You'd think that seeing as how that stupid old prick, Dr Jacobus Du Preez (I'm not shitting you, that was his real name), had just demonstrated his total lack of competency, that he'd be a little more careful not to repeat the excercise. Not so.
Having established that I wasn't some drug-crazed hippie trying to scam drugs (although if he had asked what drugs I wanted in the first place, he may have established it a little earlier), he magnanimously offered to prescribe me some, "What medication are you taking?" he inquired, still refusing to acknowledge that the TV screen on his desk was full of information about me, and was in fact, there to help him.
"Norvasc, Avapro HCT and Caduet" I shot back at him, starting to get a little miffed at the local insane asylum for being derelict in it's duty of care to the rest of us by letting this fucking moron out on the streets.
"I don't prescribe Norvasc, it's too expensive and it makes your ankles swell."
"I've been taking it for 10 years, and while I don't wear dresses, I've got nothing against having swell ankles Potsie" is what I would have said if I had the slightest inkling that this retard would have understood wordplay, but as he was having difficulty with English, I simply stated that it had been effective in keeping my condition stable for ten years, and that a change simply in the basis of cost would be in, my opinion, unwise. Not to mention unwarranted, given that all drugs on the PBS (pharmaceutical benefits scheme), which these all are, cost the same anyway.
But no, he wasn't having a bar of it; so picking up the phone, he contacted the PBS and got an exemption through the Department of Veterans Affairs (and no, you haven't missed something, I'm not a veteran) for me due to my 'being confused' (again, I'm not making this up). I learned later from a chemist, that what he prescribed was the same as what I was taking but cost $1500 a month as opposed to the $30 a month for the one I was already on, due it his not being covered by the PBS.
Having wasted yet another person's time, he returned his attention (what little there was) to me, "What dosage are you taking for the other two?"
"I'm not 100% certain, I do have that information on my PDA, but I didn't bring it with me since your computer screen is easier to read, and the dosage hasn't changed in the past 6 years that your automated prescription program has been printing out the scripts."
At this point, rather than look at the data stored in the prescription system, he decided to review the consultation notes that are also sent directly to their system. And here's where he proved that he wasn't just stupid, but he was in fact senile. He pulled up the notes and started mumbling, but I was able to pick up a few words, enough to realise that yet again he was reading the wrong thing!
Leaning over to his side of the desk again, I saw that the consultation notes were from 2003, so I said "No, that's the wrong one, you want the one from the last consultation. The look of total confusion was hard not to laugh at, but what almost caused me to burst into hysterics was his response…"How do you know that?"
"It says so on the date."
"Splutter, cough, gurgle..where does it say that?"
"At the top of the page." But I was too late, by now he'd scrolled down and the date had disappeared off the top of the screen. "Just scroll back up and you can see it." But this advice simply resulted in a flurry of mouse clicking and window closing until at last he had a blank screen in front of him. At this point I started laughing.
Eventually he got back into the system (although I'm not sure he meant to), and was able to finally get the right dosage for the meds. It was at this point that he thought to check my blood pressure. Now I must explain that I've been doing this for years now, and the whole process from start to finish takes about 5 to 7 minutes but is usually padded out to 10 with some small talk while we wait for the prescriptions get printed.
"I should take your blood pressure."
"Well I can tell you that's it's not going to be very good, given that it's stress related, and I've been debating with you for the past 20 minutes, in addition to the hour I spent in the waiting room." So he took my BP and was shocked that it was 190/110 (I wasn't, I was expecting it, plus I've seen it a lot worse).
"That's very high!"
"Yeah, it's probably because I have malignant hypertension, and I've been under unnecessary stress for the past hour and a half, as well as not have had any medication yet", was my terse reply.
You haven't taken your medication?" He was absolutely incredulous.
"No I haven't, I would have taken them by now, if it wasn't for a senile, arrogant GP with his head stuck so far up his arse that he was unable to reach the mouse in order to click the print button and give me my fucking prescriptions!!"
Finally, I had the holy grail in my hot little hand and I headed for the chemist (I have to get them filled on the Coast, because in the past the Indian doctors have prescribed dosages that no longer exist, and while the chemist on the Coast can just ring them and tell them that he's changing the script, my chemist up here won't do that as she doesn't know the doctors).
Well all good sundaes deserve a cherry, and here's the one for this rant…when girl called my name to collect my meds, she informed me that they didn't have one of them, and yes, it was the one that started this whole sorry affair
I explained that I'd driven three hours to get here, and she helpfully suggested that I phone ahead next time to make sure they have them. I not so helpfully suggested that they are a fucking chemist, these are very common drugs, particularly since they are located across the road from a retirement village, of which 80% of the residents have high blood pressure, so they should have the damn things in stock. Oh and cancel the other two, I'll get them back at Tamworth.
Yes it was fun all round.
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