Friday, May 15, 2009

Just another day at the office...

Sometimes you can go for months without incident. Other times, a bit like London Busses, everything comes along at once. Seems we’re going through one of those phases in our neck of the woods. Thankfully, thus far the “Flandemic” has not lived up to its billing.


We expect the next big scare in November or December, unless something quite bizarre happens in the interim. For now the daily email updates are moving to once or twice a week, and the planners really do seem to have a strategy in place. Whether the plan will survive more than half the work force being laid low themselves, or kept at home looking after kids/ elderly relatives who cannot care for themselves, remains to be seen. Still there is a plan.

No, this morning saw a string of genuinely troubled individuals facing potentially or already determined life threatening illness. Once again, by mid morning the surgery was more than an hour adrift with no prospect of catching up. After three patients already watching the sands of time draining from their own personal hourglasses at an alarming rate, came a mum bereaved not once, but twice in the space of six months. Her distress was etched almost bone deep on her face, and there was absolutely nothing to say except “hang in there” and “you will survive this”. I’m not sure if I was saying this for her or for myself to be honest, but after half an hour she was cried out enough, for now, to keep putting one foot in front of the other for a bit longer.

After a ten minute pause, and a half a bucket of Java, we got the show on the road again, and the rest of the day passed without incident. The poor souls who had had to wait around in our waiting room with not even drying paint to watch for amusement (all diversionary materials having been carted off and incinerated to remove possible vectors for the flandemic), were amazingly good natured, and by mid afternoon there was more laughter than tears accompanying the ebb and flow of the afflicted coming trough the hallowed portals.

Still not a day I’ll be forgetting in a hurry, or wishing to repeat any time soon. But I can’t help thinking, for all that, that I’m the one who’s got it easy here.


Grumpy, M.D. said...

Some days you win the day, and some days the day kicks your butt.

We do the best we can.

Swiss Missus said...

I could offer you some home-made rhubarb flan, if that would help. It's not Hob Nobs but still.

Seriously, I'm in awe of you.

Please tell me that the removal of diversionary materials is a joke.


Doctor Jest said...

Dr Grumpy-- welcome. And how right you are. loved the story of the WiiFit BTW ;-)

Swiss Mrs-- Truly I am not worthy. Nothing awesome about last Friday. Totally the opposite in fact. Reduced to doling out platitudes all morning and left feeling utterly professionally impotent by the experience. Fair to say things have been a bit better today, for me. Not so sure it's been in any sense better for the handful of folk I saw on Friday though. Somedays you get to be the hammer, but I hate the days when I'm the nail.

Sadly despite my childhood sojoun in Gods Own County I'm still not at all sure about rhubarb, though eaten raw, dipped in sugar it isn't too bad.

And no, the diversionary materials have indeed all been rounded up and stowed away until we get the all clear from Public Health....

Swiss Missus said...

Perhaps they could have a singalong in the waiting room? At least the ones who aren't suffering from a respiratory infection.

Maybe you're not sure about rhubarb because you've been eating it raw? ~shudder~

I'm in awe because you can stand it (I could not; I soak up others' emotional distress like a sponge), not because I believe you are omnipotent (hand on heart, you wish you were, no? ;-) ). You can stand it, you can look it in the face, you can accept it and you can write about it.

Doctor Jest said...

Swiss Mrs-- Have you got the place bugged?

(This morning they were all singing along to Eric and Ern's "Bring me sunshine.")

Not done the raw rhubarb thing for a while, but fresh and with sugar it can almost fizz. Always a big treat with us junior Jests. Less so with the dentist though ;-(

And thank you for giving my whinges such an entirely undeserved gloss. You really are too kind.

Swiss Missus said...

If you call that whingeing then I regret to have to inform you that you're rather rubbish at it. ;-)

The sun... did it come?