Wednesday, 28 August 2013

A guest post from Kate Ansell - THE LOVELY VOLUNTEER

A fortnight ago, partly by choice and partly through genetic circumstance, I found myself with three hospital appointments in three days.  By day three, I’d sort of had enough of healthcare environments  Fun tho it was to compare the waiting rooms and clientele with one another – Twitter seemed convinced the men eating sarnies in the gynaecology waiting area were all transgender; I was more certain they’d just bought a lunchtime butty from the stall around the corner and stumbled in by accident – by day three, it wasn’t funny anymore.  
It was therefore unfortunate that I got invited to another hospital appointment a week later – I’m just medically interesting.

Having been such a regular attendee, I thought I knew my way round St George’s Hospital, so blithely left my appointment letter and map at home, having entered what I thought were all the relevant details into my phone.  St George’s feels like it’s as big as two Hyde Parks, but I got the taxi driver to drop me off outside the relevant wing, and all seemed well.

So I was a bit befuddled to find myself stomping up and down the corridor ten minutes later, failing to find the clinic I was supposed to be attending, or even a sign pointing in that direction.  Plus, I’m disabled and walk with a stick, so stomping is not a core skill of mine. 
Which is when Lovely Volunteer came to my rescue.  I can only call him Lovely Volunteer because I didn’t get a chance to read his name badge, which is a shame. 

Lovely Volunteer accosted me in the corridor, sat me down, and helped me figure out where I was supposed to be going, even though he was as confused as I was by the information I’d been given.  He gave me his best possible guess at where I was supposed to be, and told me to come back if he was wrong. 

Brilliantly, he was right, and I attended my clinic without further incident.  I got sent for some blood test, got confused about where I was supposed to be going, and Lovely Volunteer pointed me in the right direction again, thus saving me miles of pointless knackering stomping.  Hurrah!

The other thing about Lovely Volunteer is I’m pretty sure he had the same impairment as me – I admit it, I didn’t look at his name badge ‘cos I was too busy looking at the alignment of his knees and feet, if anyone did that to me I’d punch them, I  can only apologise – so I’m going to take a guess that hanging out in hospital corridors looking for lost people to help out probably isn’t the easiest or most comfortable way for him to spend his day.  That’s his choice and I salute him for it.  If I could get you a stool to perch on, I would, mate.  But, thank you.

Kate Ansell can be found on twitter @CrippledWriter

1 comment:

  1. This was great to read, the hospital sounds huge!

    I had a great experience in Ikea, the lady on customer service was really patient, sweet and just a really nice person who made life that little bit easier. I let the manager know so she will get a badge I'm told :-)