Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Why Do I Bother

I'm fit to be tied. Really close to blowing a gasket this time! I am now, reluctantly, with Rory attending Enable Ireland for Occupational Therapy. It may be now 'safe' but it is still very far from satisfactory!

So, I've made a series of appointments at 2 weekly intervals with the OT. She only works on Mondays and Tuesdays, and Rory's in school on those mornings, so we settle on mid afternoons on Tuesdays. Nothing much complicated there. What with all the to-ing and fro-ing to Dublin lately, we had to cancel our last appointment. This took some perseverance, if any of you out there have ever had the grave misfortune to require the services of Enable Ireland, you will be aware that making telephone contact with employees incarcerated in that institution, is very much a hit and miss affair. So not trusting the messaging system, I also, as a plan B contingency type measure, left a message on the therapist's mobile. This, I might add, was done under considerable stress, from Rory's bedside in Temple St.

I attended today as planned and checked in with receptionist. The receptionist failed to reach the OT by phone so we were told to wait. We took up our appointed waiting positions opposite the receptionist. Now, waiting with Rory is an art from. The required skill set lies somewhere between that of a mother superior and Coco the Clown. I manged to pull it off for a while but after 30 exhausting minutes, I asked the receptionist to try to phone the OT one more time.

He went in search, and came back soon after to tell me that she was out sick. I asked if it was not common practice to cancel appointments when someone is sick, he smiled and replied "I didn't know". I reminded him that we had already been waiting half an hour, he smiled and replied "I didn't know".There isn't enough cake and wine on the planet to sort out the rage in which I stormed out of that building. But mind you, the racy little Rioja I'm now nursing is dulling the edges of the throbbing pain.

But seriously folks, why do I bother?


Update: Wed 25th March
There was a very contrite phone call first thing this morning from Enable Ireland apologizing for yesterday's screw up. A secretary had been detailed to phone me and had forgotten. I still don't know why absences due to illness are not documented at reception. Maybe that's just far too sensible and just not the done thing in HSE funded institutions! I should also note that while I was there yesterday, I counted a total of 8 employees wandering around, Rory was the only client. Well equipped treatment rooms, and a brand spanking new hydrotherapy pool, were empty, like ghost towns. Where were the kids who desperately need this valuable therapy? They were all on a waiting list. Current average waiting time in the Galway area? 4 years.


steph said...


My blood is boiling now! Your experience typifies everything that is wrong with our health service.

And the update, nearly finished me off! People on waiting lists cost a lot less that people receiving treatment - need I say more? :-(

It's sickening stuff. I think you should submit the bill for your 'medicine' to the HSE ;-)

btw My daughter is this week doing her first ever work placement (as a student OT) and has repeatedly told me of her admiration for the parents she's met through the children attending the centre. At least someone appreciates you!

AnnB said...

Oh Steph, Enable Ireland never fails to turn me into a raging lunatic! My medication bill to cope with the stress to date would out do the level of toxic bank dept! I hope your daughter never has the misfortune to end up working there!:-)

Sharon said...

This is just unacceptable, an apology doesn't make up for your travelling to make an appointment and sitting around for such a long time. I know how hard sitting in waiting rooms can be.

Why is there such a waste of resources, why are people forced to deal with such shoddy treatment and those in need left waiting? I hope that these issues are made much of in the election.

It must hurt like hell to go through this, but your writing about it will hopefully help get the message out and get more people working to change things for the better.

AnnB said...

Thanks Sharon - I've only seen your message now. I know, you know all about this type of thing - I wish there was some way that parents could use our collective force for change. Anyone got a hotline to Obama? We could use some tips!!!