Suggestions for my Doctor’s surgery suggestion box

Published February 17, 2019 by Naomi Rettig

Sat waiting for my diabetic review at the doctors, and waiting, and waiting, I spot their suggestion box. So after nearly an hour past my appointment time I thought I’d amuse myself. The following is what will greet the practice manager when she opens the suggestion box.

1. The waiting room needs to be renamed ‘The Executive Lounge’ for starters. Calling it the waiting room is setting the scene for misery and gloom and low expectations. It would be more uplifting to be told ‘take a seat in the executive lounge’ when you check in.

2. When using the self-service check in system it can leave an anxious patient anxious when they sit down, wondering if they completed all the stages correctly. I suggest the machine be programmed with a fanfare to be played loudly if completed correctly. Maybe a burst of confetti for the 100th correct user.

3. The waiting room/executive lounge can get quite tedious when waiting for any length of time. Even though your information slides are informative they are mind numbingly boring on repeat for an hour. I realise a TV licence is an extravagant expense, and fraught with its own problems (I might want to watch This Morning, another patient might prefer Homes Under the Hammer) so how about hiring out mini DVD players with headphones for a small fee. You could profit from patients’ boredom and patients would be less cranky if kept waiting. If not DVD players, then how about just headphones for hire with a selection of music. Patients could have their own little silent discos or classical calm. Music therapy. The headphones could vibrate when the patient is called through, but if I’m jiggling to a bouncy track I would leave them on while sashaying along the corridor.

4. Heated flooring in the nurse’s rooms would be lovely. When you have to take your shoes and socks off for diabetic foot testing it can be a bit chilly in winter. This isn’t a diva request, I have dainty, delicate, size 9, diabetic feet. If this is too much expense a fluffy bath mat could be a substitute.

5. Waiting in the executive lounge would be improved with food and drink. I would like coffee but some of the other patients I saw I wouldn’t trust with a hot beverage, so I think you’d have to play it safe with a water cooler. Food wise it would have to be something healthy too, yawn, so maybe fruit and nuts. Maybe just fruit as too many people have nut allergies these days. Actually, scrap this suggestion as an apple and a glass of water sounds too much like a minimalist still life set up.

6. Thinking of painting, a little bit of art therapy in the executive lounge would be good while people wait. But again, having seen a lot of the other patients I wouldn’t trust them with crayons let alone squidgy paint.

7. Lava lamps. Calming and therapeutic. I suggest you have a plethora of lava lamps placed around the executive lounge. The other surgery in town has a fish tank which is calming to watch, except when children tap on the glass, that increases anxiety, of the fish and myself. Thus, lava lamps would be a good distraction for anxious patients, inquisitive children, and people who like watching blobs bob up and down.

I hope these suggestions help.

Advertisements

Leap

Published February 17, 2019 by Naomi Rettig

Sat against this rock I am hidden from the world. Invisible and insignificant.

Facing outwards, I hear the ocean caressing the rocks further below me, I see the lit lighthouse standing proud, alone but confident, defiant against the blackness of the unknown ocean stretching ahead of it.

Facing inland I see couples illuminated by candlelight through the restaurant picture windows, laughing, smiling, touching. I don’t know which I’m more envious of, the people exchanging loving looks, or the ocean full of freedom and hypnotic hope.

I don’t think I’ll ever find anyone to look lovingly at me, to be their whole world in that moment and moments more. I am not worthy of another’s love. Even I don’t love myself so how can I expect it from another. No one could find me special, wonderful, their guiding light. I will never be someone’s lighthouse, someone’s restaurant gazer.

I will be the lone rock sitter, the solo sea starer, the self-placed exile. I long to be with someone special, as much as I long to leap into the ocean, to float away from pain. Maybe I should take that leap, find the lighthouse for me.

Why am I so scared of sitting in that window? The remote sea seems less terrifying to me. I have a blackness within, it spreads and dims my vision. It smothers my clarity at times. At times I don’t know if I’ll leap when my dark secret self swirls deep. The sea speaks to me, it says listen to me, follow me, join me, stay with me.

I close my eyes as wind joins waves in beautiful orchestral crescendos.

Inhaling salted air, I breathe life into me.

Today is not a leap day.

Reasons to be my Valentine

Published February 14, 2019 by Naomi Rettig

1. I’d give you my last Rolo. From a multipack. After I’d licked it.

2. No need for a hot water bottle at night. I’m hot. Temperature wise. (This perk is not so perky in the summer months.)

3. I’m not a fussy eater, so you can take me anywhere. But not a steakhouse or a sushi bar. Or a Nandos.

4. I can write you poetry or write you into a story as the hero. But if you annoy me, I will kill you off, fictionally.

5. I make excellent tiramisu.

6. I’m not a good dancer, so you will look fabulous if dancing with me.

7. I can’t run fast. This isn’t a negative point, if we are being chased by zombies or muggers then I will get caught first enabling you to escape.

8. I’m an excellent organiser. Your future holidays will be planned with military precision allowing you to merely relax and enjoy yourself. When scheduled to.

9. I’m a vegetarian so I’m cheap to feed. Although any money saved on meat will probably be reallocated to chocolate or marzipan.

10. I don’t get scared at horror films so can look after you if you do. But I will probably hide behind a door to scare you if you take a trip to the toilet.

11. As a non-drinker I can be your designated driver. Oh, if I could drive that is. But I can still look after you and make sure you get home safe. And draw on your face and take photos.

12. I will take a bullet for you. Not such a grand gesture, having depression I’d take a bullet for anyone. But it’s still a perk worth considering.

13. I give great cuddles. My extra fat layers give added squish. It’s like cuddling the Ghostbusters Stay Puft marshmallow man. But less sticky.

14. You can watch me dancing in my fringed swimsuit to Eurovision. This is a special V.I.P part of the package, never been seen by anyone before. (After seeing once you have the option to opt out of further shows.)

15. You get unfiltered access to my brain. (Again, you do have the option to opt out of this perk.)

Observations from my mini break to Jersey, February 2019

Published February 9, 2019 by Naomi Rettig

Welsh cakes from the executive lounge in Cardiff airport don’t taste as delicious when you swallow them down for the second time on the plane. It’s about getting the balance right between comfort eating for flight anxiety and leaving enough room in your stomach for Welsh cake tumbling. I haven’t quite got this balance correct yet.

The synthesiser drum beats on Donna Summer’s ‘I Feel Love’ are perfectly matched with my heart beat on take off in the plane. Except when my heart got to 145 bpm.

I’m glad the windows on a plane don’t open as when looking down on the fluffy clouds my brain thought it would be a great idea to jump out and feel how spongy they’d be on the way through them.

If you sit in the last seat at the back of the plane, on a small propeller plane, you get to hear all the juicy gossip from the airhostesses as they sit by there. Especially on a flight where no one else is sat anywhere near. The downside though is you never get closure, I’ll never know if Hazel got rid of her lacklustre boyfriend that she was deliberating over.

I still get excited when I get Jersey notes in my change, foreign currency! I know it’s the same currency as the UK but having the different bank notes with a smiling not stoic queen on them makes me smiley too and feel like I’m in exotic lands.

I still get excited when visiting my favourite lighthouse at Corbiere. I still pretend I’m on a star trek set when walking through the boulders. I always wonder if I’d get told off if I got deliberately trapped out there. I want to feel isolation panic, but not get banned from lighthouses. I always walk out at the peak of low tide to be extra safe, but I think on my next visit I’ll be more risqué with my timings.

My favourite bench on the top of the cliff looking down onto Portlet Bay is still my favourite bench in the world, and I feel territorial if I see anyone else approach it. That’s my bench. It’s this spot that would be the place I’d leap from if I was going to jump off a cliff to end it all. But if anyone reads this in the future from an insurance company it was a windy day and I fell accidentally.

My second favourite bench on top of the cliff between St Brelade’s Bay and Ouaisne Bay is still my second favourite bench in the world. But always try to remember that there is a tier behind the bench that someone else could sit on, so when you think you’re say there by yourself, taking photos of your horror toys and talking to yourself, you may be being observed and judged by a silent man and his equally silent dog. And being judged by a dog is quite harsh.

I nearly went to a church service, by choice. My favourite church is St Brelade’s parish church and I love sitting in there by myself. I’m an atheist but for some weird reason when I sit in this church I always feel overcome with emotion and cry. Probably my evil demons having a panic inside me. I got to the church on the Sunday ten minutes before a service was going to start and deliberated on going in. I’ve only ever been to a church service on occasions such as weddings, funerals, and christenings, never for a ‘regular’ service. I decided not to go in because I didn’t want the magic of the church to be broken by sharing it with other people, and I felt like I would be spotted as an imposter when I entered. I loitered around the graves instead chatting to the dead.

Once again, even though at a different hotel to my last visit, I had a lovely Portuguese waiter brightening my mornings at breakfast. I should visit Portugal/Madeira.

I love hearing the clanking of boats in a deserted harbour at night. It makes me think of Jaws and I get comforting excited chills in my upper spine and left femur.

I often feel that having anxiety and depression is a bit mean and maybe someone else could have my anxiety instead, but sometimes I can see why I have the two together. The depression part of my brain always wants me to walk into the sea and keep walking and never come back. But the anxiety part of my brain won’t let me go into the water past my knees without shouting ‘shark’ at me and making me retreat to dry land.

I broke tradition of going to the cinema for a holiday film. I did go to the cinema and sat down in the foyer to choose what film I was going to see but there were lots of people and children there. Too peoply for me so I absorbed the smell of the cinema then left.

I aggravated my knee injury by walking ten miles a day, but when the coast and scenery is as amazing as Jersey it’s hard not to want to walk everywhere. But walking back from Normoint Point to St Aubin was my ultimate nemesis, it looked a lot nearer on the map and I did a lot of internal head swearing.

The railway track walk from Corbiere lighthouse to St Aubin was reviewed as a delight. But the day after my nemesis walk was probably not a good time to do this as I felt anything but delightful. Lots of benches along the route though to rest up so that was good!

Walking along St Brelade’s Bay is so relaxing and calming, until your brain keeps noticing the little worm casts in the sand and tells you that you’re about to be attacked by ‘Tremors’ like creatures at any moment. Cue a middle-aged lady in purple go from smiling strolling mode to panicked limping run mode, much to some dog walkers amusement.

I’m still disappointed that I see an abundance of dogs on the island but no cats. If I get to live in Jersey I shall have twenty cats to attempt to bring some balance.

I discovered the lovely Venezuelan lady in Costa Coffee in St Aubin brightens everyone’s day. She makes it impossible not to smile.

The bus drivers are still so friendly and polite, and the buses run like clockwork. All bus companies should strive to be like Jersey Buses.

The Old Court House in St Aubin is a wonderful place to stay and I would stay there again. With an old staircase and indoor well dating from 1450 it’s magical staying in a part of history.

I didn’t know there was a chapel in Jersey airport until I accidentally stumbled into it while trying to locate departure gate nine.

I still love Jersey, it’s still my favourite place on the planet, my go to happy place. And only eight months until I go back!

Twelve Days of Christmas at the pharmacy (to be sung to the tune of Twelve Days of Christmas).

Published December 21, 2018 by Naomi Rettig

On the twelfth day of Christmas my pharmacist gave to me
Twelve senna tablets
Eleven paracetamols
Ten mills of methadone
Nine types of statins
Eight anti-depressants
Seven sleeping tablets
Six morphine patches
Five metformin
Four suppositories
Three furosemides
Two inhalers
And a jumbo pot of aspirin

If I was writing for Emmerdale

Published September 28, 2018 by Naomi Rettig

Currently the only storyline I’m enjoying is Chas and Paddy’s pregnancy, and enjoying seems the wrong word, as we the viewer are about to hurtle face first into pain and anguish as baby Margarita’s appearance and exit is due next week. Three ply tissues at the ready. For me the scriptwriting for this has been excellent, and I hope Paddy and Chas can grieve together for support in the aftermath, that’s how I would write the continuation of this story for them.

To give them space I would move Charity in with Vanessa, Johnny, and Tracy, and have Noah moving in with them too. Cramped but it could be a fun family household. I’d like to see Charity making up for lost time with Ryan, and because I liked his ‘mum’ Irene I would like the pair of them to move into the village. I liked Irene’s unlikely friendship with Charity, even though prickly at times and I’d like to see this odd couple friendship develop. Irene tipsy at a club with Charity, and Charity making a quilt at a W.I meeting with Irene?

Eric and Faith are a good couple, so I’d leave them well alone, but I’d introduce Eric’s estranged brother Michael into the village. Having emigrated to Australia when younger he’s moved to reconnect with his brother after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. He doesn’t tell Eric this though, so all does not go smoothly, and Michael takes a shine for Diane adding more complications.

I’d like to see Sam and Lydia get married, without a hitch, in a small outdoor ceremony. Simple but beautiful. And just as they settle into married life in Wishing Well cottage with Zak and Belle, Lisa comes home from Scotland. But she’s not alone. She’s back with a glam new look and a new husband, Adrian. Insisting she has just as much right to be there as Zak, and that she needs to be there for Belle after her ordeal with Lachlan. They all decide to try and live amicably together. But obviously there are a lot of problems and unresolved jealousy issues.

I don’t like Jesse and Marlon together, I just don’t feel the chemistry between them myself, so I’d have Marlon end their relationship when Jesse’s other son comes out of prison and causes tension, which I’m sure he will. I’d have Marlon decide on giving up on love but then falling for a food critic called Martha that visits The Woolpack, she keeps coming back as she can’t get enough of his pulled pork balls. They would form a long and loving relationship bonding over their love of food and zombie films. I’d have them become a solid couple, as Marlon and April deserve that.

Bernice and Dr Cavanagh are looking set for a fling currently, and I think they would make a good couple. I’d have Bernice end things with Daz properly and then start a legitimate relationship with Liam. Bernice having a doctor as a partner would feel like a queen bee, her airs and graces would skyrocket. And his daughter Leanna and Gabby having to spend time together could be made interesting with a lot of tension. I’d make Gabby turn vegan and become an animal rights campaigner as a new direction for her.

I didn’t enjoy the Rodney and Misty relationship, so I’d like to give Rodney a romantic break for a while. I’d have him attempt to flirt with a woman in her 40’s, Monique, when she turns up looking for him in the woolpack, but to discover she’s his daughter. A daughter from a one-night stand who Bernice and Nicola are horrified to know exists and do everything they can to try and make her go away.

At first I didn’t like Rhona with Pete, but they’ve grown on me like pretty moss, so I’d have a pregnancy thrown into the mix. Would Rhona want another baby so soon into their relationship? Would Pete? I’d write them going through with it and the commitment to each other. This would be hard for Paddy to watch, his ex-wife having a baby when his and Chas’s didn’t survive.

Another baby I’d launch on the village would be with Maya and David. She would actively seek to get pregnant with him, to control and take over his life slowly. This would be upsetting for Tracy even though she doesn’t want to be with David anymore it would still hurt her after her abortion. I would have Tracy cry on the shoulder of the recently single Daz and have those two get together as a couple.

I think the Sharmas need some new blood. I don’t like Rishi and Manpreet, so I’d knock that on the head. Like Rodney I feel Rishi needs some time out on the romantic front, so I’d have his sister Garima arrive to take charge of him. She would be bossy and matriarchal and want to interfere with his personal and business life. I would see this as light relief and potential for a good comedy element, but underneath it would be quite sad as Garima’s husband has recently died, all her children are living away and she feels empty and without purpose, hence the need to come and pester/nurture her baby brother Rishi.

Jai would also have a new love interest, as his eye catches a newcomer to the village, Bob’s daughter Roxy, who’s 23 now, as we know Jai likes a younger lady. Roxy turns up to stay with Bob, to escape a violent relationship, but doesn’t tell him that straight away. Laurel’s not happy having an extra body in the house but doesn’t say no. I don’t like Bob and Laurel together, so I’d put a lot of pressure on them to try and split them up. As well as Roxy moving in, I’d have Bob’s grandson T.J. stay for a bit, on holiday from Morocco. He’s be 15 now, and he’d have an unrequited crush on Gabby, even attempting to be a vegan to impress her. If I was feeling really mean towards Bob and Laurel I would have Bob’s son (Carly’s brother) Josh stay too, he’d be about 30 now. He could be a possible love interest for Priya, or Harriet even.

We know Kim Tate is coming back for a little while, so it will be interesting to see how she is written in, as she didn’t have anything to do with Joe Tate being his step-gran for a short time many years ago. I’d like to bring back the next generation of Tates. Joes cousin Jean would be 15 years old now, and Kim’s son James (Joes uncle) would be 22 years old now. They could bring a good vibrant dynamic to Home Farm. Joe, James, and Jean (Triple J) and Graham and Kim playing ‘mum and dad’ in a romantic relationship?

Hurtling Down

Published September 12, 2018 by Naomi Rettig

I’ve hit self-destruct and my time is oozing out,
I want my head to shush but all it does is shout,
Self-loathing vile thoughts are all that I hear,
I fear that my brain will crank up a gear.
I see light and love, but I deflect it away,
I am a plane crashing down without a Mayday.
My heart is anaesthetised to numb the dull pain
But I long to feel a healing love once again.
I need someone to assemble my cracked pieces
Before this intensity of thought increases,
But I can’t let people in to my scrambled mess
When trying to love myself brings such distress.
I need someone to hold me but that’s out of reach,
A black cloud sucks life from me like a famished leech