Okay Dr, I’ll See You At the Pub

Hello all, a very simple blog this. It won’t take long.

Last week I took an exceptionally bad pain in my right ear. Now, I spent a lot of time with this pain about ten years ago, including several trips to appointments at the hospital. It was never particularly solved, my hearing was declared perfect, there were no growths, no visible reasons why I should have this pain and sometimes deafness.

A complete mystery until about two years ago when a doctor suggested it might be caused by my hayfever. She prescribed me a spray for my ear and like magic the pain went!

It was at that point that my doctors, any one of them that I spoke to, would tell me that any pain in the ear had to be looked at by a GP. I understood that. Even after the spray helped. A pain in the ear could be something more sinister, even just an infection, and should always be checked by your GP just to be sure. Infection might be the cause, which could lead to deafness if untreated. Ears were always to be treated seriously. You must be seen by your GP.

Until the pandemic.

Ears are not important any more. The pain in an ear, very unlikely to be an infection, more likely, now to be a reaction to some allergy like hayfever. If the spray worked then woo hoo! A doctor doesn’t need to see it. Does it have a discharge? It doesn’t matter what you reply to that, it’s an allergy!

Last week I spoke to my doctor, he was lovely. It was on Friday that we talked, a bad day for getting prescription items unless the prescription is handed to you by your doctor. If it is then you can go to your pharamacy, hand in the prescription and walk about with your new medications.

Not these days. I spoke to the doctor on the phone. He prescribed entirely new drugs for dealing with the pain and the allergy. The prescription would be sent to the pharmacy near me and I would get a text from them when the prescription was ready. Tuesday is upon us.

We’ve gone backwards. From being able to secure a prescription on the same to day to help with pain and allergies (causing inflammation and other effects) to having to wait into a fourth day for those medications, not even assured that they will be ready yet.

Pubs are open though. Beer gardens and now some indoor places. I don’t have a problem with that. Hospitality needs to get moving again, mostly for the people who work in the sector. What I do have a problem with is now it is easier to meet someone in a beer garden or inside a pub than it is to get a face-to-face appointment with your GP.

Holyrood, we have a problem.

Will you fix it?