It is quite sobering sitting here in the endoscopy unit, all these people (there are over twenty) the majority of which are waiting for endoscopies. Do they know what they are in for? If they do, then how the hell can they stay so calm. Some people are chatting, some reading books or newspaper, some on their phones, some are watching the daytime TV (renovating property at the moment), one couple are chatting. A man is called to see an Edinburgh liver consultant and needs help to get up and walk along, well the woman with him is helping in some sense but since she is in front, I have a feeling she is hurrying him along.

I have noticed one of the liver consultants come into the area and go through the restricted access doors; restricted in the sense that you need to be with a member of staff to get through them it seems. I am concerned the consultant is taking the clinic instead of My Consultant but carry on writing about observing the people around me. The local consultant calls my name and my heart sinks, my fears have come true. Why do I write fear here? This consultant isn’t My Consultant he doesn’t share my history and instead of a chat and catch up, the visit is going to be a rubber stamping exercise.

And it was, mainly because I let it be like that, the questions I would have asked My Consultant were left unsaid because I knew this consultant wouldn’t understand my needs and I didn’t have the energy or desire to change that. I despaired at first, but this quickly was overtaken by anger but I made a conscious effort to be civil to the poor guy. He asked the questions he needed to ask to do his job, and I responded to the letter of question rather than elaborate on anything. He asked when I last had my bloods taken, and I mentioned the last chicken gastroscopy incident because I couldn’t recall having had my bloods taken then, but shortly afterwards I recalled the picture in my mind. I don’t think the gastroscopy would have been mentioned because it wouldn’t have known about it; I knew he hadn’t looked at my notes, doctors never do for some reason.

He asked what medicines I was taking and I mentioned the Prozac but he didn’t register that as a change, how could he? I don’t think it is particularly unusual nowadays and he didn’t know my history. I fantasize My Consultant would have explored that a bit and we may have discussed PDA, and we may have talked about the disruption to my bowels the combined might of the immunosuppressant and antidepressant have.   He asked if I had taken my tacro that morning and when given the answer he wanted, proceeded to print off the labels for the blood samples he needed. He asked if I knew where to go to receive the needle and I wanted to say that I had been coming to that hospital for twenty years and the phlebotomist hadn’t moved in all that time, so of course I knew where to go; instead I politely answered that I did.

After releasing the blood samples (I am not sure giving is really the right verb to use there) and returned to my car and wondered what to do next. I have been doing too much the last few days for my mental wellbeing and thought I might just straight back home and have a break. I had said I would go to the recorder group afterwards and I thought the social side of that might be good for me, so I headed off there. I drove back from Dundee in the same manner I had proceeded there, having loud 80’s music on in the car and singing along; I took it as a bad sign that I couldn’t remember all the lyrics to the songs. I arrived at my friend’s house later than I expected due to heavy traffic and parked outside it on the road between two of the other player’s cars. I struggled to carry all my stuff into the house then realised I still had my sun glasses on and my everyday ones were still in the car. My friends were already playing and after changing my glasses, I made myself a mug of tea, grabbed some biscuits and sat down in the sunny front room to find some peace. I may have fallen asleep, my tea was cold and I could hardly hear the recorders in the background. I took a couple of more chocolate biscuits and returned to my seat to finish the tea.

Should I stay and play or go and have a bit of time to myself? I felt just by being in the same building as my friends I had had enough comfort from them and would take the spare hour to return home and do some writing. This is what I have done.

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