It's like pulling teeth...

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Monday 26 September 2011 2.26am
... Literally, in my case, as I have a Thursday morning appointment at King's College hospital in SE5 for some heavy-duty multiple extraction work under sedation. The first of two such sessions.

But neither can take place unless I have a "responsible adult, known to me" present on arrival at 9.45am on September 29 who promises to accompany me back to SE1 (I live off Southwark Bridge Road) later in the morning when I'm discharged.

It's a rule that our local hospital trust hasn't exactly geared to the realities of modern-day inner London. I live alone, have no family within reach of here, and my friends all work by day: in the current dark economic climate I don't feel good about asking any of them to take a morning off, and nearly all would have to travel from other parts of town.

No idea why King's won't just let me recuperate on site until they can see I've come round enough to head off under my own steam. But they're adamant.

So my question is whether this forum might harbour a kind soul willing to meet me there that morning for a quick coffee, check me in and come back a few hours later. Cab paid to my place, then yours, and fifty quid to you or to a charity of your choice. Same again for the next appointment, and I'll be told that day when it is.

Cue debate about the atomisation of urban society....
Monday 26 September 2011 7.53am
Did you ask if you could just be kept in overnight? It's what they've always said to me when I was being sedated (which can make you quite ill). It's almost like a threat, you'll have to stay overnight in our horrible hospital unless you find someone to meet you.

Sadly I'm at work or would happily drive you down there, are you able to get there earlier as I could drop you off and you could find someone else to meet you?
Monday 26 September 2011 11.51am
So Guys don't do that kind of thing anymore?

I spent hours and hours being experimented on by students there as a kid.

I wish you luck boroman.
Monday 26 September 2011 12.09pm
Guys do the same thing for teeth extractions. Depends on your dentist and were the refer you to for extractions.

I had to pay a childminder for my sister to attend with me, I really do feel your frustration.

Good luck.
Monday 26 September 2011 1.37pm
Update: I've had very kind offers from two well-known posters here. I have to go out for a while but will be responding to each of them later today. Thanks both meanwhile, and others who empathised.

This morning I also received a reply from the Friends of KCH to a similar enquiry I'd emailed to them. The gist is that they can't help and nor can the King’s Volunteering Service or the Patient Advice and Liaison Service, with whom they checked. "The hospital realises that this is an ongoing problem for some patients but unfortunately we know of no solution."

The Friends' ultimate suggestion was also that I'd otherwise have to be admitted as an in-patient, which seems a crazy use of NHS bed space.

This all started two years ago when I told my then dentist to stop after he'd been wiggling about with his tongs for 10 minutes trying to pull the remains of a broken molar under local anaesthetic: I couldn't face any more. He referred me to Guy's, who refused me sedation for the three extractions I at that time needed. Since then the number has multiplied.

I'm going private for the implants that will ultimately be the best way of replacing those of the front ones that also now have to go. But as the initial quote including extractions was £17,000, I've been battling for ways to bring that punitive cost down. At the age of 54 I'm not wishing to take out a new mortgage!-)
Monday 26 September 2011 2.00pm
There are lots of companies that organise trips to Poland, Hungary and other eastern european countries for dental treatment if you're of an adventurous disposition. Even with travel and hotel you save thousands and it's all done in 2/3 long sessions rather than the usual numerous 30 minute trips to a UK dentist. Of course if anything goes wrong you might need the NHS to clear up the problem. I only know one woman who actually did this about 4 years ago and she is very pleased with the results.

Be true to your teeth or they'll be false to you
Monday 26 September 2011 3.51pm
I'm with you boroman
several small 'procedures' later I am running out of kind friends!
AMusingly one just dropped me at the door, unlocked it and threw me in.
I realised later (high as a kite) why you DO need someone with you!!
Monday 26 September 2011 10.16pm
Sorry but I can't help this Thursday.
Friday 30 September 2011 11.55am
Well, the wooziness has worn off, gums stitched up and swollen and with an aching jaw, but all went well at KCH. In the end someone I know turned out to be free to take me along.

Nonetheless, many thanks to the good handful of SE1ers who expressed willingness to help. It's further evidence that this splendid site is not just a virtual community but a real one too.

Yours toothlessly, Boroman

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