Friday, February 29, 2008

Lord wants virgin nurses or no nurses

Well, not quite, but Lord Mancroft is clearly shocked that the nurses looking after him have sex.

Lord Mancroft told the House of Lords that he was treated at the hospital in 2007, and described the nurses as "grubby and drunken".

"The nurses that looked after me were mostly grubby. We're talking about dirty fingernails, slipshod, lazy."

The hospital said it had received no complaint but would be contacting Lord Mancroft to discuss the matter.

Yes, nurses should be held to high standards, should take care of their appearance and personal hygiene as a fundamental requirement of working with hospital patients. And DRUNKEN, you say? They were drinking on the job? They should be sacked!
Oh, no. Nothing so serious. Here's what he ACTUALLY means.

"It's a miracle I'm still alive. But worst of all my Lords they were drunken and promiscuous."

"How do I know that? Because if you're a patient and you're lying in a bed, and you're being nursed from either side, they talk across you as if you're not there.

"So I know exactly what they got up to the night before, and how much they drank, and I know exactly what they were planning to do the next night, and I can tell you, it's pretty horrifying."

Emphasis mine.
Nurses shouldn't act like the patient isn't there and shouldn't gab about their personal lives whilst caring for patients, but come ON! WORST OF ALL? Not the lack of hygiene, the careless attitudes, the laziness - no, these nurses DRINK! and have SEX!!! like MEN do sometimes!!!!!!!!! Pass the bleeding smelling salts, I'm not prepared to be cared for by human beings with lives outside their work. If I'm not going to be nursed by teetotal virgin angels that have no vaginas, or at the very least women who pretend to be just like this, I'd rather not be cared for at all.

That's what Mancroft's insinuating, perhaps with less melodrama. By his own wording, he's treating the fact that these nurses go out, drink, and have sex in their free time with as much horror as if they had been drunkenly humping the patients themselves. The real complaints to be found here are

  • that the nurses weren't maintaining an acceptable level of hygiene and therefore could be putting patient health at risk
  • were discourteous towards their charges
  • were scruffy and unprofessional, and
  • that drinking heavily the night before going into work could impair their ability to deliver a high standard of care (whilst discussing this in front of a patient will do nothing for their trust in their carers).

THOSE are complaints. 'My nurses like alcohol and have libidos' is not.

Dear Lord Mancroft,

Grow up, lodge real complaints and stop slut-shaming.


No "kisskisskiss for you". That might be too slutty for your tastes.

NOTE: Click the title of this post for the BBC article. Neat, huh? Please tell me if you prefer this format or not.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Doctors are supposed to help, right?

Back at the start of November I got ill. Very ill. Can't-get-out-of-bed, can't-eat-due-to-severe-pain ill. It turned out that I'd come down with a nasty case of tonsillitis, so I saw a doctor for the first time since I broke my arm 10 years ago. She was sympathetic and patient, she listened to my concerns and symptoms, gave me a quick once-over and prescribed me a ten day course of penicillin. This particular GP has a long waiting list of patients who prefer to see her, and she must've been busy, yet I couldn't have hoped for better treatment at such short notice.

Fast forward to today. Since my tonsillitis was treated I've had a persistent cough, at one point coughing up thick discoloured mucus for a period of at least 2 weeks. I've had aches and pains, suffered lethargy and disrupted, irregular sleeping patterns, and have been much paler than usual. I'd been working in a pharmacy over Christmas helping people with common winter cold and flu related problems, which may not have been great for my weakened immune system but gave me a fairly good grounding in the basics of what is and isn't normal, and from my personal knowledge of my own health I knew this wasn't a normal cold - they used to be the only health problem I'd have, getting them once a year, and I'd have shaken it off in, at most, a fortnight. This was my first long-term illness; yet still I was prepared to leave it for as long as possible in the hope I'd fight it off unassisted. However, today I finally gave in a saw a GP. Not the same one as last time. He was also a busy man, of course, and I understand that he has many patients to see - but this didn't warrant his interrupting me as I listed my symptoms to 'remind' me that he had house visits to do, as if I'd just popped in for a chat without making an appointment. I was instantly made to feel like a nuisance. My sleeping problems were brushed off with standard advice that I'd seen before - 'try reading, don't use the computer near bedtime, cut down on caffeine,drink something warm and milky, gentle midday exercise, warm baths' - which I'd tried before, but felt so belittled that I didn't say. I wish I had. He looked a little put out when I explained that no, I wasn't a student, nor was I undergoing any stressful points (or at least, not for the full 3 months!). I guess I he realised I wasn't so easily brushed off. My cough was diagnosed, after some chest-hearing, as a viral cough - these are fairly common after an infection like I've had, and can take a while to go away, and I was advised to come back in another month if it hadn't subsided. This is fine, I understand this, but the way it was delivered just made it sound more like he was dismissing me as a hypochondriac than as someone who has a very slim medical file and no history of such complaints who has a very good reason to be worried. On the plus side, my paleness and lethargy was plain to see and he ordered some blood tests done - I suspect anaemia (like my mother has) or some other deficiency, I'll find out when my results come in next week.

This reminded me of another case I heard. A friend of my mother once came in in a fury and said, "If your daughter becomes a doctor, make sure she doesn't become a pompous git!" Her own daughter is away at university and had been suffering from a variety of stress-related and other health problems, and eventually went to see a GP. He basically looked down his nose at her and dismissed her concerns as 'women's problems' and that he 'suspected you girls get these complaints all the time'. Seriously! She has problems which she hasn't had before, goes to see a doctor as any concerned person would, and is told she's overreacting and a silly little girl!

Why are so many doctors - and I hate to say it, but the majority of such complaints I hear seem to be about male GPs towards female patients - such condescending arseholes? They are trained and paid to help all their patients without making them feel like they're stupid or making stuff up. No WONDER the first GP has such a long waiting list, when some of the others at the practise are so unsympathetic. 'Women's problems'? How about, instead of packaging up all sorts of complaints into these two words (which seem to have become short-hand for 'unimportant time-wasting matters'), the doctors explain to the patients the possible causes for their complaints and, if it IS possibly related to hormonal changes in a woman's body, help her to understand what's happening and give ways to help cope instead of dismissing her? We don't get a lot of readily-available information about our bodies aside from 'you'll grow breasts and have periods during puberty. This may hurt a little. Try not to get pregnant or infected if you must have sex. Eventually you'll be unable to have children, so remember to have plenty when you're young or you'll regret not contributing to our already oversized population and following the urges you must have if you're a real woman.' A lot of the changes caused by hormones and the possible discomfort this can cause is ignored, so when women DO experience them it can be worrying or even frightening, so WHY DON'T DOCTORS UNDERSTAND THIS? More to the point, why do we have to go so much out of our way to find out about such things?


[UPDATE: All this 'medical rape' stuff recently just got me even more riled. Men and women across the medical establishment are ignoring their own patients. All these stories are coming from women - that is the one common factor in these tales so far, it is WOMEN who are feeling that they have been truly violated, although there are men who are also having their concerns and voices ignored. Where is all this arrogance coming from? Why are doctors, nurses and midwives ignoring the need for their patients to consent to any and all procedures, failing to see how traumatic it can be to have ANYONE force ANYTHING upon someone who's already in a vulnerable state? Are doctors also carrying out prostate exams on men whilst they're repeatedly told to stop, or are they only forcing things into women 'for their own good'? WHAT'S GOING ON?]

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Making up for lost time

I've been dormant recently. I had so many idea for posts, so much on my mind, and yet didn't type a word. Everything in this post will be a brief game of catch-up, but will summarise a few things for me to expand upon when I get my head together, get all my university interviews right out of the way, relax and stop worrying and learn to love the bomb.

Firstly, I must again direct you to my best friend's blog, Ramblings of Today's Yoof. She's got a list of facts and has checked it more often than Santa would, so head on over there for info on health, alternative contraceptives and cosmetics, politics and why feminism is still important. Link's in the sidebar!

As I mentioned previously, the ever-outspoken Ann Widdecombe came to our fair city back in January, her only stop made at a Scottish university. I have a few things to say about the chosen venue, the Glasgow University Union, so prod me about that later. The talk was on the Embryology Bill which, although not containing anything about abortion itself, would be replacing the old Bill which does influence the laws on abortion here in the UK. A demonstration was organised by the university's Labour group, and many other groups - the Glasgow Feminist Network being one - were in attendance. It was immensely encouraging to see such a good turnout, with men and women of many kinds out in protest against the current efforts of anti-choicers to lower the current UK abortion limit from 24 weeks to 12 or less, all supporting the right of women to have full reproductive justice. Unfortunately entrance to the talk itself was restricted, and as I was not a member of the student union or already signed up to attend I was barred entry - though many people did get in, and from what I hear there was a lot of rhetoric and the old implication, based upon a single anecdote, that women having abortions make fast, rash decisions without thinking them through properly and always regret them afterwards, so of COURSE they must all be delayed and have as much anti-choice (as opposed to truly informative) material rammed down their throats until they realise that they don't actually want to terminate after all. Which is, of course infuriating. Here is the placard I was holding:

See that little thing in the first "0" of "200"? That's a lapel pin that, along with wristbands and other things, came from an anti-choice stall. It is a pair of small silvery feet, showing yet again how that movement spouts emotivist garbage whilst women all over the world DIE, along with all those poor foetuses with their tiny little feet, forever denied the chance to go 'pitter-patter'.