The sun's shining, in the distance I can hear waves and seabirds calling. A lovely Spring day. I can't seem to summon up the energy to get off my backside and do anything, so it seemed like the perfect time to share a small town story with you.
Recently one of my old carers G came to visit. She's not old, just old in the sense that I used to be entitled to social care, then they rationed it a bit more and I wasn't. Friendships are generally discouraged between social care recipients and social care staff by both social services and care companies but people are people and find ways around that. I haven't been entitled to social care for almost 5 years, but our friendship has endured. Whilst she was here, in between insisting on returning the kitchen to some sort of hygenic state and generally helping out a bit on the sly she told me this lovely story about her husband T's GP.
T has cerebral ataxia. It's one of those medical conditions filed under 'hope never to get that' and T is no longer the vibrant soldier he once was. He can't get out of bed independently anymore and G cares for him supported by family. T didn't seem to have much contact with doctors over the years but they have a new, young GP now with some wonderfully old fashioned ideas of small town doctoring.
G returned from a shopping trip to find a message on their answering machine from the young GP explaining that he'd like to come and visit that day. Having just got home, knowing T couldn't get out of bed to answer the phone or door she phoned the GP's practice before going upstairs to see T, intending to leave a message with the receptionist apologising for missing the GP. To her surprise the receptionist insisted on putting G through to the GP himself for a little chat.
G started to apologise for the GP's wasted visit, so was quite surprised to hear him explain that he had had a lovely time chatting with T. Although T can't get out of bed, the idea of locking him into the house is unbearable for G, so the backdoor remains unlocked most of the time. The GP had turned up for a house call, realising this and so wandered around to the back of the house and let himself in. There he explained he had been greeted by the ferocious guard dog who had set about attempting to lick him to death. Then off they went upstairs for a home visit with T, before G returned home none the wiser.
Of course, if you were one of the worried well patients shouting at the receptionists for the lack of immediate appointments you'd have no idea that your GP was off making house calls to an old soldier in the way that if you'd stopped to think you'd probably think was wonderful. Or at the very least a nice change from GP's 'skiving' on the golf course. But, a bit like the rest of the NHS, you wouldn't know that until it's too late and you're the one experiencing it.