A few weeks ago my daughter had a bit of a dose on her. She decided she needed to see the doctor so I was left in an awkward situation. You see if I didn't bring her, I'd be a bad mother neglecting my daughter and in twenty years from now it would probably come up for her in therapy. So down we headed and let the doctor tell her what I could have told her myself 'Take two Nurofen and that'll be 50 quid please'. Well of course I never get to say the 'that'll be 50 quid please' piece, but then again, my daughter wouldn't see any of my advice as being worth tuppence. In a way, in this case, it did save me money though, because she was happy to take the tablets and head into school due to some pressing social engagements, as one does have at 13. But it wasn't all a waste, you see if she didn't go to the doctor I would have had to suggest she stay at home, and then I would have to stay at home to mind her, and that would mean taking an unpaid day from work. Well that's how I wrote off the 50 in my head to help me get over the pain of handing it across the reception desk.
There's something not very fair about doctors fees. Not long before that visit I'd been there with my son and his consultation was a long and difficult one. We were over an hour with the doctor, but it still cost the very same price. I was embarrassed leaving as I could see that the waiting room was now full of people whose appointments had all been delayed because of us, and possibly to recover that lost time the doc might now rush through people showing signs of heart attacks and just say 'two nurofen and that'll be 50 quid please'. There should be different rates, depending upon how long it takes, but this is Ireland, where our pride in not being bureaucratic leads to a system that is run on the basis of 'ah, whatever you can get away with'.
So here I am writing this blog in bed, down with a throat virus similar to the daughter's one and I have a dilemma. You see I've had this dose now for a whole week and it's just not going away. I suppose I have to hand it to the doctors really, I thought I knew the cure but I was wrong. You see I believed that if I just ignored it and kept going all week it would just go away, but now the cruel mirror on the wall and a little torch tell me that I'm doomed, white spots have found a home in my throat, I need an antibiotic. But maybe it will just go away on it's own, so I tried to cure it with whiskey and a day in bed, but it's stubborn. Unlike my daughter I don't have any pressing social engagements, but I do have a week at work coming up that I can't miss, and don't give me all that 'oh, we're all replaceable shit', because there really is stuff on, especially tomorrow, that I can't miss.Believe me, if I don't show up for work tomorrow, the whole corporation will collapse, it will have a domino effect on world recession and the Dow Jones index will turn into the abominable snowman. So even though it's easier to spend 60 quid (weekend rate) on 'take two Nurofen & an antibiotic', it annoys me that I have to be told by some doctor what I need when it's pretty obvious that I know. The chemist are happy to sell me medication that contains codeine over the counter but I have to pay 60 quid to get a note from someone to say its ok to give me an antibiotic.
Anyway, I need to save that 60 to make up for parking tickets and other unfair bills from our corrupt system. Last week this c*** of a traffic warden put a ticket on my car even though I didn't even park in the loading zone. I dropped off the kids and pulled in at it. Then jumped out of the car to give a kid money he forgot. The whole thing happened in about 3 minutes flat, and there was yer man putting the ticket on my wiper as I pulled out. But similarly to the guy who clamped me down at the long walk a few weeks ago, I managed to get through the whole ordeal biting my tongue and not calling either of them any of the names that I felt they were, nor did I shout 'I bet you're hung like a prawn', even if I did mumble it within earshot. The thing is, the punishment does not fit the crime, and it is only when I go to the doctor or get clamped or see them charge a fiver for a bunch of rosemary in tesco that's imported from Israel when most people don't realise they have a whopping big rosemary bush in their garden, only then do I miss the German bureaucracy, or let's say, only then do I understand it as being the price you have to pay if you want to do things right.
Even if it means that people become crashing bores, at least everything works properly. I suppose that's another dilemma though: go live with crashing bores and everything works, or stay in the land of the parochial hall where it's all great craic and sure don't I know your cousin Jane's husband so I'll look after you, so I will.
Oh God, I just feel another blog coming on about cronyism. Being bedridden is not good for the bitter and twisted mind.