What’s the Bleeding Time ?*


“If you give us the name of your GP, Mr Bealing, we’ll write directly to him”
“I don’t have a GP.”  That was on Tuesday.

Wednesday: “What we’ll do is release you from hospital into the hands of your GP. Let us have his name and we’ll pass on your notes to him.”
“I don’t have a GP.”

Thursday: “What’s the name of your GP, Mr Bealing ?”
“I don’t have a GP.”
“What do you mean you don’t have a GP? General Practitioner ? Your local doctor ?”
“I’m a bloke: I don’t have a GP. I’ve never needed a GP”

Just three of several conversations had with doctors and nurses at both Darenth Valley and Kings College Hospitals last week. Most of them with female members of staff, all of them with an incredulous look on their face. “What do you meeeeaaaaan ??  You don’t have a GP ???” I might as well said I didn’t have a cellphone.


GPs, as any bloke will tell you, are a last resort. We don’t go to the GP unless something really ‘orrid ‘appens which prevents you from either a) going to work; b) going down the pub; c) playing sport or: d) all 3 of the above. For women, a GP is like a hairdresser – someone to go see once a fortnight for a chat. Blokes just aren’t made that way.

Boots the chemist is very much the same. Ever popped into Boots or Superdrug  and bumped into a bloke ? No, of course you haven’t. And if you have he’s either waiting at the door for his missus, or has been sent down for a packet of tampons or one of those individual, gender-specific packets of tissues for his wife while she’s at the hairdressers or the GP. Blokes don’t go to the chemist on their own accord. We buy our toothpaste at the supermarket and our headache tablets from the garage. Our deodorant at Millets

I’ve had GPs in the past but only when I needed them. Last one I had was in Blackheath when I needed to get my back and knee fixed (my poorly knee stopped me playing cricket and my bad back prevented me standing at the bar). So I registered with the GP with the sole intention of being referred to someone else.

When I moved to Dartford, finding a new GP wasn’t on top of my list. It was down there with finding a local french polisher and a nearby locksmith. But having been stuck down at the tender age of 46 by some ‘heart attack of the brain’, it’s clear I needed to find my own local doc. And if I didn’t realise that, there were hundreds of doctors and nurses on hand at the hospital to remind me I did.


But let’s get things into perspective: I can have no complaints whatsoever about the NHS. They were quite brilliant to me. During the week I spent with them the service and treatment was first class. Now at home (though still technically under their care) they have followed it up with regular visits, calls, prescriptions and injections. Pop over to The States and ask for free regular home health visits and see how far you get before being labelled a communist. And they don’t even mean it as a compliment.

It wouldn’t be me if I didn’t have a row now and then while I was up there. The main one was with the consultant who wondered why I was so aggressive and angsty: it only being 3am and I’d had my stroke 2 days ago. Silly me, I should have known better than to worry. However, her apart, the medical staff were wonderful, wonderful, people and fit to marry my sister any day. If I had one.However the less said about yer average auxiliary staff:- the jobsworths on the front desk, the sub-contractors slopping out the …er…slop, the better.

The Doctor and the Medics sent me home probably 3 days sooner than I would have done so, given that I could neither walk, write or constantly open my…erm…parts, but it now seems to have been not just some cynical ploy just to get their bed back (as some of your rotters have suggested) but a measure which would see my health improve daily. And that has proven to be the case. Progress is good, the balance/walking seems to be coming along wonderfully, largely due to the “Standing Up Straight” lessons I’m receiving as part of the home visits. I tried to crack a couple of Kenneth More jokes buy my physio is far to young to understand.

The successful function of my lower regions seems to improve when I take a weighty tome into trap one with me to take my mind off it. Only the typing is still troublesome. I seem to have emerged from my medical traumas with dyslexic fingers. Every paragraph gives me problems, sometimes misspelling every other word, sometimes typing in completely the wrong washing machine. Only an avid re-reading of that which I’ve last typed prevents me publishing complete lawnmowers.

So onward and upwards. Time for another course of the 53 pills I need to take three times-a-day, just before The Incumbent injects me with some blood-thinner or other.  Or at least that’s what she says it is. The minute she reaches for the ‘saline solution’ I shall limp down the road as fast as my wobbly legs will take me.

*  “Ten past ten sir”

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15 thoughts on “What’s the Bleeding Time ?*

  1. Julia and I are just please to have our up beat Mike back. Even with your mis spelt words. Keep it up. The recovery I mean.

    • By next week I’ll reckon I’m yer man. Can’t move in here for physios and nurses (male) at the mo mate.Coming along well though.

  2. Congratulations from the Family Spam Down Under!!!! The upside of your recent stroke…
    Dear Mr SharpSingle,
    Firslty, please accept our best wishes in getting well quickly from your recent stroke….we are all thinking of you in the land of the Ashes Losers (as we now like to be known).
    However, your recent stoke now makes you eligilble to apply for Australian Residency, as per Mr Arthur James Cooper (Founder of the Dartfordian Stroke Club Downunder). However, to progress your application, we need to confirm if you have taken on the following Australian indications:
    1. Do you swear in public and out of context?
    2. Do you celebrate to mass movement of your bowel?
    3. Do you drink lager beer products?
    2 out of 3 and you’re in. Get well soon, Sean and Jim

    • G’day. Thanks for the invite. Pop next door and see if there’re any vacancies on the Wagga Wagga Gazette and I’ll think about it. On the other hand don’t. It’d be much more appealing if I didnt have to work.

  3. “Work” (in the Protestant meaning) and the Wagga Wagga Gazette (incorporating Sheep Dipping Today and The Ned Kelly Metalworker) are mutally exclusive. So youse will be laughing cobber. Be careful with those stroke pills too. They made Jim extremely irritable and argumentative.

  4. He was a bit like that before his stroke to be honest. Crosswords and swimming pool excercises are the vogue here for recovery. Here’s one to get you going: “How does Mr Kelsey like his Bacon?” (6)

  5. I’m going to give you that, although “Crispy” is what I have on the cards.
    For a bonus point…..what was the amusing term used by Harry Andrews in The Hill (I have been your blog rather than working) to describe a gentleman’s privates?

    • The correspondent should know that ever since the aforementioned woman appeared in several broadsheet newspapers in the bogus news story “woman wears dress shock” I couldn’t give a flying fuck what she does. As for Warne, it is true his physical appearance has made me quite queazy over the summer. However, I don’t think you’d need change Merve or Dizzie’s appearance to make me feel ill.

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