The food sucks (NHS Hospital food is worse than plane food), other patients can be loud, disruptive and ruin my sleep (Marie!), and the slowness of the whole process and lack of communication about what’s happening and when can drive you crazy.
I’ve also just been attacked by a needle in my tummy and various other poking and proddings throughout the day so I’m not a happy lass.
However, it’s not all disappointment and pain… So far I’ve enjoyed and am thankful for…
 A Friendly Experience
The staff nurses are wonderful here. They’re gorgeous and fab, have the kindest hearts, the patience of actual saints, and the most inspiring commitment to providing excellent service to patients.
Even despite the fight for better pay and the monthly strikes in the public medical sector, when they are here, from what I’ve seen they exceed all expectations in patient care.
(This is at Royal Oldham Hospital mind you. It may not be the same everywhere.)
 Free healthcare!
This whole malarkey is completely my fault for totally neglecting to renew my private healthcare cover. BUT, at the end of the day, although the process was miles slower and much less efficient than it would have been going private, I still got what I needed – a repaired right Achilles tendon (I hope) – and all for FREE! (Kind of. It’s what my taxes pay for, I guess.)
 Peace, quiet and time to contemplate.
I arrived back in the country (London Heathrow) on Friday, rushed to doctors and hospital appointments on Saturday, slept through the majority of Sunday (jet lag), arrived home past 11pm that night, and went straight to work on Monday morning. If I’d gone private, I’d have taken the next day off for surgery (Tuesday) and be back to the grindstone on Wednesday. Now, because of this slow process, I have the whole weekend to recover from tomorrow’s surgery which is a much better and safer idea! And, referring back to the book (In Praise of Slow) and man (by Carl Honoré) who first got me hooked on the idea of embracing ‘slow’ in life, sometimes slow and steady really does win the race so appreciate and cherish your down time. Because it gives you time to be a human being again rather than a human doing. (Cheesy, I know, but oh so true!)
 Random chit chat with random peeps
You meet some interesting characters when you are on a ward with four other ladies. I’m accustomed to the 5* treatment as organised by UKA/British Athletics – a private room in London for a night; I literally didn’t want to leave…it felt like a spa break! Even the food was high-end restaurant quality. Ah. I miss that luxury living. OK…back to reality! This time is totally new, but not horrendous. One old woman even called me a ‘bonny’ lass. I love being back in the North! 😉
 Family visits
My two previous surgeries were in London. One surgery, my brother ended up picking me up from the hospital. But he doesn’t drive. And I thought I was superwoman. So theorised I had the strength to hobble on crutches from The Princess Grace Hospital to Euston station, normally a 5-10-minute walk away. I struggled to even make it out of the hospital, let alone that crazy Mission Impossible. We took a bus. (In hindsight, a taxi would have been better). And I had to journey home alone from London to Manchester where I was picked up by my mum. On this occasion, I’m already in Manchester, my mum (read ‘step-dad’) dropped me off and she’ll pick me up (and she brought food!). This point alone potentially triumphs any other private-life perks I’d previously experienced!
So there you have it. The good and the bad! Now if there was a toss-up, going private in London may have been my first-choice, but one thing I know for sure, focusing on the positives really does help you to better deal with bad situations! Try it!
What silver lining were you able to find in your life’s dark clouds and thunderstorms? And what are your thoughts on free public health services vs private?
Thanks for reading. Stay blessed and positive!