Okay, I'm busy, I've taken on lots of work, I love it all but it's a LOT.
So I have to plan ahead with some things and one of these was my repeat prescription. I knew that one lot of my tablets would run out this coming weekend so I ordered a repeat prescription last weekend, in plenty of time. I did it by email, with three things listed, really clearly.
Like this. "Glucophage (modified Metformin) 500mg".
That's because the ordinary Metformin, which lowers the blood sugar in diabetics like me, makes me feel hideously queasy. The modified stuff releases it slowly all day and doesn't make me feel so sick.
On previous occasions when I've just written Glucophage I've ended up with a prescription for the ordinary Metformin. So I wrote it all very clearly.
This is because, for some reason, the doctor who does my repeat prescriptions always seems to be the one I shall call Dr Death. My good friend Silverback
calls him that too, because he also once had a too-close encounter
with this doctor, whose other nickname could be Dr Dolittle.
"Take two paracetamol and come back if it's not better in a year." That kind of thing. His lack of any kind of action nearly killed the Communist as well. Sighhh.
So although I'm still with that practice, I never, ever, ever see this particular doctor. But that doesn't mean he's not let loose on my repeat prescriptions.
I emailed in my repeat prescription on Sunday and it takes forty-eight hours to be done, so I knew it would certainly be ready by today.
Off I went to collect it, earlier on today, on my way back from swimming (shall I mention in passing that I was there at 8am and was first in the pool? - - Oh look, I just did).
Leeds was thawing a bit today but there was one chunk of it that was still sheer, shiny, slippery ice - - and that was the car park at the doctors'. So I parked on the road. The path by the side of the car park was also the most slippery thing I've seen since the erstwhile politician Jeffrey Archer explaining why he gave two thousand pounds to a prostitute
(it was a long time ago now, but I did so enjoy it).
So why was the whole entrance to the doctors' practice just one big layer of ice? "Trying to get more business?" suggested Silverback entertainingly later.
It was a totally grit-free zone. But I happened to be seeing a solicitor later on about something else, and she confirmed my thoughts: which were that they can't grit it or clear the snow, in case someone then falls over and sues the doctors' practice for not doing a good enough job with the snow-clearing and the gritting.
And this, dear reader, is the crazed world in which we live.
Anyway, in I slithered, and came to a halt by the counter, and asked for my repeat prescription.
The receptionist was a man of such extreme youth that "boy" would have been a better term. In fact, let's face it, he was a PFY, which is, in the company where Stephen works, a job description - - it means Pimply Faced Youth.
This one was very, very cheerful. Now then, doctors' receptionists are often accused of being too grumpy. This one was at the other extreme. It's possible to be just too cheerful, especially when the situation doesn't warrant it.
After some discussion about how my name might be filed alphabetically, he handed me my prescription, on which there was one item instead of the requested three.
"Errr - - this is only part of it," I said.
Some discussion followed. Had I perhaps forgotten to ask for the other two items? he asked me, grinning like a maniac.
- -No, I perhaps hadn't, I replied. Would he like to check on my original email?
He chose not to. He could smell the scent of Righteous Indignation.
He went into the back and there remained for around the period of time that it takes to train a whole new doctor, starting from birth.
Then he came out again.
"It'll be ready for you tomorrow if you'd like to come back then," he said cheerily.
(An apology would have been nice, wouldn't it, Mr Foetus?)
"Perhaps it will," I said, rather too politely, "but I can't come back tomorrow, I am working all day in a distant land." (The centre of Leeds, in which there is no snow).
"Oh well, Monday will be fine then," he said with the air of one taking a curtain call to prolonged applause.
There was by now a large queue behind me so I didn't go down the road which I wanted to take. Which was "Look, sonny, get this straight. Monday might be fine for YOU and it might be fine for Dr Death but it's NOT FINE FOR ME! I don't want to spend half an hour of Monday coming here! Dr Death screwed up - - how about if he delivers the prescription to my house? WHY DO DOCTORS ALWAYS ASSUME THAT THEY ARE MORE BUSY THAN THE PATIENT IS?"
Yes, I could feel those BLOCK CAPITALS coming on so I left before I said something that I might later regret.
I'll go back on Monday. Though my tablets run out on Saturday. Another triumph for Dr Death.