You MIGHT know how to ease my pain. Possibly.
The problem with going for a late morning appointment (which I had to do because I needed a shower; after which I needed an hour to recuperate from the effort of having a shower) is that delays have really set in by that time.
My latest theory is that the combination of maintaining the waiting room at the approximate temperature and humidity of yer average tropical rain forest, and forcing you to wait for 40 minutes on an uncomfortable chair next to someone who apparently considers the Sherbert Dip Dab Lolly (do they still make those?) to be the last word in sophisticated parfumerie is actually all part of a Cunning Plan to reduce patient numbers. After all, it's not an experience you'd voluntarily put yourself through unless there was something fairly seriously amiss.
Oh, and have I ever mentioned the fire doors? Two of the buggers. On those very strong return springs which mean that, unless someone goes to the effort of closing them Very Carefully, they slam really hard. Which makes me flinch. Every time. Although there is some entertainment to be gleaned, I admit, from covertly observing one's fellow patients and judging from their general demeanour whether they will have the courtesy not to slam the door. Given time, I may even come up with a useful and informative chart showing the correlation between various items of clothing and consideration of other people. And, believe me, semi-transparent white capri pants worn over ghastly thong knickers and accessorised with gold creole hoop earrings from H Samuel are not doing well in those particular stakes. Oh no.
But I digress. Several centuries after first arriving at the surgery, I am eventually called in by the nice young doctor. Personfully fighting against my middle-class conditioning (the conditioning which makes you say, "Oh, that's lovely!" to the rogue hairdresser before running round the corner from the salon and bursting into appalled tears), I told him the truth.
He wrote me a list of the different stages of analgesia on one of the many spare pieces of green paper which are regularly spat out by the printer when it's been ordered to print a prescription, but it doesn't feel like playing ball. He likes lists, does this doctor. I've noticed this about him before. I bet he's got one of those Post-It "To Do" sticky pads on the fridge at home. Maybe he's on Tramadol, and has never got past the blurriness?
Anyway, the upshot of this list is that Tramadol is the least harmful of the opioids and therefore the one whose possibilities have to be exhuasted before anything else can be prescribed. So he's doubled the dose to the maximum 400 mg a day. Which means, unless my calculations are out, that I'm now taking 31 tablets a day. He's given me a sick note for four weeks and told me that I've got to allow the higher dose the full four weeks to take effect before concluding that Tramadol truly is pants. In light of which, I've decided that all the misery and weepiness has got to stop. Right now. Because it's really not good for me.
One of the problems with being effectively incarcerated in one's own home for weeks on end is the number of regular appointments one is forced to break. It's over a month, for example, since I should have been for my annual eye test. Doubly annoying because I have an absolutely fab new pair of frames for the lovely Mr Blankstone to glaze for me.
Worse than that, though, is the fact that it's now twelve weeks since I last went to the hairdresser, with the result that I can barely see out. That fringe is so tickly it's driving me mad. Of course, I could take a pair of scissors to it (after all, it's not as though I'm out and about and seeing people - the fact that I can't cut hair straight wouldn't result me in being pointed at in the street. Well, no more than usual). But I'm now rather intrigued to see what will happen next. And, frankly, given how ill I look, the sooner it grows long enough to hide the dark circles under my eyes, the better. (I don't actually have a shower attachment growing out of my head, by the way. Just in case you were wondering.)
That's a very odd photograph all round, really. Not only do I seem to have rather carelessly mislaid my ears, but I'm also doing an uncannily-accurate impersonation of whichever one it was out of Thingummy and Bob who didn't have a little pointy hat.