First there was the tense attempt to buy a painkiller that contains codeine. I know there are now EU regulations that oblige the sales assistant to call the pharmacist and the pharmacist to summon Torquemada, but one would hope for a little common sense to kick in. For instance, when a greying, lucid (well, relatively) woman of mature years tries to make the modest purchase of 12 Neurofen Plus.
Were the pills for me? No, they were for my husband, standing right beside me, the husband whom, because of his cognitive impairment, I try to shield from dumb-ass inquisitions. People who can’t remember things dread questions and as the world is going to fill up with forgetful oldsters over the next twenty years we had better start recognising this. In the end of course I had to let the pharmacist have it her way because trying to get her to be sensitive to the situation and use her discretion would have caused even more of the very fuss I was trying to avoid.
I had in mind to go back later today, solo, and have it out with her, but then something else came along to annoy me, rather in the way cracking your head on a low beam takes your mind off a previously stubbed toe. The list of blood tests Mr F was to undergo had the wrong consultant’s name appended. Not a big problem, you might think. All the clerk had to do was scratch it out and write in the correct name. Uh-oh. Above her pay grade. In fact, above the pay grade of the entire blood test department.
So I had a choice. To write off the morning, return to the hospital next week and get the error corrected by the tired junior doctor who made it, or to cave in, let the bloods go their erroneous way and hope for the best. Making a fuss and demanding that someone have the sense to fix everything with the stroke of a biro didn’t seem like an option in a waiting room full of sick people. And I suppose it may be that in this over-regulated world showing initiative is now a sackable offence.
The score so far today, The System 2: Laurie 0.
But the good news from the kitchen is I just baked a mightily good Damson Crumble. Yes, it contains sugar. And yes, it will be served with cream. Live free or die! Well actually, live free but die anyway.