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Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Queuing Theory

You have a choice. You could spend an hour either in the waiting room of your doctor’s surgery reading National Geographic magazines from the early 1990’s or you could sit in a traffic jam on the nearest motorway listening to Latvia’s pop song hit parade from the truck beside you.

For us it is what they call a “no brainer”. It has to be the motorway every time and for very good reasons. It is healthier, more pleasant and you will feel a lot better when the hour is up than you would at the doctor’s.

At our doctor’s the waiting room at one time had windows that could be opened and fan ventilators, a little noisy, to keep the air clear if the weather was bad. Now this is no longer the case. The windows are sealed and the fans to outside have been disconnected.

What we do have is “air fresheners”. They are from the “Ideal” product range and the muck they spew out is filthier that that from any volcano. I did try to extract from “Ideal” what the contents were but did not get a reply. I did suggest to the doctor and staff that they might try but apparently this is beyond their powers. It seems that there are no targets to be met.

Just how bad are they? Today, the waiting room was near empty and the couple of other patients had no evident fragrances. Even so after ten minutes the reactions began. The sense of smell began to go. Then there was the taste in the mouth and the tingling on the lips. Then the tightness in the chest and the lift in the head. When I got home yet again it was strip off, put the lot into a double wash and have the shower, fast.

Rather worse was that I was there because of a nasty skin reaction to previous medication. Having gone off this, all other medication and been on a rigorous chemical free routine the problems had abated a little. But anywhere that has stuff in the air then the inflammation returns. Fifteen minutes at the surgery and up it came again. So seeing the doctor can make you sick, very sick if you react to fragrances etc.

I am old enough to recall all the debate and difficulty over the business of lead in petrol. This was at a time when the dangerous properties of lead were well known and accepted. The argument was over whether fine particles of lead in traffic emissions could be coped with by the body or not.

After enough mice, rats and dogs had been sacrificed in the cause and enough post mortems done it was accepted that lead, even in small doses and fine particles, did constitute a major health danger if in fuel and the consequential traffic emissions.

Does anyone I wonder know a doctor who operates out of a motorised caravan on motorway services who is not obliged by the local Primary Care Trust to seal the windows and use air fresheners determined by PCT contracts? I really wouldn’t mind joining the queue to see him or her and for us it could be a lot safer.

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