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My Wife’s Strange Dizzy Spells

My wife woke up three days ago feeling a little out of sorts, but when she actually got up to start the day, she complained of dizziness. Neither of of thought much about it, although that soon changed when she was physically sick before she could get to the bathroom. The dizzy spells continued, so I had to help her to the bathroom.

She could neither stand nor walk with any confidence, but she kept on being sick, so she spent the rest of that day in bed… and all of the following one. My wife tried eating again, but it came straight back up. Yesterday, she tried to eat again, but the result was the same, so she asked me to take her to our family doctor’s. It is not far, but I had to support her all the way, and we had to stop for a rest and vomit.

When we arrived, the receptionist told us that we didn’t have an appointment, which we already knew, and further informed us that no-one was available to see us.

Our Doctor’s Surgery

“So, what do want me to do?” I asked.

“Go home”, she advised. “I’ll put you on phone watch, if you like”.

I didn’t know what that was, but it means that if a doctor anywhere in town has a few minutes, they would try to fit her in.

“Do what you like”, I replied, “but we’re not leaving here. If she collapses anywhere, I want it to be here, not while we’re crossing the road”.

“What are her symptoms?” I was asked, so I told her.

“We really do advise that you go home, we don’t want sick people in here… we have a lot of very old and very young patients in and out…”

I was flabbergasted, but I had one more request.

“Here is a letter from the council asking my doctor to sign my application for a free bus pass”.

“There is a £10 fee for leaving it with us, or a £15 doctor’s fee for the signature”.

I refused to leave, and so took a seat while my wife went outside to be sick – I felt like joining her.

Some thirty-odd minutes later, a man walked in. He explained that he didn’t have an appointment, but wanted to see a doctor. My ears pricked up.

“Take a seat, we’ll see what we can do” chirped the receptionist.

I went to have a word. “Why couldn’t you have done that for us?” I asked.

“You’re on phone watch”, she explained.

The top nearly came off my head. “Only because you put us on it! That wasn’t our idea”.

“Your wife has gone home anyway, sir. My supervisor had a word with her and she left”.

I couldn’t believe it, but she was nowhere to be seen, so, I set off in the direction of her best friend’s shop nearby to look for her. A few doors from the shop, I called into a pub. I hadn’t taken two sips when our landlady and friend rushed in saying that my wife needed me at home. We were there in twenty minutes.

“She needs the paramedics”, warned our landlady, who is a carer.

My wife was a quivering wreck, by the time they arrived, which was not long. Anyway, after several tests, they diagnosed ‘vertigo’ – something my wife has never been diagnosed with. They also phoned our doctor to get a prescription, which I had to collect.

Bad Practice

Naturally, I wanted to know what the supervisor had told my wife to make her go home alone.

“I told her to go home and wait for a call…”

“And?”

“…and when she asked where her husband was, I said: ‘I have no idea. I don’t even know your husband”.

“And did she understand you?”

“I don’t know, she was looking at me…”

“My wife is dizzy, confused and Asian, but you didn’t check whether she had understood you or not?”

Today, after four tablets, my wife is sitting up in bed. She has eaten three bowls of rice soup – typical Thai breakfast food – and has not been sick.

The National Health Service is in dire straits due to the Tory cutbacks, we all know that, but we don’t need heartless people within the system making it even worse. On the other hand, the paramedics were wonderful. My hat is off to them, but we will be changing our General Practitioner ASAP, which is what other people, including the local council, had advised us on other occasions, articles about which can be found elsewhere on this blog.

Why did the receptionist and her supervisor treat my wife differently from the old man? I don’t know, but the only differences that I could see for this bad practice were age, sex and race.

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All the best,

Owen

Podcast: My Wife’s Dizzy Spells