As I pondered this potential life-changing episode, the Nurse spoke and tapped a lowered gurney adjacent to the scanner’s opening. ‘Just pop yourself up on here, lie back and try to make yourself comfortable,’ she said and as I followed her directions, I felt the rush of unfettered adrenaline constrict my airways, blood vessels and any potential thought process that may have been needed.
By the time I arrived at the hospital, I was once again soaked like a drowned Rat and feeling knackered through yet another two miles of incessant pavement pounding to an urgent destination. With virtually no time to waste, I finally reached the correct department, flashed my appointment letter and was then ushered into a small waiting room; luckily, no-one else was sat there to witness the pooling of water beneath my chair and to mistakenly believe I’d actually soiled myself whilst seated.
So April’s Friday the 13th had finally arrived and with it my conflicting appointments: signing-on at my local Job Centre and an MRI scan booked at my local hospital. It was only as I got washed and mopped, ready for the inevitable stresses the day was about to unleash, that I realised the ominous date these two clashes had fallen upon, so it came as no surprise as I left my flat to see the heavens open in a downpour to greet my two mile walk.
From that moment onwards, the day began to slowly unravel…
It was only couple of days after I uploaded my last blog entry – and part one of this tale – that my MRI scan appointment dropped through my letterbox. I ripped the envelope open and discovered the procedure was booked at my local hospital for April 13th at 3.00pm, which was only a week or so away. As I read the rest of the instructions I had to follow before undertaking the scan – and the medical form that was to be completed and taken with me – I kept flicking my eyes back to the date of the scan.
With my ongoing battle against the bouts of my swollen Parotid glands to contend with on a much more regular basis (from a manageable bulging every other month to an annoying almost daily flaring) my outpatient treatment has now started to appear slightly more worrying, to say the least. My latest hospital appointment was at the end of March, which is a full two years on from my last check-up due to yet another cancellation – see “Bad letter day“ for more details – and so during this interim period, I’d been allocated a new and younger Consultant. With this fresh pair of hands and eyes assessing my jaw line, a dynamic shift in my future medical reviews had begun in earnest as soon as I was seated (un)comfortably in his surgery…
Some days are sent to test our resolve, sanity and basic human emotions, of this I have no doubt and I can attest to sampling many of these challenges over my life so far. I usually have a bad March and then a bad October, which being almost equidistant to one another means I can shore up the defences when the individual months mentioned above are approaching: this means cancelling any non-essential trips or appointments, ensuring I have some pittance saved to one side for emergencies that are bound to arise and trying to remain calm and collected in the face of an insurmountable Fate intent on disrupting everything around me.
As the din continued underneath, I stood listening for a few minutes frozen behind my front door, safe in knowledge that my unlit vestibule and the coats draped across its security glass camouflaged me from the noise-inducing cretins below. The same loud thudding that had awoken me seemed a little louder now that it had less brickwork to dampen its echo and through the wired glass I caught a few murky, distorted shapes moving around in the stairwell beyond: actual morons were in my midst.
It was a low and dull distant thud that initially brought me out of my early morning slumber, where I was partly protected from the outside world’s intrusion by the yellow foam earplugs snugly fitted into my aural canals. I blinked once and then squinted at a point on my nearest bedroom wall, feeling the relaxation of the last eight hours of sleep rapidly dissipate as I awaited the arrival of another muffled bang.
Every two weeks on the Friday, I’ve got the unenviable task of signing-on at my local Job Centre. It’s a place governed by streams of Liberalised red tape and populated with unemployed cretins and employed denizens who have an inability to crack a smile: if you attempt to lighten the mood with a little banter, they’ll glower at you as if you’ve just spat out a hate-filled Bernard Manning joke, regardless of whether you’re just someone trying to earn their next Job Seekers giro or you’re actually an out-of work comedian trying to get a laugh.
My Postman is as blind as a f**king Bat and although his misreading of envelope addresses has never caused me a direct problem in seven years, last week this Elysium all changed and the effect has been affective, to say the least. It all started when I became aware I hadn’t received any mail through my letterbox for nearly a week and yet, I knew my quarterly bills should have arrived and added to my current money woes. Now, whether it’s my latest six-page BT bill full of hidden charges or it happens to be British Gas’ reams of electrical extortion matters not one iota: the simple fact is my personal expenditure is processed and sent out to me on paper, in order for moi to settle the debts as these monopolising conglomerates expect their pound(s) of flesh, regardless of excuses.