What now constitutes an emergency?

gaming teeth

First of all, I know with the seriousness of my blog title, and when I tell you what got me into this angry mood, that it may not seem as annoying to you as it annoyed me, but I really wanted to underline a very important point that got underlined to my immense frustration recently.

Ok to the first point, you are welcome to laugh about the fact that this will be in reference to the chronic tooth ache I’ve been feeling recently. Ok I can take that as funny from an outsider, because to me it even reminds me of one of the pathetic excuses kids used to give in order to get out of sports.by the way I mean other kids, as it may shock you to know I once played sport a lot, contrary to some photos you may have seen of me, I blame reading……… but seriously, I’ve never felt such discomfort on a consistent level than this toothache I have been having, and I did miss three months when a nerve collapsed in my neck, that wasn’t fun.

Yet there’s something that both the incidents have in common regardless of the nerve problem being more serious, in that no matter what amount of pain I was in, there seems to be a complete injustice floating around that patients are more often than not faking their ailments rather than being treated properly. I would like to put into context, that I hate being ill, therefore I very often don’t take time off, which has backfired on me in the past by not looking after myself like I should. I accept that. Therefore, when I picked up the phone, after three days of pain and taking painkillers I realised I may have tooth that needs removed, or at the very least seen to immediately, I swallowed my stupidity to try and do something about a problem I’ve been having by ringing NHS direct.

Now this is currently a Saturday when I rang, and what I had decided, again my own reluctance to cause a fuss, was to wait out till Monday to get my tooth seen to. But I had such a bad night, with no sleep at all, that I felt it was enough to warrant me phoning up as I would have to wait another two days to sort it. So I ring, they say fine….a dental nurse will ring you shortly, hangs up. I then wait an hour and a half till this person rings me up, and it’s painfully obvious, in more ways than one, that I’m not going to get any help, but the person on the phone clearly has an attitude that I don’t need any help, because the first thing she says is that there’s no guarantee I’ll let you get treated.

Now this is where to quote Stephen fry-‘my spleen is not big enough to cope with the inner juices of fury’ in regards to her saying that. Without even the patient, i.e. the reason that she’s on the phone in the first place has said anything, she has already pretty much made a decision. So as you’ll not be surprised to learn, she said, take more painkillers ring Monday, which was good because I was trying to ring the automatic service of stating the fucking obvious. Now I understand if I was using a general doctor time when he has someone more serious to treat, but this was a line specifically  for dental treatment,  I wasn’t standing in a waiting line of different people with different ailments(also known as the 6 items or less queue at 4am asda).

Also, she said she would decide whether I could speak to a dentist after few questions, which leads to what answer could I possibly give other than, im in pain, my painkillers have stopped working, that’s why I rang you. I didn’t realise that the helpline all of a sudden was run by a devilish tooth fairy, as in even the tooth fairy in this country is struggling for work she has to accept working in a call centre. Also a tooth fairy that has lost her ways, she used to want them teeth, you know more than anything now she’s turning them down. The thing was as well, she usually would pay us, yet the sad story is, all I wanted was to find a way of paying her to take the tooth from me. So I could of saved her from giving in to the system, yet apparently I’m not even allowed to asked for dental treatment on a Saturday, because although it’s out of hours, it’s not an emergency, even though, out of hours, is not normal, therefore you ring……..if it’s an emergency……work that one out.

There is a serious point to be made here though, because I’m starting to see this all the time and it really worries me to see a great idea like the NHS being run wrong, by the wrong people. I know an argument people would make is that they put these regulations in place to stop people abusing the system, but the system still has to work for genuinely ill people that need something to not be accused of wasting the emergency services time before they have been assessed. Regardless of whether the patient is wrong or not they should have a right to go and ask a medical professional whether they are ill or not.

Now you may think ‘Steven- she was in a better, More educated position than you to make a decision’, but , having taken her advice to visit my local chemist, they had a  professional there who told me that the advice I got wasn’t the right one, and gave me different medication. May I be bold enough to think that they saw I was in obvious discomfort and therefore were in a better position to try to help me? But even if they see you, they still find it much easier to treat you with painkillers, which masks what is happening to you rather than an effective long term treatment for the root of the problem. To use my nerve problem I had last year as an example,  I was on painkillers for a month and when they stopped working I had the same pain as when it started, because they didn’t treat the nerve that caused the problem in the first place.

This issue of giving just short term solutions to illnesses is a problem. The lack of public knowledge for example towards mental health means that many are being put on anti-depressants because  it costs a lot less in principle to take that solution then endless therapy sessions to get to the root of the individuals mental anguish. However, one in ten people in Europe are taking at least one day a week of work in regards to depression related episodes. Imagine the amount of working days that is that would end up affecting the economy generated on those days? And the worst part for us Brits, we are the not only the most depressed, but also it’s the most treated illness every year, meaning your more than likely going to know someone that is suffering depression. Isn’t it worth knowing that to start helping people treat when they’re sick?

Lets start treating people, and if the NHS is without cost, regardless of cost, time and inconvience,

lets start treating people but literally, and properly.

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And now for something completely different……

I had a dream once, well ok many a dream. Mainly to reach the far edges of the galaxy, and to appear on star trek just like Tom Morello had a cameo in star trek voyager or create a megadrive game to rival as much fun as toejam and earl. Or a basketball player, to see and hear the net on the basket make that lovely swoosh sound as I drain a three from downtown, thousands cheering as that shot wins my team the nba championship. I know chances are that will never happen, but still, I get immense joy simply watching star trek, admiring basketball and respecting the skill that’s needed in creating video games, simply any art form that inspired me and continues to in my twenties.

Therefore I had an idea. An idea I’ve had for quite a while, to create things that are close to me, and also talk about the influences, the interesting things, which to me is pretty much everything. I’ve always found my curiosity the greatest source of enjoyment and one that I found very disappointing that so few that I’ve met share the same passion I have for learning about things I don’t know. Even improving on subjects I’m interested in already. What shocks me more is the amount that actually tries to stop me or tease me and ridicule me for being interested and use the utter shit bag justification of ‘why do you want to know that?’ when my answer is always,’ why don’t I want to know about it?’

It saddens me to see that people seem quite happy to believe they know everything about something, or don’t want to know about something they know nothing about. Knowledge is power, but also, very often than not it gives the carrier of knowledge the opportunity to make an informed decision, whatever that may be.  That’s why I wanted to create a geeky website where we talk about supposed geeky things while providing an insight into whatever comes up, there are no limits, its would how would you say….apocalyptic?……

Ok I may be stretching the word apocalyptic But still, this is exactly what this ideas about, our world. Regardless of my name and company being used in this project (trust me I’m a nerd, names don’t mean much) and also having geek in the title, the main idea is to discuss and create ideas or subjects that I/we share with friends, colleagues and ideally people I don’t know, and show that regardless of us being geeks we can underline that we aren’t that different you and I, simply by sharing what we care about. or failing that we have a laugh and try and be entertaining……

We have a great shift happening at the present moment in that with the success of the big bang theory and Chris Hardwick’s Nerdist Industries in America or professor brian cox and other professors on brtish tv(and countless other examples), in making geeks and nerds a cool term, rather than as It was when I was growing up as a term of abuse for being an outcast or different to everyone else. That’s all changing and the ride of the wave is happening. Just look at all the comic book film adaptations that are being watched by millions and millions of people and taking billions of dollars at the box office. Geeks are becoming cool and the reason is sadly we are not that cool to begin with, we just like different things to everyone else.

Ok I may not believe that fully, but the thread that ultimately leads to us understanding anything, including each other, is curiosity. They just isn’t enough curious people in the world, and it’s not that people aren’t curious, if you sit someone down and ask them honestly and truthfully they have curious streaks in most things they are willing to talk about.  It’s ok to disagree with what I say, it’s ok to make mistakes but it’s always the easiest thing to say ‘Ill never understand that’ and not try to learn about it. How do we learn to be better in ourselves? To treat people better and ultimately make it a better place? By talking about things, asking people who know more in that subject so we can get better at it, or make sure we don’t do the same mistake again and become wiser for it. If you want to learn to play guitar and get stuck, do you give up or do you ask someone who plays to jam with you? Or maybe watch a YouTube clip of that chord you can’t get right. All we are doing here is the second one, playing a tune that all us geeks like, but every so often playing a cover song or taking suggestions from the audience on what they’d like to be played. Anything that we care about(like why did they cancel Stargate Universe? It’s been two years and I’m still upset), all the geekiness, or if we are stuck or don’t know anything about it, we are asking about it anyway, because we are curious, we are interested, just like you.

So Hopefully this adventure will take you gently on the hand and teach you some fun things, whether it be something you know about or not and encourages you to share or contribute to the inner geekiness we share. This is going to be a long and hardworking adventure, but as Wil Wheaton says the things that are worth doing in life take hardwork…..agh smeg!

Enjoy being a geek!

Steven Hesseavatar