Knitting with the Monsters...

My life with two toddlers and two cats, all of whom are out to drive me nuts and destroy my knitting!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Ahh the horrors of the British Summer...

So we're moving. Apparently in 2 weeks exactly despite not having exchanged contracts. Oh-kay. It's hot. It's sticky. My air conditioner (hey, I'm American and we don't suffer needlessly without a fight) is 'cooling' down our one darkened room (think cave-like) down to a chilly 26-28deg. It's still better than what it's like outside. It also is helping the Jamie monster sleep.

I've just recovered from a nasty throat infection. What kind it is we'll never know. Now here is my basic problem with any private or public healthcare on this weird little island... they're CHEAP. Even when you pay, the system is cheap, so they don't do little things like take a bloody throat culture. Tamsin (who's worked for the NHS plus loves being a devil's advocate) says well it's an expensive test to do for everyone with a sore throat. When I said well what if they've got pus on it? She said fair enough but they still do NOT DO throat cultures in this country.

I went to the doc's Monday morning after discovering pus on the back of my tonsils. I've had strep throat on and off my whole life - which is why my tonsils ain't the prettiest pair ever - so I KNOW what it feels like. I KNOW when I have it. Yet I go in, tell the man I think I might have it, he looks at my throat, feels the lymph nodes, takes my temp (I'd already been on nurofen so I'm sure that was far from accurate!!) and says, "well studies have shown that with antibiotics the infection even if it isn't bacterial will clear up 16hrs faster. But we can't be sure that it's bacterial. So what do you want to do?" EXCUSE ME?? Are you asking the patient to treat themselves? WTF!!!???

In the states, you'd have gone in, they'd have done the same assessment, they'd have taken a throat culture which is a little cotton swab that is enclosed and sent off to the lab, they send you home with drugs then they will CALL YOU with the results.

**ring ring** "Yes?" "Oh hello Mrs. X, this is the hospital. Your culture has come back positive for strep throat. So keep taking the precribed medication" " oh thank you, goodbye".

or maybe even,

*ring ring* "Hello?" "Hello is that Mrs. X?" "Yes it is" "This is the hospital, we've gotten your throat culture back and the test is negative. You can stop taking your prescription and please make another appointment with your dr. if the throat infection does not clear in the next 24hrs" "Oh thank you, goodbye".

There. Was THAT so hard? But noooo... this country's too cheap for that. So not knowing this country was really THAT bad, I went back on Wednesday because it had actually gotten slightly worse. And instead of 'well let's actually see if something's wrong', I was told that it 'must' be viral and there was nothing that could be done. Good f*&king grief. And then after a conversation, no treatment! with the doctor, I got to pay £60 for the priviledge of getting told nothing. What a freaking rip off.

And if you're still with me, dear reader ,that's only one small iota (no, I don't know what an iota is, either) of my frustration at the moment. Has the world gone mad with heat stroke? Is everyone in existence (okay that I've dealt with) in the world gone completely mad?

Quite possibly.

And why is it that women in the City (that's London's financial district for those who wouldn't know what the City I'm referring to is) in the summer can all wear nice airy skirts and tops and flip flops yet the men - one of course whom I'm married to - have to wear suits? Yes they could indulge and buy linen or cotton for the 2 weeks out of the year on certain years that they would wear them, but we all know they look like a wrinkled mess after about 1 minute sitting in the office after the walk/cabride/tuberide to work and being sweaty.

Day after day in this heatwave my poor dh has walked to work, 30 mins each way in the sweltering heat. Oh, to top it off, for those of you not around the city, there is contruction - EVERYWHERE. Every bridge from westminster to London Bridge is either tied up with construction jamming it up, if not on the bridge, just before or after it. After several 45 minute-when-it-should-have-been-5 minutes cab rides, dh has given up and is walking. So WHY is it that the men MUST wear suits? I'm not suggesting that we force the women to as well, just that maybe there should be a teeny bit less of a double standard on this issue. and that's from a relative feminist!

I bet everyone would be alot more comfy if the men could walk around in shorts. Maybe there should be a fashion revolution for the first time in about 100 years and change the way a suit looks? How about a short sleeve/shorts version? Anyone? no? Okay, it probably wouldn't work... But it IS a damned good idea.

Hmm. Am I done ranting and raving? Yeah pretty much.

Onto knitting news.

Have been back to Stash - took tamsin after my horrid second dr's appt on Wednesday. I got Mason-Dixon Knitting - oh why have I waited so long? and spring's vogue knitting and more desert flower sock wool for moi and some blue sky cotton in bright pink for maddie and .. .. .. .. about a gazillion pairs of addi turbo circulars for socks.

Am almost finished with the first sock - it's been hard going trying to knit in this heat. I fear SSS so for my next attempt which are going to be Jaywalkers for my sister, I'm going to try BOTH on circulars at the SAME time! Wish me luck...

And I'm off. To knit in the cool heat of my room with the Jamie monster beside me sleeping peacefully. Which should last as long as my first stitch...


At 7:27 PM , Blogger Tusa said...

Hope you feel better soon. My sibs in the US also say it is far better there, so I understand where you are coming from (by proxy of course). But you guys also pay through the nose for it. Swings and roundabouts I suppose. If you are a private patient – demand more… I would.

I work in the city too and know exactly what you mean, although I spotted one gentleman going into work in shorts and a t-shirt. I gathered he had his suit in the office. A bit like what I do.

At 7:29 AM , Anonymous bug said...

wow kate your a mess! I hear ya about the moving and the great unknowns of it all. were still waiting for our contract back from the sellers with a tentative closing date of august 29! that gives us two days to move before having to pay another month of rent! oh, and trust me, the good ole' USA aint much better for the health care. steve needs an endoscopy but we have to pay extra for the anesthesia! WTF!!! how can you go shove a camera down someones throat and expect them to not gag and choke with out it!! and better yet is that we will end up paying almost 1/4 of the entire cost after all is said and done! yeah, and thats "covered" for ya. talk to ya son! hang in there!


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