Ben has a history of horrible in-growing toenails. We thought they'd been fixed long ago, but recently they've reared their ugly heads and so it was off to the chiropodist today which was a really weird experience.
There I was, taking Ben to see a healthcare professional, and immediately and instinctively I knew I could trust him to know his stuff implicitly, get the job done well and give us the best advice. So I just sat there and let him get on with it. And, meanwhile, Ben explained to the chiropodist what was wrong, in detail, so the chiropodist could get a good picture of what was going on, from Ben's perspective, and put it right.
It was just so wierd!
You have to understand that, over the past four and a half years, I haven't accompanied Ben to see anyone except mental health professionals (excluding a hand specialist and broken nose specialist in September 2009 following an argument with a wall and a rugby ball - but that was before I took Ben to see the GP about the eating disorder).
It just felt so very odd to be sitting in front of a health professional trusting them to know what they were doing and to do it right, without even having to think about it. No hackles rising, no feeling that I'm going to have to fight to get good treatment, no sense of the clinician fumbling around in the dark "experimenting" with this, that and the other treatment to see what might work - and, of course, no Ben denying anything is wrong or actively working against the professional and me.
And yet again I found myself up against the incompetence of the NHS - or at least at GP level.
We saw a private chiropodist because the GPs' receptionist told me in no uncertain terms that chiropody was no longer available on the NHS. She snapped my head off as if I'd requested a boob job on the NHS.
Yet the chiropodist says there is an NHS podiatry team that Ben needs to see - and he needs to be seen urgently as his ingrowing toenails are seriously complex and pretty nasty. And he thinks an appointment should come through pretty quickly once he's sent off a referral.
(Unlike Ben's eating disorder where we were told there would be an 18-22 week wait, hey...)
But I still can't get over the almost spa-like, relaxing experience of being with a clinician who obviously knows his stuff inside out and who I felt I could trust implicitly to solve my son's problems.