Following Whale’s couple of weeks in hospital recently he was given three follow-up appointments with a urologist, neurologist and finally an out-patient visit to ‘rhumatologie’ where he had stayed.
The urologist’s appointment was last week and so off we went in the ambulance arriving in good time for five 0’clock. The system has changed since I was last there and now you have to take a ‘queue ticket’ and wait for your number to come up so that you can report to the secretary. She takes all the details from the Carte Vitale and gives you a piece ot paper to ‘put in the box above the table in the corridor.’
I did just that and we waited in the area for beds and wheelchairs. Meanwhile six or seven other patients went to the secretary and were directed to another waiting room.
We waited . . . . . . .and waited. Another lady started getting stroppy and I asked her what time her appointment was.
“Ten past five”, was her reply so I told her our’s was for five o’clock.
Six o’clock came and went and then this lady was called in. Now, I don’t mind waiting if the doctor is running late (after all, we were pretty used to that in England) but I do object to ‘queue jumping’ so I went to find the nurse.
Going through the other waiting room I noticed that there were only two people left!
I complained to the nurse.
“It’s not my fault”, she said, “I can only go by the list the secretary gave me. But you are next.”
Finally we went into a consulting room. It was twenty past six.
The specialist didn’t come through for another ten minutes or so.
“And what brings you here?” he said.
I explained that the doctors at Rhumatologie had made the appointment when Whale came out of hospital but it was clear that this doctor knew nothing about it.
He scratched his head, glanced at the notes and looked up.
Whale mentioned the undiagnosed prostate cancer from years ago.
“Ah, do you have trouble weeing?” he asked.
“No, he has a catheter.”
So I had to explain that there had been a secondary cancer on his spine that had partially paralysed him.
He asked what medication he was taking and then dismissed us with,
“Just carry on as you are.”
What a complete waste of time!