Mr. Ghosh and The Polyp or Haven’t You Gone Yet?
“We’ll have it all done by the end of May”, said Mr. Ghosh.
Mr. Ghosh is one of the ENT surgeons at BMI Highfield, Rochdale. A private clinic.
“We’ll just get you booked in for a scan (Computerised Tomography) and then we’ll book you in for surgery”.
My nose has been a curious combination of wholly blocked airways but a continuous dribblefest of mucus for the past several years and despite seeking treatment four years ago I have only recently been diag(nose)d (Sorry) with nasal polyps, which I can describe as being akin to having a pepper-coated jelly bean firmly inserted into the junction of both nostrils. In addition to producing enough snot to warrant the purchase of shares in various multinationals concerned with the production of tissue paper, they cause sneezing fits lasting over an hour which happen several times daily. If that wasn’t enough, I come close to asphyxiation each time I attempt to consume food or quench my thirst as there is zero airflow through either nostril. That and the fact that it’s not possible to taste or smell my food, or anything else for that matter. I have missed out on the joyful scents of spring and am unable to detect items that really shouldn’t be put into one’s mouth.
That was in March. I’d told Mr. Ghosh about my plans to cycle to Iran and that I wasn’t able to receive postal mail, having moved out of my apartment and into (what turned into) successive lodging arrangements and eventually, last summer, into my tent and then, when the winter started to bite, into a friend’s living vehicle where I have been ever since, so, would it be possible for him to communicate with me by e-mail or SMS? He didn’t seem sure but told me not to worry and it would all be sorted before my departure date.
Despite Samit’s (There have been so many calls to Mr. Ghosh on my part, that we’re on first name terms now) provision of his personal e-mail address and his continued assurances that everything would be fine and several missed appointments later, I rocked up for a mystery appointment three weeks ago, not knowing why I had been summonsed but quietly anxious that, following the results of the CT scan, a complication had developed. I needn’t have worried because, upon arrival for the appointment, I was informed that
“We’ve been trying to call you, Mr. Ghosh is not even in the country”.
“Oh”, I recoiled,
“What number have you been calling me on” I enquired, pulling the phone out of my pocket and examining it for signs of missed calls from days gone by. The receptionist read out a number that I didn’t recognise and was unable to explain how they had come by it and were at a further loss as to how they had successfully managed to send an SMS message informing me about the very same appointment just two days prior. They were, however, able to reappoint me for the following Tuesday and I was therefore able to contain my apprehension for another week.
So, after schlepping all the way to Rochdale for a second time that week, I could finally catch up with the elusive Mr. Ghosh and discover what it was that warranted further consultation: Nothing. Nothing warranted a further consultation and there was no new information.
“Well, why am I here?”, I asked
”Why have I twice slugged it out on public transport from Hebden Bridge?”
He apologised for not being around for the previous appointment and pulled another patient barcode sticker from his stickerbook to place in his surgical appointments arranger, only to be surprised that he’d already done it. On my first appointment.
In March. I had watched him do it.
It’s now the second week in July and I’ve just called his secretary again,
“Oh, didn’t you receive the letter we sent to you”? she asked.
I explained, for what must have been the fifth time, that I was unable to receive postal mail in a way that could be in any way useful and that they should please e-mail any correspondence and…
“Never mind”, I said, “let’s not wade through the molasses of non-systemic communication any longer and please can you just tell me the date of my surgery”?
“2nd August”, she said, “But you’ll need to come in for pre-surgical assessment first”.
It’s progress I suppose. But it’s not how I’d imagined it.
If anyone has received a terse reply to the question “Haven’t you gone yet”? This might go some of the way to explaining why.