Apologies to my one constant reader, I haven't been able to do any writing for the past few weeks due to being busy managing my elderly parents medical careers. Not as in their careers in the medical profession, more their careers with those in the medical profession. It is the latter about which I'm posting this, they range from being a bit crap up to really good but all the way down to utterly crap. These people might know their stuff but when it comes to knowing their patients, well sometimes, they are as keen on that as they are on speaking to relatives of patients.
I've been through it before with my Dad, his liver failed almost three years. So started the process of cultivating his consultant (who favoured bow ties over ordinary ties) and was something of a dandy who enjoyed delivering a lecture more than information. He was (and is) ok I suppose. Now its my Mother's turn, she has 'something like' Parkinson's syndrome, no idea what 'something like' means, probably a medical terms for 'we don't know' which is actually startling honest given some of the other bullshit they come out with. Her consultant was actually quite good (after being mildly perturbed at being contacted directly, an advantage of also working, as I do, in the NHS.) The most notable thing about this consultant (Neurology) was if you closed your eyes and just listened to his voice, it was like being in a room with William Hague, they sounded exactly the same.
Recently my Mum had some surgery done, this meant a new medical animal was being introduced: A Surgeon. Surgeons are the elite, regarded in the industry not just as medical professionals but as artists in their trade. Our surgeon was basically a very handsome, dashing and erudite man who we think was either Greek or Maltese, my Mum took an immediate shine to him, rich wavy hair, a dynamic disposition and a aura that inspired confidence. Personally, he reminded me of an ageing Greek gigolo. Not that I have any experience in such things, I should say, he represented what I thought would be an ageing Greek gigolo... Or an owner of a string of kebab boutiques (in which he'd never worked.)
I recently met my Mother's new consultant, I also contacted her directly, an action for which she had nothing but disdain (to which my reaction was disdain, I don't give a fuck about her delicate sensibilities on communications.) I mean to say, you'd think I'd sent the email with an actual attachment of dog shit, such was her horror at having to actually speak to a patient's next of kin. She advised that in future I should probably use the normal method of communication in future, I'm happy to do this but, if an answer to any future query is anything other than forthcoming (sometimes they don't even bother replying) and done with acceptable haste, then fine. If not (as in, if it takes more than 48 hours and they're not on holiday,) they should expect more dog shit attachments, oh, and I also have your direct telephone number, something which patients and god forbid, relatives of patients should never be given on pain of death. Suffice to say, I fear my relationship with this new consultant is going to be rocky.
On the other side you have the social work side of things, if you want to get care for elderly parents, your GP will make a referral to Social Work. It sounds quite innocent, we needed carers so social work come in and have a look around, see if you need any handles on the wall next to the toilet or bath etc. I'm in something of an unenviable situation, my family is somewhat defunct. Not wishing to go into details, my Dad drank himself in to serious illness and hospital and does more harm than good (another post in and of itself,) my brother has mental health issues (undiagnosed,) symptoms of which are not limited to blaming all shortcomings in his life on others but mostly me (for which I am the recipient of frequent death threats, which if I'm being honest, is a bit melodramatic.) And my Mum, who has never hurt a fly in her life, never drank or cursed; an innocent in it all but still afflicted with what now turns our to be a form of Dementia, a not unexpected side effect of her (something like) Parkinson's Syndrome.
Social Work know all this and are acting typically. Not that I blame them but they seem more interested in satisfying regulations than this real life situation. I held them back from chucking my angry brother out of the house (although at age 40, you'd think he'd be away by now.) But I can't any more, Mum needs her house back, Social Work (with the glint of the fanatic in their collective eye) say she can't go home if her other son is resident. I never did disagree, its just that having him there was the best of two really shit situations. That has changed though, I'm not (or can no longer hold them back.) They're going in now and I'll expect fireworks (or a knife in the back.)
All that said and its all quite challenging, I've live in Leith (not the bit they gentrified,) Sitehill (which never was gentrified in the first place) and Pilrig (which was, is and will continue to be a shithole.) I know how to watch my back and medical professionals, not wishing to intimidate, should also bare that in mind.
If all else fails, I have pedigree chum and know things about foxes.
(If any of you, or should I say just you, ever find yourself dealing with medical professionals sans satisfaction, let me know, I might be able to help having as I do experience in such things.)