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Waiting Impatiently… By Peter Cawston

Written by: Dr Peter Cawston, Garscadden Burn Medical Practice

Published: 04/03/2014

When is our Links Worker starting?

So, Bert, are you here because the nurse told you to come?

Aye.
Do you know why?
She said I’m not taking my pills, but I am, I just forget the odd time.
Did you know the last time you collected a prescription was in July?
Aye, well, I’ve still got some in the house.
Do you know what the pills are for?
Aye, my heart and that.
So, what’s going on?
Ach, I’m depressed and that, I just shut the door, I’m fine when I’m in myself like, but I don’t go out much. My ma says I’ve let myself go…

Over the next fifteen minutes Bert fills in a few of the gaps, with a lot of encouragement. He has lost his confidence, his relationships and even the sense of purpose to his life. His weekly routine has become empty, the outside world quite a frightening place.

Bert, you can get by without the pills I prescribe you, but you can’t get by without your self respect.
Aye, you’re right there doc.
So, what can we do?

Later, after some research, I call Bert with the number for a charity shop that is looking for a bric a brac sorter. They even offer a taster session. He promises to give them a phone. I have my doubts…

That evening, as usual, I leave very late, never having managed to catch up the 45 minutes spent on Bert’s case. I wonder, as I have many times before, if giving my personal time in this way will result in any benefit to him. I think about all the cans of worms I left un-opened so that I could get home at all. And I ask, probably for the hundredth time: When is our Links Worker starting?

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