05 November 2008

NaBloPoMo 5

Still feeling a bit foggy, but my virus appears to be subsiding slightly.

On Sunday fearing I may have tonsillitis I dragged myself to the NHS Walk-in Centre at Charing Cross Hospital, where they've got a Walk-in Centre, a Minor Injuries Unit and an A&E in one. You register at reception, get seen by a triage nurse, and they decide whether or not you should be seen as a walk-in patient, a minor injuries patient or an A&E patient.

Despite only having suspected tonsillitis the triage nurse put me down as an A&E patient. I'm assuming that was because of the wheelchair. I wanted to hit my head against things - there's an A&E dept within walking distance of my flat. If I wanted to go to A&E over a sore throat I'd have gone there, instead of dragging myself halfway across London, getting lost in Hammersmith due to the hospital not being signposted and having to resort to calling my mother in Clacton to get her to look up a map online and give me directions to the hospital.


So, anyway, I was seen within a matter of minutes. I wish my waits in A&E had been that short during my childhood when I could've been eligible for some frequent visitor reward scheme on account of breaking my arms all the damn time.

I was seen by a nurse who only cared about why I used a wheelchair.

"My throat hurts and my nose is bleeding about 5 times a day. I've got chronic sinusitis and am on the waiting list for surgery."

"So, why do you use a wheelchair?"

"Osteogenesis Imperfecta. But, sinusitis! Nose bleeds!"

"How do you spell that?"

"O-S-T-E-O-G-E-N-E-S-I-S I-M-P-E-R-F-E-C-T-A. But, sinusitis! Nose bleeds!"

"Is that like a spinal thing?"

"Literally translated from Latin it means 'imperfect bone formation'. Sinusitis! Nose bleeds!"

"Have you had it long?"

"What? The sinusitis or the OI?"


"Erm... since birth? Sinusitis! Nose bleeds!"

Meeting a medical professional more interested in OI than what I actually went in for is nothing new. Meeting an A&E nurse who's never met someone with OI is more shocking. OI is pretty rare, but OIers do make up a fair amount of the traffic that goes through A&E depts, what with the frequently breaking bones thing. I spent so much time in X-ray as a child that two of the first words I learned to read were "danger" and "radiation"!

After all that, he finally looked down my throat, saw no pus, decided I just had a virus and sent me home with the instruction to drink lots of hot drinks.

Like I need to be told to drink copious amounts of tea.

P.S. Yay! Obama! Roll on January 20th.

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