My 50th Birthday was a great day, we ended up in Totnes in a fab bistro called Rumour eating moules and frites and drinking rather good wine, followed by a wander around the town. The next day we were at my favourite food market - Royal William Yard for the first time this year catching up with customers and fellow stallholders and selling lots of cheese. Life was good. Little did I know.
Two days after my Birthday I went for routine breast screening in a mobile unit in Holsworthy. Within 10 minutes it was all over and I didn't pay much attention to the fact that the results would be sent to me within 2-3 weeks.
Nine days later during cheesemaking the post arrived at 2pm. I assumed the envelope marked NHS was the letter telling me that the breast screening was fine and they'd call me back in 3 years.
All I saw was 'don't be alarmed' and appointment in Exeter on 15th March. What? thats the day after tomorrow. Why?
After I'd run round like a headless chicken OH who had read the letter properly explained that sometimes further scans need to be taken and that probably they didn't get the right ones before.
On Friday we got to Exeter mega early in case of hold ups, sussed out the breast screening unit and then went for a coffee.
At the appointed time we went to the unit and followed the instructions for entry ...... the door wouldn't open properly, it seemed to be jammed at the top. OH kept pressing the buttons and I kept yanking at the door. At this point I was all for leaving and if it wasn't for OH I would have given up. Eventually the door was released.
The next hurdle was the waiting room ..... no receptionist just a notice saying take a seat and someone will be with you shortly. There were 2 women and 3 men seated with a chair free between each of them except the free chairs had coats etc on them and then 2 chairs either side of the room which were free. Obviously we wanted to sit together but when OH tried to sit on the seat next to me with a coat on the bloke next to it just shoved it a bit more. In my nervous state I just instructed OH to sit on the other spare seat on the opposite side. The room was stifling hot which didn't help either. After about 15 minutes OH attempted to sit on the coffee table opposite me as he could see that I was getting more and more worked up. All I could do was hiss 'don't! don't sit on that table' because I could see it would collapse under his weight. At this point the bloke on my left with a wardrobe of clothes on the seat between us grunted and then moved them so OH could sit there. Hurrah.
After 45 minutes I was called and it was down to the radiographer to explain that the receptionist was off sick and that the first two ladies of the morning had needed far more time with the nurse so that I had had to bypass the nurse and go straight in for the scans.