Tuesday, September 25, 2007

No parking

My endocrinologist's office is located in a modern ranch house on the edge of a sub-division miles from anywhere. Parking is always an issue because you are not allowed to park on the street. There are four bays out front, another ten out back, plus two disabled parking spots and space to squeeze in another three cars on the side of the drive. Seventeen spots then, plus two disabled bays that I've never seen used.
The other week I drove to the office for a check-up and every one of these spots was taken. I was about to circle the block a couple of times when a woman came out and yelled she was leaving. I figured I'd be waiting forever because it would be really busy in there, right?
Inside the waiting room were just three people: a couple and one other man. Plus me makes three cars. I was called in to get weighed and blood pressure taken, so I asked the nurse where all the patients were. There were seventeen cars out in the parking lot but there didn't seem to be even a third that number of patients. "That's all us" she said "The staff's cars".
Two doctors, three nurses, a dietician, four admin staff, a student doctor, I counted. "There's a new doctor". Three medical people for every patient? No wonder the healthcare system is so expensive.
The solution to the parking problem? They are hoping to relocate to another village another twenty minutes further away from my town. Making my nearest endo nearly an hour's drive away, with no public transport. Seriously, an hour's drive each way for a fifteen minute appointment. Not an effective use of resources - mine or the earth's.

I'm lax

amended to include cute gerbil image

I can't believe I haven't posted since the April Fool's Viagra joke. Even the whole jetlag/viagra hamster thing (there's a George Michael joke in there somewhere) back in May failed to raise a post from me.
I have been busy getting on with my life and as there was nothing much new going on with my endocrine system, blogging about diabetes fell off the end of the to do list. But a long comment (aka a press release in disguise) from the International Diabetes Federation, the Brussels based advocacy group, kicked my ass back into gear.
I took part in the first or maybe second World Diabetes Day back in Brussels in the early nineties, and it was a really quiet affair - we had a stall at a school fair, I seem to remember and handed out a few leaflets. Now it's worldwide event; in Brussels they have a two-day exhibition (in two languages, of course), and in 159 other countries people are celebrating November 14th by raising diabetes awareness.
So the banner is on the website and I'm sure most people are involved in some activity, a fundraiser or information push during November. Heck, even the Empire State Building will be lit up in blue for the day. Every little helps.