Usually I’m full of praise for ambulance crews – going into the unknown where violent drunks make their lives hell, not to mention the cutbacks.
And I’m not going to be over critical of them. Or the police. The individuals do good work.
But all ‘establishment’ organisations work to procedures. That means that they have square holes – are you a square peg?
I am not.
I’ll describe what happened to me today.
Someone called me an ambulance – I can understand why.
I disagreed with them, told them to go away. They refused because…procedure. Because I had refused to allow them into the house to examine me they called the police. Procedure.
The police office was smart – they smiled a lot, agreed with me a lot and accepted that I didn’t want them in the house (I’ve been invaded by the police before – very bad experience). I explained what was going on and they were sympathetic, and then went away. Well done officer, good judgement.
Then the ambulance staff went back to their procedures.
I was offered all manner of assistance. No thank you. I was actually polite – but after the questions had gone on way too long I started to show my irritation. And the drip technique was terrible; reminiscent of Mrs Doyle offering a cup of tea. Go on. Go on. Go on go go on go on go on go on. Their procedures had not been satisfied so they set up camp outside my door.
At the four hour mark I’d had enough.
I called their control room and shouted at them.
Why would I do that? They’re just doing their job.
Because their job is not to make me paranoid.
It’s not to make a statement to the neighbourhood that I have a mental health issue by asking all my neighbours how I was.
It’s not to blow my carefully cultivated cover of living a quiet life and keeping my head down.
Thanks a lot.
So I called their control with an INSTRUCTION that they were to leave, and gave them ten minutes.
They snuck round the corner where they thought I couldn’t see them.
Since I could I went out to ‘talk’ to them. Not with them.
I’m not happy about that – they shouldn’t have people shouting at them for doing their job.
The problem is that their job is designed badly – if they meet a round peg they have to make it fit into the square hole.
I’m not picking on the ambulance service in particular – I’ve had the police, JC+, ATOS and many other agencies force me down inappropriate paths because…reasons (procedures).
It always ends up with me being in a worse position than I started in.
Let me repeat that in a slightly different way. If the agency had not taken action my condition would be better. Not only is that an epic fail, it’s also a monumentally costly fail that increases everyone’s stress load.
You can explain it to them: I have asked my doctor’s receptionist to not let me fall through a gap in the system – to let me fall through the gap less than a minute later because they couldn’t/wouldn’t take independent action.
I voz only following orderz!
It’s a phenomenal day. Sunny, 22C, light breeze – lovely.
I’ve just walked my dogs around the local reservoir. There was lapping water, ten cormorants in a row, a whole fleet of swans, a raft of one of the smaller species of gull (nice variety) and a heron.
I love this sort of stuff, it makes me feel OK with the world.
But today I just counted them and walked on, hyperventilating.
At lunchtime I got my meds out, a reminder that I’m due a refill. Overdue.
So it’s straight onto Patient Access to order them up.
Patient Access has been redesigned, so was unfamiliar. I clicked on repeat medication many times, because repeating the same action and getting the same result is science, but I’m a human being.
It turns out that my repeat medication has been suspended until I go in.
That’ll be a GP examination.
That’ll be an involuntary examination.
The expression ‘cutting off your nose to spite your face’ was probably invented after someone met me. I have a display case filled with my previous noses.
I would rather live in squalor and misery for the rest of my life, unmedicated, than submit to an involuntary examination.
Well, it’s procedure, innit!
I’m not due a review for another ten months but since the last one my life has been a succession of crises brought on by incompetent organisations that are allegedly there for my benefit, but who haven’t got a clue and mismanage, or make admin errors, that have profound effects on my life.
All the individuals mean well but all that seems to happen is box ticking and flow charts – what do we do with the round peg when we only have square holes?
There is a literal analogy – the peg either falls through or gets stuck and hammering only causes damage.
I’ve stopped hyperventilating now – I just feel cold inside. Hopeless. The inevitable consequence of relying on bureaucracies.
I’ll run out of meds tomorrow – I used to self medicate with booze. No prescription required.
My surgery has backed off after I sent them an ultimatum.
I didn’t hold back.