Apparently I talk a lot. Girl1 and Girl2 have decided that I’m not kept on the phone by talkative people who are a bad influence. It’s me. I’m the bad influence. Maybe it’s because I spend so much time on my own? Maybe it’s just me? I have noticed a development of my mother’s trait where the goodbyes take longer than the original event. Maybe it’s age?
A few years ago, AA, a doctor we’d done some work with, persuaded me to participate in a video. I cleaned the house in a mad panic and spoke to the film maker. Before he arrived I’d called AA- she was calming and encouraging and all round wonderful. She was also out of the country on holiday with her family, giving time to me. She’s a gentle, persuasive, quietly charismatic woman, and she manages to achieve the impossible.
I made the video, people saw it. In due course, another video was being made. I had no way out, sure didn’t I do it for AA? There have been a few quick videos since of the ‘Would you do me a favour?’ type. I don’t particularly enjoy it, but it’s quick and painless and it helps get the ‘patient voice’ message across.
The small world of local health and social care may be facing speccy overload at the minute. Two public presentations this past week, a talk to medical students on Monday, something with politicians on Wednesday and another video. This one needed another few takes, but it’s done, and you can laugh at my discomfort, my nodding head and unsmiling face. I’d need better make up, or a facelift, if I were to make a habit of this sort of thing. But I won’t.
There is value in all the talking. (Captive audiences, listening to me & the ramblings of my mind- what’s not to like?) But me doing all the talking isn’t the way forward. There are many, many, experienced patients and carers who have been trying to improve things for years and years. There are many patients and carers new to those roles, baffled by what they’re facing. Health and social care systems need to support, listen to and learn from all those voices. We have a way to go, together. Culture change doesn’t come easy.
I like a challenge. But first, a wee sleep.