The Stroke Association had organised for me to attend a trainig session yesterday, one of those mostly-internal things organised by the local hospital, mainly for ward staff. On the subject of aphasia, the difficulty experienced by some stroke survivors in terms of speech (and, I learned, in terms sometimes of muddling up what is heard). I think they split that whole communication process – just taking on board a question and coming out with an answer – into seven parts. A problem with any of the seven is described as aphasia.
I was aware that I was primarily a guest on the course, and it was a subject I’d like to know more about, so I was happy to be quite flexible to get onto the course, to the point jumping through hoops to get myself up there.
I got to the designated location a good fifteen or twenty minutes early, only to be told oh, you’re very early. We didn’t expect to see you for another hour yet. So I wandered back to the hospital’s little coffee shop and re-checked my email. Sure enough, I had arrived at the correct time. Anyway…… Maybe the plans had changed at the last minute and they hadn’t got around to telling me? I certainly didn’t expect to be central to the thing, maybe they just hadn’t thought on to inform me?
An hour later I rolled back up, all caffeined out, only to be told that my session had started an hour ago! Somebody had assumed that I was attending something different, without waiting for me to tell them what I was there for. I mean, thereafter everyone was extremely apologetic, but untimately I’d still put myself out, and missed half of the session as well!
Not very impressive. I mean, in my former life, I even used to be unimpressed with many of my clients’ staff (in what we’d assume would be very professional environments), so at our tiny provincial hospital in Salisbury, my expectations should have probably been lower still!
Funny, in a totally unrelated incident we met someone last weekend. Someone who happened to work at the hospital in another local town, Poole in Dorset. One of the subjects that came up was the standard of life at Salisbury.
You kind of assume that there is a flat standard across the UK, plus of course the vast majority of us only ever know one or two areas, so we’re not qualified to compare. But I wonder……. Maybe it is little things like this, which taken on their own are pretty minor, but which aggregate and make a difference? Maybe they are all straws which will eventually break the camel’s back?
Still, I must put that to one side. The highlight of the day was meeting a couple of other survivors, as part of the session. I’m glad I got the opportunity to do that. With some few exceptions, people are lovely. And speaking to these real people was far, far easier than the hypothetical classroom scenarios.
Up there again today to do a drop-in on the ward.