Column: Hospital parking is far from healthy

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I have a terrible confession to make this week ... I broke the law! It was only a teeny, weeny parking infringement but it was illegal.

In my defence, while not quite a matter of life or death it did involve health and my sanity so that’s why I parked on a pavement at Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert.

But I’m still feeling guilty – and hoping that I don’t get any retrospective parking fine.

I’ll begin at the beginning (always a good place to start Kate! – Ed).

Last weekend I popped in to see my friend Janet who has been under the weather for a few months now.

Immediately I knew that there was something wrong - the hand wringing and anxious frown gave it away – and I tried to diplomatically ask if she was okay.

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“Oh I’m being silly Kate but I’ve got this letter in for an outpatient appointment at the hospital next Wednesday. I’m still not driving but I can take a taxi.

“However, I’m really worried about not asking all the questions that I’ve got when I see the doctor or even remembering what they tell me. I’m being silly but it’s giving me sleepless nights.”

“That’s not a problem,” I said. “I can talk a half day and come along with you. I’ll pick you up half an hour before your appointment and it’s only five minutes from your house which gives us plenty of time to get parked and find where your supposed to be.”

All sorted – or so I thought.

I won’t go in to Janet’s health problems but she is a bit slower walking at the moment and when I picked her up last Wednesday Storm Ali was in full swing so I decided to use the drop-off point.

“Just go inside and I’ll park up and meet you,” I said, “we’ve got lots of time to spare.”

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Famous last words.

I went round ... and round ... and round the car park but couldn’t find a parking space.

Yes, there were people who came in after me who managed to find a space which, luckily for them, was vacated before I could get round to that bit.

But with my blood pressure rising and very aware that Janet would be anxiously waiting on me, two minutes before her appointment time I saw someone drive off a pavement and I nipped in.

I felt guilty but what else could I do?

I’ve heard people complain before about the parking 
issues at the hospital but till last week had never experienced them.

And I can say that it certainly wasn’t good for my health!