Sleight of Hand

When I signed up for the Pivotal Boost clinical trial I was given a letter to take to my GP’s surgery. As I had to pass the surgery, I delivered the letter on my way home. The receptionist made a copy and returned the original. The letter specified which drug I should be prescribed to begin my hormone therapy, which was an antiandrogen to be taken daily for four weeks, starting after my final scan. Also listed were three different drugs together with the annual cost for each one. It seems that the GP would choose which one I should be prescribed (a decision I hoped would not be made on cost). An injection would be given periodically and indefinitely, commencing one week after the antiandrogens.

After about a week, I phoned the surgery to ask if my prescription was ready for collection. “What prescription?” was the reply from the receptionist.

“For my hormone therapy,” I informed her.

“What hormone therapy?” she asked.

“For my cancer treatment”, said I.

There then followed a discussion as to the whereabouts of my prescription, and/or the letter from the hospital. It seems it or they had vanished. Fortunately, as I still had the original, I was able to return to the surgery and they took another copy, assuring me that all would be well and I could collect the prescription in a few days.

As it happened, I had an appointment booked with the practice nurse for the following day for immunisation against pneumonia. After having the injection, I mentioned to the nurse that I was having problems with my prescription. “Wait there a moment”, she instructed as she left the room. She returned just a minute or two later waving a prescription in her hand. It was dated the 20th February the date that I had first taken the letter into the surgery. For almost two weeks it had been missing and suddenly, not missing at all. How come? Sleight of Hand perhaps.


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