Adventures in Socialized Medicine
Today I decided it was high time for me to experience socialized medicine. Actually, my foot decided by swelling up hugely last night after walking around Soho. My first interaction with this wonderful innovation of healthcare was calling the National Health Service (NHS) hotline at 1 am. They took down my details and asked me what was injured (foot) and proceeded to ask me some awesome questions like:
1. Are you in a safe place?
2. Have you been hit by a speeding object, like a speeding bullet?
3. Have you fallen from a distance greater than your height?
4. Have you been stabbed with a knife?
I somehow think that if the answer to any of these questions was yes, there would be a very different reaction on the phone instead of a bored girl in pain. But... red tape is red tape. They decided I wasn't in a sketchy alley being shot at by gang members after being stabbed and falling off a building, so they decided they could call me back. An hour later, an actual doctor, nurse, or someone with good fake medical knowledge called me back and decided that, yes, my foot did hurt and, yes, I couldn't walk. So insightful. She found me a hospital online that I could go to a 9 am.
This morning we set off to find the hospital, which was a convenient 20 minute walk away. That's awesome in London terms, but not so much if your foot is 'sploding. The receptionist took my name (Elyssa) and told me to sit. After a short wait (comparatively to the U.S.) I was shown into a curtained area and a nurse (?) examined my foot by basically pushing it and asking if it hurt. She also told me it wasn't swollen (as I had iced it on and off all last night) but that she believed me when I said it was. In the meantime, I overhear this monologue:
Random man: I was here last week, after a car collided with me. I had a broken leg and you sent me to St. Mary's because I had a swollen knee and an abrasion. And they did nothing for the abrasion.... and I'd like crutches please.
(Just an aside... WHY am I at the hospital that can't give a man with a BROKEN LEG crutches?!)
The nurse then tells me that my foot is not broken because I can walk (but by now I have no faith in her) and to... ice it and elevate it. And then she sends me on my merry way. X-ray-less, crutch-less, and, oh, even ace-bandage-less.
To conclude.... ow.