I might have broken my right ring finger. It’s hurty and swollen, and it got hit really hard by a bit of wood. I’ve taped the swollen finger to my middle finger and that’s about the best I can do.
‘Should you see a GP?’ asks Annabel sympathetically. Apart from the time I watched an Asher Keddie TV show with her, I think this is the most she’s been worried about my health and feelings.
‘I can’t get one.’
It’s an unusual thing in Bendigo. There are great hospitals and infrastructure. Plenty of chiropractors, psychologists and hair dressers (who are another type of psychologists ), but few GPs. At least few with vacancies.
Three months ago, in relation to another medical mishappening, I called around. ‘Are you an existing patient?’ asked one receptionist. ‘Does your family visit here?’ asked another.
No were my replies to both questions. ‘We’re not taking new patients,’ said all five I tried, with ‘Hmmm, there’s Emergency at the hospital if you really need,’ the most helpful referral I got. However I believe if the body is not bleeding and consciousness not threatened, those sods in Emergency probably have other people to see.
All in all the whole GP thing feels like a test to prove if you’re local.
“Where you from?” Someone might say.
“Bendigo.” I’d reply.
“Who’s yer GP?” They’d ask, leaning in.
“I don’t have one.” I’d answer, leaning back.
“Then you’re not really from Bendigo then,” looking me in the eye. “Are you?”
Quite the problem. What does one do when met with bodily damage? Consult Google Dr and other home remedy guess-timates? Perhaps go to the queue at the bulk biller, and hope not to be seen by the doctor with the ipad connected to Google Dr? Or maybe haul oneself to the outer reaches to get to a GP, driving a manual car one handed with the help of teeth and limited indicating.
Those all seem like silly options. I’ve broken a finger before anyway.
‘What’re you going do?’ Asks Annabel, leaving the room.
‘Type slower.’ I reply.
And I’ve been doing just that. Finger is a bit purple now. I’m pretty sure it is broken.