On Friday afternoon I went to Jerantut Hospital to get my hypertension medication. It was about 3pm. As usual I had to go through screening and what do you know, my blood pressure reading was 197/128.
So I was made to take the pill and rest for half an hour before seeing the doctor: a practice at the hospital that I never questioned. After all, doctors would know best.
After half an hour of rest, I went to the screening room again. No one was around. I waited for five minutes then enquired at the registration counter. I was asked to wait. It was past half-past four. Hospital closes at five. I was getting quite agitated. I went looking for the assistant nurse who took my bp reading earlier. She said she was off duty. Somebody else was on duty then. I asked her to help me find the person or find me a doctor coz it was almost five and the doctor’s room I was assigned to was empty. I saw the doctor walking away while I was resting after taking the medicine. He even waved at me [he remembered me from my son’s dengue fever case].
Eventually, somebody came and took my bp reading. It remained the same. I was starting to feel stressed. I asked where I was supposed to go to since there was no doctor in the examination room. An HA [Health Assistant] passed by. He suggested I go to the Emergency Unit. I thought there was no point for that. I could go and see a private doctor. I went to the hospital in the first place because I wanted to get my medication which, since I am a public servant, I thought it is appropriate for me to utilize government facilities such as the hospital. After all, free health care is part of the fringe benefit accorded to public servants [I wonder if other public servants in other countries enjoy this benefit].
Upon hearing that I wanted to leave, five nurses surrounded me. One took the hospital card nobody knew what to do with earlier, the rest hold my arms and coaxed me into staying because it would be dangerous for me to leave in my condition [they knew I drove myself to the hospital]. One even asked if I wanted to be pushed in a wheelchair. Sheeeeeeeezzzzzz!!!
That did me in. I couldn’t hold the tears in the well. I was embarrassed. The whole thing was turning into a melodrama. I asked to sit down. The pain in my knee was so bad [could stress do that?]. The nurses kept asking me why I wanted to leave. I said I just wanted to see a doctor and get my medication and since there was no doctor to attend to me, I needed to make haste and go to a private clinic before it closed for the day.
I got up to go and they tried to stop me. It must have looked really awkward. The nurse who took my hospital card earlier came running with my medication. I have no idea how she got them because I did not get to see any doctor. It was a month supply of nifedipine and metoprolol.
Spondylosis and metoprolol … hmmm … perhaps I had better start shopping for a wheelchair while I can still drag my legs.