Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Cognitive Dissonance

As in “I don’t believe she just said that.”

“Please tell me she didn’t just say that.”

“No really she can’t have just said that. It would be plain wrong of her to say that wouldn’t it?”

And it would, but that, sadly, didn’t stop her.

I know you’re probably all getting fed up of hearing me say this, yet again, like some feeble minded fourth former handing in late homework. (Then again I was such a feeble minded fourth former in what I sadly like to delude myself were the not so distant quondam days.) Still I have to get it off my chest so here goes nothing… Yes dear readers, if any of you have the good grace to still be listening at all, it’s been a bit busy here in Ambridge lately and now it’s not only busy but also enervatingly hot and swathed in toxic killer pollen.

There, now that’s out of the way, back to our little vignette of everyday life in GPland. The tale is of a lady recently retired, who had hurt her neck. The pain had begun six weeks or so ago, she had been prevented from attending the surgery any sooner because she had been staying out of our practice area.

That’s around three thousand miles out of our area.

On a Greek island.

Now devoted as I am to my job, I suspect Dr Neighbour would have a problem with me making home visits to Knossos, so she had been compelled to see a local “Iatre” and then a muscle bound hellenic Adonis of a physiotherapist as a private patient. They had sorted her out quite nicely, but the flight home had flared the pain up again.

Sadly Ambridge is a bit short on Hellenic Adonises, but still from what I could discern her pain is again muscular rather than anything more sinister and would benefit from another physio’s touch. We discussed the options, i.e. a couple of sessions with a private physio’ in a day or two, or an NHS referral, resulting in a few weeks wait.

And then she came out with it, straight faced. “Well I suppose I’ll just have to wait for the NHS physio. After all I’m not working so I can’t afford private physio.”

Now I know there’s been an oil price crisis this past few months, but I’m not aware of any collapse in the global economy that would suddenly put physiotherapy beyond her reach. Surely it can’t just be that all our local private physios are very capable middle aged women.

No, I thought not.


Elaine said...

Hey, I want the address of that muscle bound hellenic Adonis.

(and the flight tickets too)


BenefitScroungingScum said...

Sounds just like my mother! I'll get in the queue for the Adonis too, in fact perhaps the NHS should seriously consider it as a way of cost cutting ! BG

Z said...

But the poor woman has already spent all her money on a holiday in Knossos and her Adonis, how can she afford to fork out again when she gets home?

Doctor Jest said...

elaine & bendy girl-- that'll be Adwvis, Knwssos, Kpeta, and best of luck to you both.

z-- I might not have made myself exactly clear, we are talking Second Home, not just Holiday here, hence the gaping void between perception and reality that had my jaw dropping rapidly floorward.

Anonymous said...

If people live abroad, it always seems unfair that they still have access to NHS services which are then 'free' to those who are retired. Well, in these times of minding the pennies in the NHS, anyway. Call me a hard-hearted Hannah, if you like.

And as for complaining about the service, when she isn't contributing any more and can afford a second home: words fail me!

Z said...

Doctor J, was my heavy sarcasm so subtle that it escaped your keen eye? I wasn't quite as sympathetic as you think.

Nostrumdammit said...

Flog 'em!
That's what I'd do!
Flog all the upper middle class scroungers!
Flog the lot of them!
We should be able to get a fair price for that class of person. Then we can use the money to shorten our own physiotherapy waiting lists.
Don't talk to me about slavery!
Jolly good idea. Needs revisiting. Toffs are ten a penny these days and contribute nothing.
Ten a penny!
That's actually not a very good price is it. Perhaps we should just get NuLob to pass some more legislation.
I'm sorry I seem to have got a bit muddled there.

Doctor Jest said...

anon-- or should I say hard-hearted hannah, speechless was pretty much how I felt as well. And somehow I guessing you're not all that hard-hearted if we were to get to know you....

z-- Oh no. I can do irony, just thought I ought to make the true enormity of the situation clear...

nostrum'-- My dear sir, I never had you down as a flogger ;-)

Dragonfly said...

Is the NHS physio named Spiros by any chance?

Geoffrey W. Rutledge, MD, PhD said...

Hi, I think your blog "Cognitive Dissonance" is terrific, and I would like to feature you on Wellsphere (http://www.wellsphere.com). Would you drop me an email?
Good health!
Geoffrey W. Rutledge, MD, PhD