So I had my response to the health declaration and it’s a no. I can still do duties and stuff, maybe if I’m a really good girl and promise not to do too much damage and as long as someone keeps an eye on me but apparently now is not the best time for me to do a “difficult and intense course”. I’d argue now was the very best time for me to do said course as it’ll be a great distraction and is what I want to do. Surely I’m the best judge of what I am and am not capable of, i have insight remember?
So yes, the person in charge phoned me to say this. Her points were:
- You’re on venaflaxine – imagine the tone of voice you’d expect someone to use if you’d confessed to being on heroin regularly and you get the idea. I tried to point out that it’s just an anti-depressant and lots of people take lots of different drugs for lots of different reasons but that’s not relevant apparently as we’re just talking about me.
- You haven’t been to a divisional meeting this year. No, fair point but then and again lots of people don’t go to meetings. I pointed out I live 10 miles away but that’s not good enough. I also pointed out that the meetings were mostly beneath me (ok, maybe not the best choice of words but I was pretty damn upset) in that they’re aimed at people going out on duty for the first time, not those with 500+ hours duty experience. I pointed out that I regularly train for St John and did go to the first meeting where I thought I’d actually learn something and be able to help. But St Johns not all about duties, to which I pointed out I “go to the pub with these people”. Apparently that was too much, the use of ‘these people’ obviously implied that I thought I was far superior and she’d never heard anyone talk like that before ever.
- You’ve been ill recently according to people at the unit but I obviously didn’t ask for any more details. So if you didn’t ask for details, ill could have been flu or a cold? Let’s all jump to conclusions that because you’re crazy, any illness must be related to this. Crazy people don’t get ill like normal ones do.
- People with psychological difficulties will struggle. You can’t know that if you don’t let them try. I pointed out I know ambulance aiders with bipolar disorder among other mental health conditions. But again that’s not relevant, as this is only about me. Besides, you told the truth on your form, they obviously didn’t. So we’re penalising people for being honest now are we?
- You shouldn’t be using this as a form of personal therapy. Why shouldn’t I, there are worse reasons for wanting to help others. As long as it doesn’t influence my behaviour and isn’t obvious then I fail to see the problem. It’s not like I go around introducing myself with “I’m Ana, I have Borderline Personality Disorder, how are you?”.
- You don’t understand the amount of work involved and it would put you under too much stress. I’ve previously sat through most of the course as well as most of the next level course while acting as a casualty so I have a pretty damn good knowledge of the content. I could have had a place to do the course in xxxxxxx but chose to do my trainer course instead as I felt I’d be able to use that to help the organisation more.
- Crewing an ambulance is very different to being a first aider. No shit, I honestly hadn’t noticed or considered the implications of doing the course. Pointed out that I crew the Cycle Response Bikes which is pretty similar but as that was in xxxxxxxx not yyyyyyyyy it’s obviously not relevant. Besides the real reason I want to do the course isn’t so I can run around on blues and twos saving lives at every turn, it’s so I can learn some more advanced skills to use on ordinary duties.
- You’re not being treated. See point one, I’m not just taking venaflaxine for the hell of it or because I like the big red pills. Yes I am waiting for talking therapy but it ain’t my fault the waiting lists are through the roof.
- You shouldn’t have been allocated a place on the course in the first place as you didn’t have a health dec. Sound familiar in any way? I’m starting to wonder if this person is actually NHS occy health come back to haunt me. Can’t argue with it but why should I suffer for someone elses cock ups?
Think that’s it, but it’s ok, you might be able to do the course in a few years time since you’ll be around here for a long time yet right? No actually, I’m hoping to go to University to do nursing. No, I don’t have a place yet but I do have 3 interviews in the next month or so. You are aware that you have to have fitness to practice to do a nursing course? Actually, that had completely escaped my notice, good job I have you to pick up on these things for me. In reality I pointed out that my psych (when I had one) and my dr think I can do the course. But even that’s not enough, doing the course is very different from actually practicing and NMC regulations say you have to be psychologically and physically fit to do the course and practice. So not only have I had one of the few things I was looking forward to doing taken away, I’m also not going to be able to do what I want in the future according to some random who’s never met me and is basing this on a few tick boxes and one or two word answers. Talk about kicking someone when they’re down.
I really don’t know where to go from here. Every time something good comes up, people or circumstances conspire to take it away from me. I can’t see how I’ll get in to do nursing if I’m too mental to even do a 4 day voluntary course. Life is in conclusion shit.