Don’t you love today’s news story?
Pretend doctor practises for 23 years without the appropriate qualifications, no one noticing anything untoward. Not her patients: not her colleagues.
You can’t imagine a brain surgeon faking it in the operating theatre, can you? Or a cardiologist pretending to know how to fit a pacemaker? Any more than you could pretend to be a violinist when you don’t know an A string from an E: because that is a real, measurable skill.
There is only one medical discipline, of all of them, which you could make up as you go along. And nobody notice.
(And as Ben said, quite possibly do a lot less damage than the real thing...)
But back to
and how was Bink coping with all we were going though?
I estimated at the time that it set her back five years of her previous recovery. Which turned out to be a lot more than five years of her future development, in the effect it had.
I learnt, over and over again during that dismal time, why sorrows come not single spies. One knocking another knocking another in a long and overwhelming line throughout our family.
She was absolutely right that losing her medication had lost her a place at the college she had applied to. Nevertheless, she was pooled and offered a place at another Cambridge college.
She wanted to turn it down and apply again the following year.
It sounds absurd, I know – and everyone told her it was – but I understood her reasoning. It was at a single sex college, for mature students: she would be 21 by the time she started. She should have got into the college she’d applied to; and if she hadn’t lost her medication just before her interviews, probably would have done. And she would have been really happy there.
Bink was not one of those who socialised more naturally with her own sex: she hated being at a girls’ senior school, after a mixed prep school where all her friends were boys. (Like me at her age, she was a tomboy. Like me too, if we’d both lived in a later age, she would almost certainly have identified as a boy. Either of us quite possibly opting for transition. Thank goodness we lived when we did: what a scary thought…)
And a mature college more or less shuts down at the weekends.
But everyone told her it would be irresponsible. So she gave in and agreed to start at Cambridge the following Michaelmas.
She went to London for an interview at her old school and was offered a smashing job: an extremely well-paid post as a teacher’s assistant. It would have covered a substantial proportion of her expenses at university. And spring-boarded her into work afterwards.
But she also went for an OCD assessment at the Bethlem Hospital and was told yes, she was easily ill enough to bypass a GP’s referral and be admitted as soon as they had a bed, probably in April.
She couldn’t do both. She chose hospital.
It was wise – and remained, until this year, almost the only effective treatment she has ever been offered for her OCD, giving lasting help.
But the other side of it was is that, to this day, she has never done a day’s paid work. Having that on her CV would have enabled her a number of times since. She offered herself for voluntary work in a church primary school, for instance, but was turned down when the head discovered she had no experience.
So being homeless, by robbing her of the recovery which she, and we, had worked so hard for since the Florence Nightingale Unit, also robbed her of any work she could have done for many years to come.