Letter from NHS a week later : Come in for a checkup or we will cut off your monthly prescription! Also, please email us to confirm, do not phone. Also, here is a thing for sending secure documents that you have to register for.
Me, scratching head: but you phoned me and booked checkup. And I don't HAVE a monthly prescription. And I have just finished fighting my bank to try to get one of my 9999 pieces of personal identification changed, and the sight of yet another secure document thing makes my heart sink.
Rebelliously phones surgery.
Surgery phone system (in bossy Scottish voice) ALL OF OUR OPERATORS ARE BUSY. PLEASE HOLD.
I hold. And hold.
Eventually, broad Cornish accent which has clearly just been giggling madly says "What? what? Oh! Reception!"
This is a human being. Hurray! I explain that I have received a phonecall and letter.
Human being is puzzled. No, you don't have any prescriptions since 2013 on the system, she says.
I mention the appointment booked by phone.
"I don't know nothing about THAT" she says, clearly baffled. "Nothing on the system about THAT."
"Do you ever feel that the computers are doing this sort of thing just to push us around for fun?" I ask.
"YES!!!" she cries. "ALL THE TIME!"
OK, I say. Could the letter be something to do with an asthma checkup? We both consider the situation and conclude that that is the only thing the NHS could possibly want from me.
She searches her computer to find an asthma checkup appointment. There are many available appointments, but they are only single ones, and an asthma checkup must be a double one.
"But my asthma is very mild!" I say. "Usually my checkups take, like, two minutes at most!"
"But the asthma checkup must be a double one," she says, darkly, perhaps envisaging a horrifying situation where my lungs fall out onto the surgery floor and have to be scooped back in. Eventually she finds an appointment, and I agree the time.
"Would you like me to send you a text to confirm?" she asks.
"YE GODS NO!!!" I cry. "They are already confusing me by phone and letter, I do not wish to add more channels!"
"That's probably all for the best," she agrees.
This sort of thing makes me so very, very glad I'm not actually ill.