After months of illness I finally felt well enough to have my flu jab so booked an appointment for this afternoon. The weather was kind and allowed me to get out of the front door and to the GP's surgery to engage in a constructive debate with the practice nurse about how the notes claim I've had a flu jab already this year. Fortunately we sorted it out and the injection was given without blood shed so I settled down to wait in reception for the standard post vaccination 'don't die on us' 15 minutes.
I'd parked in the disabled bay when I arrived but not terribly well as I was aligning the driver's door with the gritted bits. My GP was off out on his visits and came back in laughing because I'd informed him on the way out that if I'd blocked him in he'd have to move my car. I handed over the keys, he moved the car and we all got back to the scheduled reception
There was an old lady giving the receptionist a very hard time about her prescription...it wasn't at the doctor's surgery as she'd asked for it to be sent to the chemists...who denied all knowledge of it. Probably because the old lady was using a different pharmacy each time so no-one could keep track of where her prescriptions were ending up. It's cold, it's Christmas week and she was clearly distressed and distressing the receptionist so I offered to give her a lift to collect her prescription. Except several phone calls and some hysterical sobbing later we couldn't find the prescription at all. Throw in some very cross ranting to the mixture and Christmas goodwill was about the last thing that reception area was feeling.
Finally after time for more hysterics, more phone calls, no prescription and trips to the loo we were all set and the old lady and I headed outside. I'd heeded the receptionists warning that the old lady was actually far more physically able than I am and managed to insist she get into the car herself, which was perfectly safe as it was all gritted. Surrounded by bags and ill humour which I was attempting to deflect with a rather fixed grin, I discovered my GP had pulled the handbrake on in proper man fashion so I couldn't even budge it and the grin turned into giggles at the pure vitriol emanating from the old ladies mouth as she dealt with this latest conspiracy against her. I had to go back inside and get the receptionist to come and take the handbrake off for me so we could leave. I'm sure my GP will be most amused by the note the receptionist left him instructing him to take more care with other people's handbrakes.
Fortunately there was only one more set of tears* in the car and the air was a consoling blue by the time we made it to the old lady's ice rink back road. Of course she lived right at the end of it and wanted me to help her to the front door. I felt momentarily guilty co-opting the nice young man walking past with his dog to help the old lady as I couldn't warn him that she was likely to tear strips off him for his trouble, but then I remembered...it's the Big Society and we've all got to play our part...even if that part is being sworn at by a crotchety septegenarian. Actually, now I think about it...Dave is probably working on that bit of the Big Society himself this week..
*her tears not mine. Though trust me, I considered it just to get her to stop moaning!