‘Learn the art of patience. Apply discipline to your thoughts when they become anxious over the outcome of a goal. Impatience breeds anxiety, fear, discouragement and failure. Patience creates confidence, decisiveness, and a rational outlook, which eventually leads to success.’
I have been trying so very hard to be patient. But last week I thought I was so very close to getting an appointment for the gamma knife procedure at St Bart’s hospital on the NHS.
As you know from my last blog I was given a date over the phone for this procedure. The next thing I was waiting for was confirmation of the appointment which the secretary had said she would email. The following day by lunchtime I still hadn’t received it so I called. The secretary said she had sent it. This started the whole palava of her realising that she hadn’t received any emails for a few days. Seriously? She hadn’t thought to check why she hadn’t received any emails?! Then she noticed emails I had sent her had gone into her junk box. Frustrating isn’t the word. To be honest I feel like a nuisance constantly calling and emailing but it makes me realise that I have just cause to!
Then I discover the letter that has been emailed to me is another outpatient’s appointment letter not a confirmation of the gamma knife procedure. I call her back again. She starts rambling saying that she needed to ask someone to call and that it wasn’t as simple as changing the letter. Eh?
In the meantime I had been also emailing a lady at the gamma knife centre. She said I requested the outpatient appointment so that Dr Plowman could look at my MRI images and be discussed at their MDT. I said that they had already done that. She replied and said as far as she knew my last appointment was a complete waste of time. I argued my point and asked why I was then given an appointment by his secretary? The gamma knife lady said his secretary couldn’t have done that as she doesn’t have the ability or authority to do that! Oh my goodness… how hard is it?
I then emailed both parties and was quite frank with them both. I got a call from Dr Plowman’s secretary telling me a consultant was going to call me. That never happened.
Then I got a really nice email from the gamma knife lady who said she was awaiting for Dr Plowman to reply and that all matters were in her hands with a clear and robust plan of action. That was Friday.
I emailed today and she replied to say that she has now passed it onto the gamma knife CNS. (By the way I don’t know what all the abbreviations are- I don’t know why they think it’s appropriate to confuse patients further?!) I have replied and asked why and what’s going on… but had no reply.
It’s actually quite boring. And I don’t want to get upset and impatient but I do believe that I could have organised this with my eyes shut.
There are so many issues here that I cannot even be bothered to detail them now.
I am hopeful still but I also have that sinking feeling. What bothered me the most is when I asked Dr Plowman’s secretary, ‘How do you not know the process of booking in gamma knife patients?’ She answered by saying that Dr Plowman doesn’t do many on the NHS. He does more privately. Great….That is disgusting.
So I am trying to be patient. But I got fed up and decided to email my lovely ladies at the Churchill. I told them the synopsis of this farce and also how great they are as well as the consultants. I may have had a few issues in the beginning but they have always replied promptly, appointments booked and everything has been clear and simple.
As expected my lovely lady at the Churchill replied almost immediately and says she is going to try and find out what is going on.
I guess one of the problems with gamma knife at St Barts is this… The lady at the gamma knife centre doesn’t work for the consultant Dr Plowman and isn’t employed by the NHS. So her systems and procedures are separate from the NHS. So Dr Plowman’s secretary really cannot do much for me.
I say keep it simple! There would be fewer issues and maybe when I go for an appointment my images may be there if it’s being dealt by one person?!
So I’m still waiting…..I’m practicing using my energy by focusing on good things and being ever hopeful… but let’s face it. If I haven’t heard anything by end of day tomorrow I will be finding Dr Plowman’s email and phone number and contacting directly!