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Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 15 June 2010

It's just gone midnight and I've turned into turnip, I left my pumpkin suit at the door.

Its been a weird, stressful, strange day.

I left the flat and my ankle was all of a twitter so I decided to take the bus.

Grabbed the Number 19 and sat on the top left hand side.

The weather was warm, sunny and just right for a little stroll from Shaftsbury Avenue into Leicester Square.

My telephone rung and a distraught daughter on the end of line informed me that her back was so bad she couldn't get out of bed, and this is after two hundred quids worth of chiropractic work.

It's not often that my daughter cries but it was all that was needed for me to run into LBC Towers and run straight out again.

They were so kind, it took five minutes for them to send me packing.

I jumped into a taxi, as the central line was down, and told the driver to get me to Hackney in double quick time.

I called the chiropractice and asked what on earth was going on with the girls back since they had given her a clean bill of health. No mention of a refund - which is how they work in China you only pay if you get better - but ALAN told me she had sprained her back and that there was no sign of a bruised disc although some kind of diagnostic imaging would revel that. X-Ray to you and me.

I made notes. She needed some sensitive orthopaedic examination and that I was doing the right thing by asking the right questions. Like was it a disease or neurological problem. It was neither, he said.

I got to the girls flat and she was lying in bed looking like she needed a month in Barbados with a Greek massoose giving her a gentle soft tissues massage.

We walked very slowly to the bus stop and waited until the 236 came. Took our seats and travelled into the heartland of Hackney Downs. The surgery was nestled inside an estate. The door was secure and the receptionist took her eyes off her computer for just long enough to say;


Before she buzzed us into an unforgiving waiting room. Red plastic chairs with the stuffing spilling out, health notices pinned to the wall about sexually transmitted diseases and bed wetting and one flimsy copy of the Hackney Times strewn over a chair.

A beep went off and a computerised print out informed us that the doctor was ready for us in room 2.

The lack of human contact was noticeable. If I hadn't looked up at the unprepossessing sign I would still be sitting in the waiting room trying to do the Hackney Times crossword.

The doctor raised his eyebrows every time I raised a question. B had specifically asked me not to be too testing but when a doctor throws an anti-depressant at your 23 year old daughter something has to be said.

We came out with a prescription worth 21 for two lots of pain killer and six days supply of mood altering drugs.

I do not approve, neither does my daughter but the exercises the doctor gave her were too difficult as she couldn't move anything. He asked her to close her eyes and tapped her legs. She could feel everything. Then he prodded and poked and was satisfied that her back had gone into spasm - not helped by her trip to the bowling alley the night before!

We left and waited for another bus to get us to the chemist. A wonderful Indian pharmacist served us out and off we went to a Turkish restaurant to eat some lunch - it was now 2.00 - so that B could down her drugs.

The meal was disgusting, utterly disgusting. She had a hair in her hummus I had a hair in my hot aubergines. I refused to pay. And they accepted it like it was a normal occurrence. Maybe it was.

Another slow walk back to her flat, a climb into her first floor habitat and then warm pillows, more drugs, and peppermint tea were administered before I had to leave to get to the Festival Hall.

Let me tell you I didn't want to go, I would have rather stayed with my ailing kid, but I am interviewing the Brazilian group tomorrow so I had to see the show.

I met up with my date and we wandered into the UDDERBELLY tent, and took our seats at 7.00.

13 performers danced, sung, jumped over our heads and exhibited the kind of skills that you only see on film. I remember as a child thinking that when people played difficult piano stuff in musicals it wasn't really them playing. Never realising that somebody had to be playing that damn Chopin somewhere for the actor to mime to. This troupe did tumbling and musical acrobatics before your very eyes.

I took my date to supper and she finally left at ten., back to her kids. She went north, I went south. I was so cold I jumped into another taxi, I've spent more money on taxis today than a weekly shop in Iceland, and I do mean the country not the superstore.

Got back to a Sykpe call from the northern git in Norway. He shouted about the drugs but I had to defend the use of the said toxins because of the state of his daughters back.

Bee called to thank me for the day and said she finally felt relaxed. I had to clap my mouth shut and remind myself she's only on the rotten drugs for six days.

I put in the whites to wash, went through my admin, it felt like it was 4.00 in the afternoon. I need my daughter to be better quickly because the strain of her back is taking its toll on mine....

The doctors surgery was ugly and cold. The doctor was less than helpful. My daughter got standard treatment from a healing culture that doesn't ask enough questions but doles out drugs like sweeties. I shook the doctors hand and apologised for interfereing, he said he understood as I was a mother after all.

That's not the point. A body is only one part of a person, what about the mind and spirit?

My daughter let slip something about her ex boyfriend and suddenly it all became clear. She was carrying around the hurt of an idiot boy who broke her heart six months ago. The doctor had no interest at all in how, where, or why my daughter had damaged her back. Unforgivable....

I was only to pleased to be able to assist her in her hour of need and to see just how doctors under pressure operate. Under pressure......

I thank LBC for being so wonderfully understanding, their support helped me support my poor daughters unsupported back

I cannot wait to get back to LBC Towers tomorrow and into some kind of normality.

I wish my lovely daughter better, my husband a peaceful night in Norway and all of you a good nights sleep and continuing GOOD HEALTH.

Jeni Barnett tells of her scrumptious time at Good Food Live in her first audiobook! Download NOW from iTunes


1. At June 15, 2010 4:31 PM carol wrote:

Well done Jeni and well done LBC, im with you, and would have done the same for mine, its very refreshing to find a like minded person when so often we get frowned on for caring or making a fuss of our 'grown up kids' hope shes better soon.x

2. At June 15, 2010 6:20 PM vicky wrote:

Dear Jeni- poor you, it's so painful when our beloved children are hurting, physically or emotionally.
Please have a look of any of Dr John Sarno's books (have a look on Amazon and read the reviews). What he says is a really good starting point to looking at the mind body connection, and how our brains try and distract us from hurt, anger etc. And just that knowledge can make a huge difference to the symptoms. How blessed she is, having two such amazing parents, supporting and loving her.
Best wishes

3. At June 17, 2010 8:42 AM Rhianon wrote:

Maybe I'm out of date with this info, but theres a tremendous lady called Anne Gillanders. Reflexologist. I don't know if you like reflexology, a lot of people don't. But I know she could help your dear daughters back. Many (many) years ago Anne taught me reflexology. You'd be suprised at how it can work. As you say, doctors, in general, pay little heed to patients other than the immediate symptoms. Half the power of reflexology is that hour or so when nobody can ask you for anything, (where are my keys, have you ironed my shirt, why am I not the centre of your attention etc) and when you can talk without any judgement, when no one hears but the reflexologist and the time is utterly for you. Having said that, the surgery I go to is great. Our doctors really take care with the patients.They have plenty of time for each visit, none of this "10 minutes are up and heres a script" lark. Why isn't this the norm? I imagine theres a reason Jesus said, come aside and rest awhile. He must have known the immense value of a break from the stress of busy and demanding times.
You're right to fuss, Jen.

4. At June 21, 2010 12:30 PM Kinect Console wrote:

Dude.. I am not much into reading, but somehow I got to read lots of articles on your blog. Its amazing how interesting it is for me to visit you very often.

5. At June 24, 2010 1:23 AM Terry wrote:

Dearest Jeni. 9 days have gone by since your last lovely blog! I really miss them when there are no new ones. I do hope your daughters back is much better now. You are a loving caring mother and you did what was best for her and i salute you!
Its getting so hot isnt it in London! Phew! Hows Jim doing with the tour of the play? Hope alls going well for him! Im off in a couple of days for a break at my cousins in Malibu California which i love as the house is on the beach and the breases keep me feeling cool!and i love to drop off to sleep there with the sound of the ocean and it makes a change from my home here in Darkest Putney Heath Ha Ha! Ill keep reading your blogs as they come even when im away Jeni as i love them so much the way i miss seeing you on TV each day as you were so delightful on good food live! and no other foodie progs can match your style and bubbly personality! My love goes out to you and your husband Jim and also to your other faithfull people who read the Jeni Blogs with equal enthusiasm, you all kmow who you are!! Love Always Terry

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