Friday, 22 May 2009


Five surgeons from big cities are discussing who makes the best patients to operate on.

The first surgeon, from New York, says, "I like to see accountants on my operating table because when you open them up, everything inside is numbered."

The second, from Chicago , responds, "Yeah, but you should try electricians! everything inside them is colour coded."

The third surgeon, from Dallas , says, "No, I really think librarians are the best, everything inside them is in alphabetical order"

The fourth surgeon, from Los Angeles chimes in: "You know, I like construction workers... Those guys always under stand when you have a few parts left over."

But the fifth surgeon, from Washington, DC shut them all up when he observed: "You're all wrong.................. politicians are the easiest to operate on. There's no guts, no heart, no balls, no brains and no spine, and the head and the ass are interchangeable.

....and while I'm in a pissy mood - on to the NHS and the EMERGECY follow up of OG's suspected TIA (aka migraine). He received an appointment for the promised doppler scan and as instructed presented himself at the designated clinic to be told that the doctor was running 2 hours late. As instructed OG re-presented himself again two hours later, saw the doctor, who looked at the brain scan, scratched his head and said he that the result was not conclusive he would need to have another one. I asked OG "What about the doppler then?" "Oh, I forgot to ask". Right!

This Monday he received an appointment letter to see the doctor again on 9th June and the next day an appointment for a HEART scan on the 15th June. OG already has an appointment to see his cancer surgeon on 15th June so he 'phoned, as instructed, to say he couldn't keep the appointment for the HEART scan and another appointment was re-arranged for 27th JULY. Are you with me so far? So......on 9th June he will see the doctor to discuss the brain scan than hasn't been arranged and on 27th July will go for a HEART scan that hasn't been requested. In the meantime, when do they propose to do the doppler?

I've got a good plan, lets pour more of our borrowed money into this black hole of a money pit!

And finally ... never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative.


rosiero said...

Loved the joke, was appalled at the treatment (or lack of it) you are getting at the hospital. It all sounds so familiar. My mother has had gastric problems since last August and she is still waiting for a diagnosis - they scan one bit, then there's a three-month wait to hear they cannot find the problem, so they suggest a scan on another bit and more waiting when that shows up blank. Why can't they scan everything on the same day?

As for sleeping pills and laxatives my only comment is "Oh sh*t!

Maggie May said...

As regards the NHS it is easier to break into Fort Knox than to get an appointment. I know as I am trying to get something sorted out for Harry. All they do is give me a duff number to ring that immediately puts me on a *line is busy* message all day long. I am passed from pillar to post.
I have also been there done that with the brain scans & all the appointments (when you DO get them) overlapping. TIA sounds the most likely and Harry also had inconclusive brain scans.
The aspirin a day is important if OG isn't allergic or on warfarin or anything like that. Don't want to risk another one.

The surgeons joke was funny! I like the *building constructers* one and the *politician* was hilarious & summed it up nicely.

Retiredandcrazy said...

I know that I do drone on Rosiero, but whenever OG was getting treatment for his eyes in Switzerland all tests were arranged immediately that day. He was given a schedule and just went from department to department. Simples!

Retiredandcrazy said...

I remember trying arrange an appointment one a Friday afternoon once Maggie. Same thing, the line was continuously busy. Finally, in frustation, I rang another number and was told no-one worked in appointments after noon on Friday. Excuse me? What would these characters do if they had to work in the real world?

aims said...

What is with doctors these days?

A specialist I need just refused to see me because his secretary doesn't like me.

And they are supposed to be compassionate people?!

Sandi McBride said...

My GOD, that poor man! I don't know what to say...just hop a plane, come on over and stay with us and we'll get OG in to see one of my charm bracelet docs...they're all terrific...hope the Doppler goes well...can't say it's much good for weather predictions, so as a medical tool maybe it's better!

jay said...

Good grief, that's appalling! I hope OG gets his scan AND the results soon! The extra stuff will be useful, but I agree, when are they doing the doppler??

Good luck, I have a feeling you'll need it - though with a little luck, a migraine is indeed all it was. ;)

Anonymous said...

Believe me politicians are no better in the USA - We unfortunately had George W for four years (I still am not sure how he got elected the first time let alone the SECOND!!!) And I know how it goes with the doctors, too. They told my Dad in the beginning of March that he needed IMMEDIATE heart valve replacement surgery due to a blockage - then he couldn't even get an appointment to consult with the heart surgeon until May 12th. Then they wouldn't even schedule the surgery until August 17th. How's that for immediate. Oh well, between politicians and doctors I sometimes can't tell which is worse. Hope everything works out OK with OG!

Mare Freeborn

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

It is appalling that OG has had such a frustrating time. As everything seems to be recorded on a computer these days it is incredible that the NHS is not better organised.

Love your humour though RAC - you do make me laugh. A x

Mr. Nighttime said...

This is part of the reason why I get ambivalent about the idea of universal health care coverage run by the gov't. I worked in health care here in the States for too long to not know how they can screw things up so badly. Then again, the HMO system we have here in this country can be just as bad at times.

aims - He wouldn't see you because his secretary didn't like you??? Most doctors here would just tell the secretary to suck it up, and if they don't like it, there's the door. It's one thing if a patient is verbally abusive, which I'm hoping you weren't. But to just "not like you" is a bullshit excuse for not wanting to see you.

Mr. Nighttime said...

Oh,btw, since when is a TIA a migraine? A TIA, or transient ischemic attack, is sometimes referred to as a "mini-stroke." Who told you it was a migraine?

Eddie Bluelights said...

Super joke about the Politicians - one to store in my 'noddle'.
I was appauled to read about the botch ups with the appointments/waiting times/blunders.
I see this sort of thing every day whilst on Ambulance Duties. The organisation is hopeless.
My crew mate and I arrived at a ward to pick someone up and they not only gave us the wrong ward but the wrong patient as well. Loads of stories like this going onto my blog quite soon ~ Eddie

Retiredandcrazy said...

I have heard this happening here too aims. Whatever happened to "bedside manners". I understand they sometimes have to deal with difficult people, but we also have to deal with difficult health care workers and this "no tolerance" policy is NOT a two way street. There are murmerings that even nurses and doctors are afraid to complain about each other for fear of reprisals. It's horrendous.

Retiredandcrazy said...

Sad to say Sandi that his one ray of sunshine at the moment is me. Poor man indeed.

Retiredandcrazy said...

He now has an appointment to have the doppler on Tuesday 26th Jay. Not before time really because he has not been great this weekend.

Retiredandcrazy said...

Well Mare there is a saying that every country has the government it deserves , but I sure as hell don't know what we ever did wrong to get George W and Gordon Brown. we must be very bad citizens!

Retiredandcrazy said...

I think the Swiss model of healthcare works really well Mr Nightmare. It is mandetory for everyone to have private healthcare insurance which is paid according to means. Poor people get free healthwcare but there is no discrimination. Everyone gets exactly the same high level of care in a competitive open market system. Doctors have to be good because people vote with their feet.

Retiredandcrazy said...

OG had a series of what they diagnosed as TIA's nine years ago Mr Nightmare. He had a multitude of tests and was hospitalised for a week. Finally a consultant neurogolist concluded that it was migraine which in some instances can mimic a TIA. Well, I'm only tell you what he said!

Retiredandcrazy said...

I know Eddie, but it shouldn't be beyond of their wit to sort out the mess. I know I bang on about the excellent systems in Switzerland, but when there is a model that works why don't we learn something from it.

What about this for a revolution. Why doesn't someone on the doctor's clinical staff make the appointments with the various departments there and then, and arrange the final follow up for when the tests have been completed.

I hear you saying "but the doctor doesn't have a clinical staff". Well no, that's probably right, but if the appointments were made at one time, by one person, in the presence of the patient it would cut out all the wrong appointments for the wrong things on the wrong day being notified to patients by mail who then have to ring back to cancel or change the date, running the risk of upsetting the hypersensive reservations clerk who is operating a "no tolercance" policy and hey presto, you have your funding for that person and a happier patient and reservation clerk to boot! Magic!

It ain't rocket science.