Growing up under the NHS in London was great. Until it wasn’t.
Raging Despots of Doctors receptionists. Doctors with God complex’s. Nurses who idolised the piggin’ idiots and made them even more delusional if possible!
Oh and let’s not forget the ever present cup of tea. I’m quite sure they even stopped operations for surgeons to have their tea break!
It all climaxed with us, the patients being a bit of a bloody nuisance if anything. I definitely felt treated as a convenience or tool of the trade by some.
This resulted in some embarrassing situations! As I got older, there were more toe curling episodes for them as I grew into my attitude but as a young girl, well – if we’re telling embarassing stories here goes.. it’s hard to pick just one isn’t it?!
When I was 19 I had to see a specialist for “Wimmins problems” and, living in central London as I did, I was seen at Westminster Hospital. This was a teaching hospital back in the day, so, in addition to “God” strolling the wards, you had a gaggle of white coated idiots fluttering around him and stampeding like elephants.
You knew when they were coming a mile away because the ever present tea cup would start rattling in it’s saucer on your nightstand! “Luckily” this particular visit was as an outpatient.
I was very timid with Doctors back then, completely unlike my present day self!! Probably WHY I am the way I am with doctors now actually..
I was called through from the waiting room into a tiny little broom cupboard of an exam room. It was painted lilac. Every hospital room and undertakers I’ve ever been in has been painted lilac. It’s no wonder I hate the bloody color!
I was told to get undressed and lie on this bed/trolley thing with no knickers on – argh!
There is no worse feeling when you’re already nervous and feeling vulnerable than (as Tom Petty would say) – freeballin’!
Worse was to come.
Helga, the hairy-faced, wart-encrusted Russian shot-putting nurse insisted with a malicious gleam that my legs had to be placed in stirrups. “For Doktor”. It was I thought, every nightmare come true.
Anyway, about 115 years later in embarrassment years in walks this tiny little old man. He was almost completely bald except for little fluffy tufts of white hair and a long white coat…. I swear he was an extra in the Harry Potter films. He had glasses like milk bottle bottoms and blinked like Benny Hill too.
Anyway, he walks in and says “Ahh, Miss Funny-Fanny, you don’t mind if the students come in do you?” Without waiting for a reply, he RIPPED back the curtain to reveal about ten students, all in white coats, all male..
I can tell you now, I wanted to die.
So this extra from Hogwarts stands there, oblivious, explaining what my symptoms were and asking for ideas and all the while I’ve got my legs in the air!
And no knickers!!
He then decided it was time to “examine” me. This involved using a medieval torture device for – well let’s just say holding “things” apart.
That’s STILL as much detail as I can bring myself to give!
So he has one of the students directing an Ikea-style angle-poise lamp* at me while he gets his head between my legs to take a look.
(*No expense spared on the NHS. On reflection I suppose I should be glad it wasn’t a miners Pith Helmet….)
“I say Miss Funny-Fanny, you have a stunning neck of womb. Have a look at this chaps, it’s perfect.”
I couldn’t believe it – just shoot me now. You just couldn’t make this shit up.
So with that, a further ten men dutifully stick their heads between my legs to look at the neck of my womb.
You know – I bet I can honestly say not one of the other girls here has EVER been complimented on the neck of her womb quite like this..
Anyway, thankfully the trauma – and make no mistake, it WAS a trauma – ended. I retrieved my knickers… I could have done with some of that strip wax then to secure them in place because NO ONE was getting near them ever again!
That might have been the end of that but it wasn’t quite the end of the story – oooh no, the angels weren’t QUITE finished laughing at me quite yet!
About six weeks later I was at a cocktail party with my parents. It was being hosted by my Godmother who was the nursing administrator of the hospital and was in aid of the hospital and medical school. Not a cause I was overly enamoured of at that point but I wasn’t really in a position to explain why!
Lo and behold, who was there but one of the students. He kept looking over and obviously thought he recognised me from somewhere.
He came over and introduced himself and asked “Don’t I know you from somewhere?” to which little Miss Crabby replied “No. Piss off” and walked away!
Thats so long ago and I’m STILL sitting here cringing and going alternately red and cold telling this story!