Remember what Roberto said? “I will see you in clinic on Thursday to take your stitches out.” It was Wednesday. I had heard nothing, zip, de nada. No phone call. No letter. No text. With a heavy heart I clicked on Google to look for a number of someone who might know something.
First number was making or changing appointments. There were two numbers. One for newbies and one for follow ups. Seemed a good place to start. I got through quite quickly. The bored sounding woman told me that there was no eye appointment booked, but I had an appointment with ENT in December. This I already knew. Try eye outpatients came the obvious response.
Fortunately, I had a number for eye outpatients. It rang and rang and rang. Nothing. I gave it some time and called again. It rang and rang and rang and rang and rang. Then an answer. The receptionist sounded stressed. I explained my stitches story. She wasn’t really listening. She put me through to the ward where I had the operation. I said the stitches story to the receptionist there. She said I should speak to a staff nurse about it. After ten minutes on hold, I told a staff nurse my stitches story. She said I needed to speak to eye outpatients. Deep breathe. The staff nurse was sympathetic and gave me the number for Mrs T’s secretary. Maybe she might be better than eye outpatients.
I tried the secretary. Voicemail. I left a long voicemail explaining the stitches story. I hung up. This needed to be sorted. I called eye outpatients again. It rang and rang. Bingo! The same stressed receptionist as before. I repeated the stitches story.
“It’s just that Mrs T doesn’t have her clinic on Thursday…”
“I don’t think I need to see Mrs T. I need to see… urm… Roberto? Sorry. I don’t know his surname.”
It felt weird saying Roberto. It felt like I was asking for a masseur or a hairdresser. I wonder if Spaniards have the same feeling when they ask to speak to someone called Robert?
After a slight pause, the receptionist found him.
“Ah yes… come at ten tomorrow.”
I hung up. The phone rang. It was Mrs T’s secretary.
“Yes. You have an appointment at ten o’clock in eye out patients tomorrow morning.”
You don’t say!
So, there I was at ten. The clinic was heaving. I got called through quite quickly and was informed that there were three patients before me. I sat outside Roberto’s door and waited. God, he took his time. Once the three before me had been seen and gone, it was my turn. Then I realised. The reason why it took so long was because he was a bloody good doctor. He asked how I was getting on and checked my eye thoroughly. He took the stitches out quickly, with minimal fuss. He double checked that I knew what I was doing eye ointment and eye drop wise post-surgery. He finally made an appointment to see me in two months’ time and that was it, job done.