Fandango’s Provocative Question (26 February 2020)

Yay, Wednesday already. Fandango is back to normal, and has just published this week’s Provocative Question. This week, he asks:

What is something you’ve long believed to be true, but you now realize is not true?

It looks like I am going to get everybody’s back up today (see previous post), so I might as well continue in that vein.

For many years I happily paid my taxes. I resisted the urge to move all my finances offshore, although it would have been easy enough to do so, and a good move in hindsight. I knew that a big chunk of my taxes were going into our NHS. I didn’t actually use the NHS, but it was an investment, wasn’t it? I’d be bound to need it one day, so it would look after me in the long run.

Rubbish!

I suppose I should have seen the writing on the wall a few years ago, when I broke my collar bone in a cycle crash. After five hours of waiting, I was advised to take two paracetamol and come and see them in six weeks at the fracture clinic. I didn’t bother. When Bradley Wiggins later had that exact same injury, he was operated on same day (privately).

Then the biggie, the stroke. What do you think happens when someone has a stroke? They get rushed through the Emergency Room, and they receive double-quick treatment, right? To break up the clot? Well, such treatment does exist, but you’d be wrong. They sent me home. They scanned (scammed) me, but could not detect that I was having a stroke, even though I was displaying other symptoms. So when I then presented again 48h later, by then unable to walk, the damage had been done.

I saw one of the doctors six months after the stroke. You could use a FES, he says. What the **** is a FES?, I say. I’d never even been told about it before. Functional Electrical Stimulation. Bottom line, it is something you wear on your lower leg, it applies a small current to make the muscle flex and it helps with your gait. Why did I not leave hospital with one of these devices six months earlier? They had plenty of time to assess me there.

Plus, this device used a bunch of wires. After I’d had it a week, I sent an email to the manufacturers with my initial queries and suggestions. Top of my wishlist? You should develop a wireless version of these.

We did already. You only get the basic model, because you’re NHS. It was true. I could go to their web site and if I shelled out enough extra cash, I could have what I wanted. In the end, trying to sort a bunch of wires going down my trousers flustered me so much, I gave the kit back.

Physiotherapy – one hour per month for six months, then nothing. An hour a month? I spend more time in the can!

And it’s not just me. There are national guidelines for the treatment of strokes, and when I used to attend a peer support group, every single one of us felt let down in some way.

Even now there is the Eye Clinic. A catalog of errors. Because I do not have transport, I have to ask for appointments that coincide with bus times. They won’t do that – I am supposed to have a car. So I miss the appointments sometimes. Yes, I am one of those bastards who misses appointments. What do they expect me to do? Walk there? Probably, yes, it is only 10 miles, I could probably get there in a day.

Then, the last time they booked an appointment, Please comee on Tuesday 1st. The notification dropped through my letterbox on Thursday 3rd.

So, this notion of universal healthcare is rubbish. The only reason people happily pay their taxes is because they haven’t had to use the system yet, haven’t discovered it is not actually there.

If you are not from the UK, I’m sorry for my rant, you must be bored witless by now. If you are from the UK, it is a lottery and I hope that your experinces have been better than mine.

Bitter and twisted? You betcha! It’s your own fault, Fandango, for inviting me! Next time, ask me about nice things like bunny rabbits!

But, you know when you have days and everyone else is just dancing to a different tune?

Author: Stroke Survivor UK

Designed/developed IT systems for banks, but had a stroke in 2016, aged 48. Returned to developing from home, plus do some voluntary work. Married, with a grown-up, left-home daughter.

8 thoughts on “Fandango’s Provocative Question (26 February 2020)”

  1. I’m not at all bored, even though I’m not from the U.K. We across the pond are talking a lot in this election year about universal health care and nationalized health services, so your rant is both timely and eye-opening for those of us in the U.S.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, I remember you posted a question on this a while ago. I’m in a weird position where I support public healthcare, but I think if we’re going to do it, it has to be done properly.
      The trouble is, it is all joined-up. We can’t, on the one hand, say we have healthcare, and then on the other, not give people the public transport, say, to access it. So, it’s an even bigger nut than we might first think.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It is funny because people here are very vocally supportive of our NHS, but it is not universal. It eexcludes people who don’t make the cut. I’m sure if I ever came to th US again, though, I’d find something wrong with your system 😆.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I really enjoyed your post, it’s very well written and I understand a little of all the hoops you need to jump through.
    You pay and pay, only to find out that there are ‘some’ boundaries. First you need to discover by magic what you can and cannot do. Then you need to apply (and most of the time it doesn’t apply to you off coursed) and then you need to be available all hours of the day and indeed even yesterday! And you need to be on the move and have the energy to do it all. I can tell you, when you’re ill, you can’t do all those things. It’s a very weird system indeed!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You enjoyed it? When I re-reread it, it felt like a rant 🙂, but today I felt like ranting! I suspect it is the same everywhere that boasts public healthcare – we might claim that it is universal, but there are subtle ways of excluding people.

      Liked by 1 person

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