I Impress the NHS with my Great Knowledge of Medical Matters

Just taken Piglet for his BCG vaccination.

I don’t think this was as entertaining for Piglet as it was for me, as he screamed blue murder throughout the experience.  However, it was necessary, warned the nurse, as TB is “everywhere.”

“Ah,” she said, leafing through Piglet’s red book, “you have just moved here.”

“Well, not moved exactly.  I stayed with my mum for the birth, so Piglet was born in Bristol.”

“Hmmpphh” said the nurse, continuing to look through the red book, “anyone would think it was a different country.  These books are all different!  Everyone does their own thing, every borough, every county.  Even in East London the red books are different!”

“Are they?  Sorry.”  Yet again I have inconvenienced the NHS with my rudeness as not remaining in the same village from cradle to grave like an eighteenth century peasant.

“So,” the nurse continued.  “How old is he?  Why hasn’t he had a BCG vaccination yet?”

“They don’t do them in Bristol.”

“Ah, it is because they are posh!  They think it doesn’t affect them, but I tell you, TB is EVERYWHERE!”

I have visions of it chasing us down Wembley High Road.  It must be a miracle we haven’t already got it.  We are probably literally surrounded by it every day, despite the fact that the NHS website says you have to be in “close contact” with a sufferer to be infected.

The nurse then launched into a potted history of vaccinations, taking in the discovery of penicillin, the pitfalls of international air travel and the Western colonisation of Africa.  She also reassures me that vaccinations are preventative medicines, not attempts to infect Piglet with anything.  I nod knowingly throughout this and assure her that I am aware of all this.

So there are people in the world who think the NHS vaccination programme is a huge government conspiracy to infect babies with once-prevalent terrible diseases??????

“Ah,” says the nurse, “you must work in NHS!”

This is not the first time in the course of my child-rearing experience that someone has said this.  I know what tuberculosis is.  I’ve read Victorian novels.  I know that when someone coughs and their cheeks look a bit rosy they’ll be dead from consumption by the next chapter.  I also have a modicum of education.  I even did the History of Medicine paper in my GCSE History, it’s not difficult.  Do people exist in the world who don’t know these things?  Am I so unusual in having a minimal level of knowledge about infectious diseases that only people who are actual doctors and nurses can match my peerless expertise?

I fear for the future of the world if this is the case.  It is starting to make sense to me why all NHS leaflets appear to have been written for a five year old (although my all-time favourite is still one produced by the Miscarriage Association: “Miscarriage does not happen just because the baby is a boy.”  Let’s imagine that it did for a second.  Think of the logical conclusion here).

Anyway, Piglet is now comfortably sleeping off his traumatic experience at the hands of the nurse and I, so I am going to take this opportunity to cook myself some brunch, and maybe train as a doctor, since I am clearly more than qualified for the role.

Dometicated Momster

11 Comments Add yours

  1. I always hated getting my kids vaccinated but knew that it needed to be done. When they were babies I would watch over them like crazy to make sure they didn’t have reactions to anything. Here in the US we don’t have books that we carry around, it’s all kept in a computer system that can be accessed anywhere online. If I had to keep track of a book it would be lost. Thanks for linking up with #momsterslink! Hope to see you again in 16 hours 🙂

    1. Min says:

      Well that is a much better system. I’m not sure why we still have books here. It’s a bit archaic to say the least, and as they refuse to see you if you don’t have your book, God only knows what would happen if-perish the thought!-you lost it. Thanks for commenting.

  2. Bridget says:

    This post made me laugh a lot – I got the same reaction when I moved from London to Brighton regarding my maternity notes…every city does it so differently, harrumphed the nurse as she had to re-write all my details into a new maternity book. I’m not sure why we have them either, but now carry it in my changing bag as wouldn’t like to imagine the reaction if I forgot it when going to the doctors! x

    Bridget @ http://www.bridiebythesea.com

    1. Min says:

      Yes! I was living in London when I had Piglet but stayed with my mum in Bristol for the birth. Switching hospitals at 38 weeks was not looked upon favourably.

      1. Same here in Brighton, I was surprised how slick it seemed in London and when I arrived in Brighton the process of transferring was totally different. I had a particularly unlucky first midwife appt in Brighton where a trainee tried to take my blood and couldn’t find the vein – ending with 1 bruised arms!

        1. Min says:

          Oh no, ouch! I find the whole carrying your notes around with you in a folder thing quite antiquated. I would have thought they would have everything on a computer now.

  3. Emma T says:

    Lol. Crikey, some people must think the whole British public are thick as s**t. I would probably have impressed her with my knowledge because as a child my favourite book was the Readers Digest 999 What to do in an emergency.

    1. Min says:

      Love it. My favourite was a book I found at school called Great Disasters. Funny what kids love reading, and it sounds like yours must have made you very well prepared!

  4. Harriet says:

    That’s odd as my son was born in Australia where they too have red books, which are different to the UK ones. When we moved to the UK I got given a new book and I often take both to any appointments just in case. I’ve never been met with any annoyance about this but the health professionals are always curious to have a look through to compare. They are usually surprised to see that the frequency of check ups and vaccinations in Oz are very different to the UK, 2, 3 and 6m if I remember correctly.
    She might have been surprised by your knowledge of vaccines as a lot of people out there actually think vaccinations are a major cause of autism. So there are a lot of dumb folk out there. Be pleased you’re not one of them, lol.

    1. Min says:

      That’s true. It’s ridiculous that so many people still think that. Thanks for commenting.

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