On Monday I was due to have a CT scan as well as a radiotherapy session. I warned the radiotherapy department last week, to make sure the appointments didn’t clash. The radiotherapist said she’d give me an appointment close to the one for the scan, so that I didn’t have to wait around too long, but also not to worry if I was late for the radiotherapy appointment. My scan was at 12:05, so I was a bit surprised to discover that my radiotherapy appointment was due at 15:25. I decided I’d just have to find somewhere to have lunch and read the paper in the meantime.
I arrived at the imaging department and went to reception. ‘Hello, I’m here for an appointment in the name of Blunt.’
‘Ah yes, Sarah Blunt, is the patient with you?’
‘I am the patient: Eamon Blunt.’
‘I don’t have an appointment for you.’
I pulled out my trump card: ‘I have the letter for the appointment.’
The receptionist looked at the letter. ‘You’re at the wrong hospital!’
All of my appointments so far had been at this hospital that I was standing in. But the letter said I was due to attend another hospital about two miles away, which is part of the same NHS trust. The receptionist phoned through to the local hospital’s CT scanner department to see if they could fit me in.
‘We can see you here if you’re willing to wait.’ I had to wait anyway. He also phoned the other hospital to let them know what had happened. I wonder how much I had cost the NHS there? After the scan I was still ten minutes late for my radiotherapy.
My final radiotherapy appointment was at 18:55 on Tuesday. That evening there was a big football match on Satellite TV, the Manchester derby. So I arranged to meet Mike in a pub at 8pm to watch it. Inevitably, the radiotherapy department was running late. There are three or four machines in the department. The one I usually use was running two hours late. Luckily, I was booked for another machine, which was only running 45 minutes late. The radiotherapist asked me how I was. I told her I had been having some pain when swallowing. She suggested gargling with a soluble pain killer to reduce the pain. She also said that it might get worse over the next week or two before getting better. But I think it was at its worst over the weekend, so I hope she’ll be proved wrong. I finally arrived at the pub in time for the second half of the match and made my apologies to Mike.