Last week was National Pie Week. It’s my job to know these things.
However it rapidly descended into Groundhog day on Wednesday. It took its first tottering steps toward mounting insanity with a visit to my own GP. I sat in the waiting room trying not to cough and avoid testing the old pelvic floor muscles, although I appreciated the thought that had gone into the wipe-clean vinyl chairs.
Name called. I tottered into room 4 to explain to a disinterested lady from Singapore that I had fluid on the lungs, had been sick for two weeks and couldn’t go anywhere without the incapacitating coughing fits. Bad for me, worse for onlookers.
She listened to my chest, looked at me as though I was a liar (and possible puppy stealer) and sent me packing. No medication.
Got home, called by local estate agent that came up ‘unknown number’. Hung up twice. The persistent call backs won and I eventually stayed on the line long enough to be told my mum had fallen over in town, didn’t know why she was there and was being treated by ambulance folk. She was about 20 yards from the front door of the GP practice we share with her. I retraced my steps.
She’d got a black eye and a bitten lip and was taken to the hospital by ambulance while I followed in the boy’s car while he went to find hers and park it at her house for her.
Now I know about the junior doctors’ strike and the pressure that A&Es are under, but eight and a half hours at A&E when you’re 84 and have been smacked around by measuring your length on the tarmac face first isn’t fun. What’s also not fun for your impatient and coughing daughter is that the waiting room had a flat screen TV fixed on one channel. A ruddy documentary about an A&E department.
I swear, I was all over that plasma sodding screen like a techno gecko, couldn’t find a channel switcher, couldn’t find an off button, or even a plug to switch it off at.
I imagine this is what it’s like for the interns at Guantanamo. Except they’re not there with their mothers – which is something.
What put the tin hat on it was a burst of irritation from Johnny Eff who had got home and rustled up his first ever pie (Shepherd’s if you must know, very nice it was too) to impress and sooth his Mrs. I rang to moan that we were still waiting and had had a sandwich and it was light blue touch paper. I was told, at high volume, that he’d made an effort.
I explained that we were unlikely to be out before midnight. It was 1am. Bless him he was still very keen to get some pie down me, even at 1am. If that pie had been custard, I’d have been wearing it.
I drank beer.