There were only six messages left on the answering machine when I arrived at the office. I expected more because it was the week-end and I hadn’t gone in on Saturday. Saturday mornings are usually busy because people leave messages throughout the week but when I try calling their phone is switched off or at least doesn’t get answered, probably because he or she is in work. So Saturday mornings are usually ‘catch up’ time.
One of the messages was a duplicate – the person was obviously having a fog day and couldn’t remember leaving the original message – there was no answer. Another was about how frustrated she was with her GP – but again there was no answer. The third call did answer and she told me how wonderful her GP was who was prescribing an injection every three weeks and would get the practice nurse to show her how to self-inject safely and using the correct equipment. The fourth call was the usual “I’ve got all the symptoms but because my levels are borderline I can’t get treated and he/she won’t read the summary of the new guidelines I printed off”. The fifth was regarding a teenager who has all the symptoms that her mother has but whose B12 level is just above the local threshold to determine any deficiency. The mother is using the sub-lingual spray but wanted to know if she should start treating her daughter with it (a decision you must take in consultation with your doctor) and the final call was from someone who wanted the name of a Haematologist who specialised in Pernicious Anaemia (I know of nobody).
Then I had an email from a young lady I spoke to last week who was struggling with the demands of her degree course at one of the UK’s top universities. She had discussed her problems with her tutor and her tutor would like me to contact her with more information. I’ve just had another email telling me that an Australian member would be telephoning at 9am my time – 9pm her time.
What I didn’t get yesterday was a call from a patient who had had his or her treatment stopped “because my levels are too high”. I usually get at least one of those every day.