I think I actually shouted at the lady on the phone yesterday. Not because she annoyed me but because I couldn’t couldn’t control my anger and frustration. You’d have thought that because I get so many of these phone calls I would be getting used to them but this one really annoyed me.
The recent newspaper and magazine coverage has meant that not only has the number of members joining trebled (we are getting on average eight new members every day) but also the number of telephone calls to the society has also increased dramatically. On one day last week I had twenty three telephone calls to make to people who were suddenly aware of our existence due to the publicity. Some of these calls are quite harrowing and they are nearly all very frustrating as there is only so much advice that I can offer. Towards the end of the calls I feel emotionally drained. Yesterday’s call was the fourth of seven that I picked up from the telephone
“My father was told thirty years ago that he had Pernicious Anaemia and would need B12 injections for life” said the voice at the end of the phone. “He’s seventy and three years ago a new doctor at the surgery told him that he would no longer need the injections as his blood was now normal” she said. I sighed.
“But if your father has Pernicious Anaemia he will need injections for life” I said. “If he doesn’t then he will become gravely ill”
“He is gravely ill” she said. “He’s in hospital and the doctors have said that his nervous system is completely shutting down”.
That’s when I became angry. “Go to your father’s GP. Make an urgent appointment or just turn up and demand to see him. Tell him you have spoken to me. Ask him to put in writing why your father’s B12 injections have been stopped. Go to the hospital. Tell the doctor treating your father what you have told me. Tell him or her that you have spoken to me. Tell them that your father was diagnosed as having Pernicious Anaemia thirty years ago and that three years ago his injections were stopped”.
There was nothing else to say or do. I hope to hear from the lady today to let me know what has happened.