Sunday, 28 March 2010

The Osteopath From Hell

We were shooting the video for Katie’s new song “The Flood” at Elstree Studios a couple of days ago, and I had a bad chest pain that I thought might have been, but probably wasn’t, a heart attack. The pain had started the day before and I’ve had that same pain years earlier and it had all been radiating from a vertebra about heart-level, between my shoulder blades. Since I broke my C2 and nearly died, six or seven years ago, I don’t like going to osteopaths, - it just isn’t something I like to do, understandably.

Anyway, this pain was SO bad, and I was working on the video (I wasn’t directing this time; Kevin Godley was) – but I said to my assistant that I really thought I ought to see an osteopath to get me through the day! It was bloody painful. Anyway, it turned out that just across the road was an osteopathy place, so she was able to make an appointment for me, well-timed, right during our crew’s lunch break. Perfect. Except they DIDN’T tell her that they were a “College Of Osteopathy” and that I would be a guinea pig. In other words a student would ”crack” my back, observed by others. Not mentioned.

So off I go to the place, at lunch time. As I walk in, I notice it says “College Of Osteopathy” but just think, that’s fine, some of the best hospitals are “teaching hospitals”. A young bloke in a white jacket, dressed up like a doctor, comes out and invites me into a room, saying “I’ll be treating you today”, and informs me there will be some observers. I’m in so much pain I don’t mind about observers. Key information missing was “…and I myself am a student, as in not a qualified Osteopath”.

So I sit there for 45 minutes answering a huge load of questions, - really detailed medical questions. There’s one girl “observing” from the other side of the room, so I still think this guy is the osteopath and she is the student. He asks me way more info than you usually get asked in situations like this. Can I shit normally? (I normally can), whether my Mother and Father are alive (yes and no). Just to be clear, it’s not that they are both sometimes alive and sometimes not; my Dad has died and my mother hasn't.

After the 45 minutes the guy tells me that of course (of course!) a student will treat me, as in crack my back. At this point I’m thinking “Hang on, nobody told me or my assistant about this! So I say, “Look, nobody told me about this: I broke my neck a few years ago – as you know because I told you half an hour ago in huge detail, - and I’m a bit nervous about being here at ALL. A student cracking my back is out of the question I’m afraid. I’ve already spent an hour now, getting here and being here, and nobody mentioned this. What’s more, I’m in agony and I have to get back to the studio to get this video made”

He goes off, and five minutes later comes out and explains that this can’t happen. This is a college and a student ALWAYS does it.

Another, older bloke, not wearing a doctor’s outfit (presumably the owner or principal of the college; maybe the Headmaster) walks in and starts arguing with me, saying I should have known a student would do it because it says “College of Osteopathy” on the door.

I said “Are YOU a qualified Osteopath” He says, ”Yes, I’m highly qualified”

I say, “Well, could you please make an exception and treat my back for me because I’m trying make a video over the road and I have to go soon, - and I paid your receptionist on the way in?”

He says “I could, but I’m not going to”.

I say, “You mean you’re a qualified osteopath, and you’re going to let me walk out of here in agony when you could help me?”

He says, “Yes”.

I say, “I’m leaving; don’t worry I’ve already paid. He says “You can have your money back” but I’m already half way out of the door. “I haven’t got time” I call, as I close the door quietly behind me. Should've slammed it, really.

So I spent the whole day in pain, with restricted movement and chest pains that could have actually been a heart problem if the osteopathy had been given the chance to illiminate the idea of it being anything more than a skeletal problem

What a bunch of turkeys! And if any of you are reading this and thinking of suing me, for defamation, just try it. You behaved unprofessionally by not warning me either on the phone or in person that I was to be a guinea pig for a student, and you wasted my time on a day when I could ill afford for it to be wasted, and had a floor full of artists and crew across the road, waiting for me to get back and work with them. Thanks for nothing. If you don’t destroy my intimate medical notes it’ll be me suing you.