Mr B is starting to get a little agitated. This is, unusually for me, an under statement.
We have until 1.30 p.m. to reach
the health centre where Mr B is booked in for a podiatry appointment. Whenever I mention this to people, they say things like: “a poetry appointment?” or “a pottery appointment?” It must be the way I tell ‘em...
In most cases I am able to arrange for health professionals to visit Mr B at home which is a great boon and much appreciated by both the patient and by me. Podiatry, however (and
it may be the same with poetry or pottery, who am I to say?) requires us to turn up at the health centre. It isn’t that far away but will still require me to book wheelchair accessible transport there and back with the local Dial a Ride service - which
I successfully did as soon as we received the appointment letter.
Ah, yes, the letter. It is quite a bossy letter, as letters go. It tells us that podiatry is
a “limited service” and that if we are DNA at our first appointment we will be immediately discharged without further notice and probably excommunicated as well. No, I made that last bit up, but you doubtless guessed that. As well as being discharged,
a letter will be sent to us and to our GP so that everyone is absolutely clear that we are on the Naughty Step and Not To Be Trusted. Incidentally, just in case you can’t work out what DNA means, it stands for Did Not Attend and is not to confused with
the DNA which determines our genetic make-up. Although one could possibly make an argument for a connection.
Given all this, you can understand why I am getting
so fidgety when our transport hasn’t turned up on time, rendering us very likely to be labelled DNA. If I’m fidgety, believe me, Mr B is approaching stratospheric levels of Fidgetty Activity. I telephone Dial A Ride to check on estimated time of
arrival and get the distinct impression that we have somehow been forgotten - you can tell, can’t you, by the awkward hesitation, the humming and haa-ing going on at the other end of the line? I am assured that transport will arrive and we will not be
DNAd. I don’t tell Mr B my fears as it would only make matters worse but I try to telephone the podiatry department to explain the situation, to apologise in advance if we are late, but to provide earnest reassurances that we will be there as soon as
possible. Except that there is nobody there to take my call as everyone in podiatry has gone out to lunch. Or, quite possibly, DNA in the first place.
Trevor turns up. No, I have never met Trevor before but I am sure you will appreciate why he is my new BFF. He is driving a bus from a completely different organisation and is candid in admitting that he had been called in a panic to fill the gap. He is confident
that, with five whole minutes to spare, he can get us - and Mr B’s feet - to our appointment on time.
He is as good as his word. Or, at least, we arrive
in the car park only a couple of minutes late and I hare inside to check us in while Trevor is unloading Mr B and wheelchair. We even have time to catch our breath and take in our surroundings (there is a colourful Disney cartoon on the wall of the waiting
room, which seems most appropriate bearing in mind that most of the time I feel as if I am living in Mickey Mouse Land.)
The podiatrist is the sweetest young woman,
not the least bit likely to strike anyone off the list for being a little late. She takes great care over Mr B’s poor toes, offers us some sound advice and tells Mr B she will see him again in a few months time. When we emerge from her surgery, we have
but a minute to wait before Trevor arrives to transport us home.
All is well that ends well. I feel perfectly content with life, the trials of earlier in
the afternoon are forgotten. Some people would dwell on it, I’m sure - but not me.
I guess acceptance of small surmountable problems and contentment with
my lot is all part of my DNA...