agrees. Again, has to come from you, has to be forced. He says waiting list is 2 months, You say you can wait.
9. After almost three months, you ring surgery to ask what has happened to your physiotherapy appointment? Answer, it does not appear to have been made. They will do it now and mark it ‘urgent’. You wait.
10. A week later you get a letter asking you to phone a clinic. You imagine this means you will now get an appointment, Wrong. After asking some questions, you are told you have now ‘registered’ and will be placed on a waiting list.
11. Another letter comes. ‘Your doctor recommends physiotherapy concerning your back problem”. Fury. Rage. One thing you do not have, thankfully, is back pain. You telephone the number and are slightly cross. You also note the letter says that when you have 'attended the back pain clinic’ you will be ‘placed on a waiting list’. And God knows how long you will again wait for the wrong referral to the wrong department.
12. Just put me down for the crematorium. It will be quicker.