Please just explain…

Twins’ going out coats, courtesy of Granny Pat. Aw!

Apologies for the shocking one day hiatus but yesterday was MANIC. I had to go to the GP to get signed off these stupid anti-clotting injections – the hospital made (another) mistake on the prescription and has given me 6 weeks when it should be one, and now the swelling has gone down am having to stab myself in somewhat sensitive flesh with the needles every morning…Anyway, did the GP manage to sort this out? No. She needs to speak to the hospital. Like the midwife needed to speak to the hospital. And the consultant needed to speak to the pharmacist, and…circles of hell. Have therefore just taken myself off them, as am patently mobile enough to prevent clotting.

Because not only was I in jeans yesterday (oh glorious day!) but the GP visit was followed by – steady yourselves – taking the twins to the dry cleaners and the framers! Psyched! And then we went and made some surprise presents for the Grandparents which I obviously cannot reveal here!

And then to cap it all, we had the thrill of our first health visitor. Who was here for ONE HOUR AND FIFTY MINUTES. Can someone please explain WTAF the point is of health visitors? I tried to get her to outline the role vs community midwives/GP/practice nurses and she struggled.

She was a really pleasant lady and patently had half a brain, but  what a waste of time and NHS money. In a country where dependent on postcode you often cannot get cancer treatments:

  • I was given vitamin supplements for the twins. Vitamins are notoriously difficult to absorb unless they occur naturally in food. I am breastfeeding them. I eat well. They go out in the sun each day. But no, everyone gets the supplements. Apparently because of the growing incidence of Ricketts. And then you get into a hideous PC thing, because the health visitor is black, Ricketts is growing amongst the black population, because African skin didn’t need to store vitamin D because it’s permanently exposed to the sun. But can we say that? So, no, tens of millions are spent on giving everyone vitamins.
  • Likewise the 200 page NHS booklet of inanities on childrearing – I have everything Amazon could provide already.
  • She was on ‘I have pressed Play and you are therefore going to get the full script’ so, despite her saying, wow, tandem breastfeeding, they’re latching on well, I got ‘I’d really recommend you come to a breastfeeding cafe [that involves a Tube journey which I can’t take the twin buggy on] where we can teach you about latching on’. Likewise, after being told THREE times the twins get massaged each evening after the bath, I was repeatedly invited to the massage courses she runs. Which I obviously can’t go to anyway as I have TWO. Oo, and the following exchange:

HV: So, do you have a drink to hand while you’re breastfeeding?

Me: No. I can’t, can I? As I can’t reach.

HV: It’s important you drink throughout.

Me: Yes, but I can’t, can I? Look, two babies, two hands.

HV: Because breast feeding is very dehydrating.

Me: I CAN’T! I DRINK BEFORE AND AFTER! I AM HOLDING BOTH THEIR HEADS! I HAVE TWINS!!!

And so it went on. How many bedrooms do you have? What educational level did you reach (cue a very childish ‘MA from Oxford’ riposte, ‘why are you asking’, ‘to ascertain whether you can absorb information’)…

I batted the ‘does your partner work very long hours?’ and ‘is he working away from home’ as obviously you then go on the post natal depression risk register and the visits would be even more frequent…

But the thing that made me quietly seethe was – given I was trying to breastfeed all this time, change the girls, settle them etc – was she sat and filled in Charlotte’s ‘red book’ and then went through ALL the questions again for Romilly. Despite the answers, like the twins, being mostly identical. And even then got most of the dates wrong, filled in the weight charts incorrectly so I had to point out she was 4 weeks off etc.

This is SUCH a harsh thing to say, but I do wonder whether some of these services pick on the middle class and aged, because we’re not going to restrict access, so they can tick on their chart that they’ve done x visits, on y days, and they hit their targets…but all that means is they’re not visiting the scary families where the children are at genuine risk.

And if anyone can tell me a) what a 1h 50min HV costs b) the national vitamin programme c) the bundle of books and leaflets I’ve been given, then I, and possibly the Daily Mail (!) would be very interested.

To add insult to injury…in that entire time, did she examine the twins much less weigh them? Me? Comment on the fact they both decided to ‘perform’ by projectile vomiting after the feed? The fact Romilly has an eye infection? No. Instead it was, in singsong voice ‘are you keeping a recollection book?’ No. Am writing a blog with invective about things like THIS!

And breathe.

On a more pleasant note, lovely little Ben who was here at the weekend couldn’t say Romilly so has christened her Rumbly. Perfect. Still searching for a nickname for Charlotte as ‘Fatso’ doesn’t see sufficiently maternal, despite its accuracy!

The next entry will be more positive, promise! Well, I say that, but then we have the midwife this afternoon, so you never know 😉

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3 thoughts on “Please just explain…

  1. This made me laugh and wince in equal measure.

    My son is due his 2 year assessment (he is 2yrs 2 months) but I’m going to hold out, see how long it takes her to contact me. She did his last assessment 6 months after I rang her manager to complain.

    Frankly I think I might just ask my cat to don a pair of glasses, carry a clipboard, and wield a pen to do the work the HV doesn’t do. Would be less stressful and much more amusing.

    >and breathe!<

  2. Oh dear!!! Sorry, but I had to laugh at this as I would have blown a gasket too if it had been me!! Pity you got the “job’s worth” who followed the script religeously no matter what you said in reply. I would fire in a “Subject Access Request” for the notes of her visit – they would probably make interesting reading – if not grounds for legal action!!

  3. Reminds me of the health visitor who came (5 days later than due) after Ellie was born and spent the entire visit renouncing cats and their evil ways and instructing me to get rid of my three. And then left without taking ANY measurements or asking me ANY questions…

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