The Auti & The Dentist: SO – No Emergency NHS Direct or Dentistry in North Wales…??

Right… So my face exploded – for the second time – with an abscess on a broken tooth. It’s in the middle-ish of my lower left jaw bone. Literally overnight (it wasn’t like this yesterday!), this time, it sprang up and doubled in size; this thing is a Monster that’s already made me look somewhat like the Elephant Man already – and I am not particularly interested in a Second Go.

I already had this issue back in February, and it took over almost my entire face and neck by the time I actually got “Treatment” – and that was via A&E and two different hospitals, AND and overnight stay for emergency IV antibiotics, before it burst. Yes, that’s how long it took. I couldn’t really swallow (barely able to take basic medication), and it was affecting my breathing. It was hell… And then finally, they did something about it.

In the end that one was drained by the second A&E department, after they made me switch hospitals (that time it was also a weekend, and the hospital I went to didn’t have a maxillofacial department out of hours. Naturally…). So, after overnight IV antibiotics, I was transferred the next afternoon over to the other hospital. Where they stuck me with an enormous needle, and drained the stupid thing out. Seconds later, my face felt and looked pretty normal…

And funnily enough, I really didn’t want to go through that again.

CALLING FOR HELP…

So… Like a sensible person, the first call was to Out of Hours. I’m in pain, and my poor Autie (aka Autistic) Brain is all over the place, so my Mam (bless her), is doing the phoning (she’s a nurse, so that’s useful at times like these)…

They said, because it’s Dentristy, it’s “Call NHS Direct for them to tell you where you can go” (thanks COVID-19 for messing something else to do with my health up). Fine. Fair Enough. Just call 111, Right…? …. RIGHT..??


Ohhhhh NoNope. Nope. Nope!

Not in North Wales…!

Possibly the ONLY place in the UK where CANNOT USE 111 phone number – their FREEPHONE phone number…

WE HAVE TO PAY!!

In North Wales, under Betsi Cadwaledr Health Board, the people of poverty-ridden North Wales (and that’s before COVID-19) MUST CALL AN 0845 number to reach NHS DIRECT!

0845 46 47

Calls to NHS 111 Wales are free from landlines and mobiles. Calls to 0845 46 47 cost 2p per minute, this will be in addition to the telephone providers access charge.


Nooo, I’m NOT Mad, or Angry… No. I am Stunned. Horrified. Fuming. Furious. Disgusted! And My Mother has to put £10 Credit (as opposed to using her normal GiffGaff “Goodybag”) onto her phone to try and call them. Unbelievable!

It takes about 20 Minutes to get hold of them… And then… then they wanted to talk to me Oh Dear. That is not very Auti-Friendly, but they wanted to talk to me about my symptomology.

I managed it… Just. They told me I needed to phone a specific number, and they would be open between 1pm and 4:30pm today. A free one at least, starting with 0300, and a Code to go with it, as a Reference.

0300 0856 230

She proceeded to give me other gems, like using ice packs or not having things too cold or too hot. Nothing sweet (if that’s the case they really need to re-think how they make Oramorph…!). Just in case I was a complete moron. And That Was That.

And You Know What? That phone call cost £7.76... Nearly £8 for that! It makes me want to throw up and cry all at the same time…

Am I actually being Victimised because I am… Welsh, and in the Northern End?!

The Upshot of this Phone Number thing is that they have amalgamated all kinds of things into that one number. Including Dentistry. And apparently they do not answer their phones, because all it did was ring and ring, then ring off… Over and over and over again.

Just over £2 was all that was left of my Mother’s phone Credit, from that initial £10. She put another £15 on to call NHS Direct back about this, to see if there was something we were missing, and obviously didn’t know how long she was going to end up having to wait.

It was indeed another long wait. Only then to be told, by the person who finally answered, that, actually and in fact, that Dentistry Amalgamation phone number wasn’t actually open in the afternoons on weekends, at all, after all… It’s only open on weekends from 9-12pm. And you have to just keep on ringing until some douchbag answers the phone. Maybe. And it’s not like this is even Common Knowledge – or on the Internet. I looked. A lot

Now, the Second Time We Called — NHS Direct cost £8.66...

A Grand Total of £16.42 basically WASTEDand £25 of Credit Purchased…

It’s not like we have any money to spare or waste, let alone THAT much…

But worse — could you imagine someone with even less means needing to contact them? I mean… They just wouldn’t…(!)

SORRY, NO WE CAN’T HELP…

A little while after all that, NHS Direct Triage calls back. She insists on talking to me… and I don’t like her voice; it’s difficult to concentrate on and I have to listen for intonations, enunciation, tone, etc – or “Vocal Language” (like Body Language), as I call it in my own head…

It didn’t take long for the Sheen (that’s the veil of “Normal, NT” communication that I force on) to fall down, so I handed her back to my Mother when it was clear she didn’t like the way I was talking now. I was scared, overwhelmed, and utterly drained and exhaustedand I did not have enough Spoons to play along with NT voice tone games right then, whatsoever

The final answer at the end of all this ludicrously ridiculous – and ridiculously expensive(!) – debacle, was — dear Gods help me — to do what we could have figured out for ourselves, if we’d only just realised there was No Other Help out there. To an NHS community hospital (sort of), right next to where my mam works along the prom, where they hold a dental clinic in the very early mornings, with a walk-in centre…

As InThe very place we spent all that time, effort and money, trying to Avoid…(!!)

Now, I have been left with No Choice… And I am forced to do something that is just going to make me all the more ill. Especially with my Fibro, and my Autism.

Tomorrow, I have to be at this community hospital by or before 8:00am, so I can join what will be an ever-expanding queue (Auti part very upset about this bit), for a clinic that doesn’t even start until 9am.

To manage this, I have to be awake All Night — This is because that between my pain, my meds, and the utter exhaustion, I cannot get up until at least 11am, and not entirely lucid until 12 or 1 pm and counting. If I do not sleep, I don’t have that problem, so… No Choice.

I’m Scared. I’m Overwhelmed. I’m Exhausted Beyond Anything and Everything.

And somehow, I now also need to do this. After wasting all that time and money, and effort.

Gods Help Me…

About delphinemusic

Over-enthusiastic Gamer, Goth, Geek, Techaholic, Dabbling Writer & Blogger, and Raging Coffeeholic ~ Rocking Wheelchair User ~ Proudly Autistic ~ Kicking Fibromyalgia’s Backside (!) • § Loves Gadgets, Games, Tech... And Coffee. Lots and LOTS of coffee! § ' ~ Obsessively-loving: SIMS!, Dragon Age Series, Mass Effect Triligy, The Witcher Games, Skyrim Special Edition, Elder Scrolls Online, Divinity: Original Sin Series (amongst others!) ~ ~ Self-Built Gaming Rig: i7-4970K, 16GB RAM, 240GB SSD Boot, 1TB + 3TB HDD Storage, RTX 2080 8GB EVGA *Super Black* Gaphics, 1150 ASUS Z97-A ATX mobo, Windows 10 64-bit ... Oh, and did I mention I love coffee...? View all posts by delphinemusic

2 responses to “The Auti & The Dentist: SO – No Emergency NHS Direct or Dentistry in North Wales…??

  • thepleasuregarden

    This 100%. Happening right now. Did I write this? We (North Wales, me a nurse mum with ASD son, likely abscess). We’ve done NHS Direct x2. We’ve called the special dentist number 65 times since 9am…
    And with what grim humour did someone assign the “230” (tooth-hurty?) BCU number to dentistry?!?

  • delphinemusic

    Hahaha… You know, I never clocked on to that! I bet that’s exactly why they chose that number, too!

    I’m so sorry this is happening to you and your son — it’s all bad enough, without being ASD as well; with it, these things become so insurmountable and distressing it’s impossible not to keep yourself together and meltdown or at least have severe anxiety attacks… Even as an adult the wrong side of 30, I still cannot cope with these things very well, and need a lot of help and emotional support.

    I only got treatment in A&E both times. Luckily, I was given very kind treatment, and as soon as they knew I was ASD, they really tried hard to make sure I was OK. Apparently only Glan Clwyd has an OOH Maxillofacial department, though, which really isn’t helpful, either!

    I really hope you manage(d) to find some treatment for that Abscess… they’re such horrendous Things 😦 😦 Xx

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