Tag Archives: blood pressure

Queuing – A Fine Old Tradition

And here, as promised in the last post, is the less happy post.

I had a telephone conversation with a rheumatology consultant this morning, as they don’t want people going to hospital. I’m happy with that as I didn’t want to go either, even before the rise of Covid 19.

The outcome was that as I now have three more fingers swelling up I qualify for treatment. If I had only two affected joints, despite the difficulty and pain, I would not qualify for more than a quick-fix injection. I now have to wait for a nurse to ring me and arrange the prescription.

The fingers are now going down again, so with any luck I will get the prescription before another flare up.

After a week or more of conflicting government advice about risk and isolation the consultant said I am considered medium risk and should go out for exercise but avoid going into shops. That should be interesting when we return to work…

Then Julia got as telephone call from the doctor. Her blood test appointment was cancelled again. Then, when she objected, the doctor read her notes and reinstated it. I suspect they were just trying to cancel as much as possible.

The new arrangement is that we have to go down to the surgery at 1.45 pm, where they will take blood. This has to be done before 2.00pm to get it to the lab.

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Woman on a Mission

They will not be taking her blood pressure – she has been told to go and buy her own machine and telephone the surgery with the results.

No, I’m not making it up.

Her risk category is high, but she is, according to the doctor, still allowed to go shopping. This is handy, as we need to buy a blood pressure machine. We tried online but there was a virtual queue at Boots of over 20,000 just to get online. There was no queue at Amazon but they wanted £4.49 for postage and packing and another £4.49 for express delivery which was 3 days. Three days is not “express”, and £8.98 is taking the mickey.

So there we are – a week into lockdown and Julia is high risk. However, unlike medium-risk me, she is allowed to go into shops, and most likely, to go back to work next week.

Again, I am not making this up.

Here are some pictures from our trip out for medical advice and a blood pressure machine.

Most of the people queuing outside the surgery were waiting for the pharmacy to open, as it has restricted hours. The pharmacy we went to in Sherwood was only letting in two customers at a time. Julia managed to get both the blood pressure machine and a packet of paracetamol. This is ironic. The pain-killing gel has not been working on my fingers and I’ve been leaving out last packet of paracetamol in case we become ill. Now that my fingers are no longer painful we have managed to get more pills.

Pharmacy Queue

Pharmacy Queue – with hindsight we should have joined this one

All the shops seem to have queuing systems now. We are going out to join one shortly, because, when we got home, we found that the blood pressure machine only has two batteries packed with it and needs four. They are AAA. If they were AA we would have plenty because I use them in my camera.

No wonder Julia’s blood pressure is high.

Don't believe the packet - batteries were definitely not included!

Don’t believe the packet – batteries were definitely not included!

A Week I Wouldn’t Want Again (Part 1)

Sorry, I know everyone has problems, and some of them are worse than mine, but how’s this for a week?

Last Tuesday I had a phone call as I was packing parcels in the shop. Julia had collapsed at work and they had called an ambulance. They were using words like “fit” and “seizure”, which didn’t seem hopeful. (Despite this, you do not need to worry – she is fine).

Eventually the ambulance arrived, checked her out and took her off to Queen’s Medical Centre. Having established where she was going, I took a taxi to the hospital. Parking provision is poor at the hospital and, if anything, has become worse over the last few years. It is quicker to take a taxi than find parking. Of course, that would be the morning when they had an idiot on the switchboard and a glitch with the system.

It took twenty minutes for the taxi to arrive, but seemed longer.

At A&E I queued to find out where she was.

As I did so, I heard her say, “Hello.”

Looking round, I saw Julia standing next to me as if it was completely normal to take an ambulance to hospital and scare me to death.

“You’re supposed to be ill,” I said. “I thought you’d be lying on a trolley looking poorly.”

“They needed the trolley for somebody else.”

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Forsythia and Photinia “Red Robin” – can’t remember the exact names

I took this to be a good sign. I was to be the only good thing to happen in the next four hours. They took her blood pressure, which was high. I am not surprised, mine was probably high too. Hospitals, worries and the cost of taxis will do that.

Then they took a blood sample.

In front of us a man moaned in pain as he sat in a wheelchair. Behind us a woman moaned about her Sky TV contract. Her son-in-law tried to explain it to her and her daughter added a few random complaints of her own.

The TV on the wall droned on about corona virus, the information screen kept increasing the waiting time estimate and the Sky TV contract continued causing concern.

Eventually she saw a doctor. While I sat and waited I tried to read, but the complaints about Sky TV cut my concentration to ribbons. The man in the wheelchair got up and went to the toilet. At that time, of course, he was called through to see a doctor. It never fails.

There were two manacled criminals in the waiting area. They both had two police officers with them. I checked with one of our customers when I saw him later in the week – they have to have two police with them for health and safety reasons in case friends of the prisoner launch a rescue attempt. No wonder we’re short of police on the street.

The doctor told Julia she would have to consult with the rest of her team as she couldn’t find anything wrong. So we waited and the man with the mother-in-law was called through. I’d assumed they had come with the older lady, but no, the womenfolk were simply treating it as an outing.

He was soon out, having been told that his chest pain was probably due to a bout of coughing he’d had in the morning. At the word “cough” we all moved away from him.

He said the doctor had advised him not to lift anything heavy, so he was clearly going to be OK if he had to carry his IQ.

Daffodils at Mencap garden

Daffodils at Mencap garden

Shortly after that Julia was called through to the doctor again and told they definitely couldn’t find anything wrong apart from dehydration (because she doesn’t look after herself). We went for a coffee and had a lemon tart whilst the hospital pharmacy sorted out some aspirin before taking a taxi home.

All in all it was a worrying day and one I wouldn’t want to repeat. It was, though, just the beginning…

The photos are random yellow flowers from the last week. I haven’t taken many photos.

Disclaimer – no wives were hurt in the writing of this blog.

 

Blood Pressure,Tranquility and a Simple Solution

I’m generally at peace in three places. One of these is when I’m out in nature (though a cold day at a gravel pit doesn’t work the magic as much as a spring day in the woods. Another is in church. The third one is among antiques.

We seem to be wired to respond to nature, and I suspect church builders knew more about promoting tranquility a thousand years ago than we do now. As to the third, I’m not sure why it happens, but it does. It might just be that I’m strange.

One place I find it hard to be relaxed is in hospital. That probably starts in the Workhouse. They weren’t meant to promote relaxation, which is fine when you are building to scare the poverty-stricken and the elderly. When they were turned into hospitals, as many of them were, a change of emphasis might not have been possible. I’m not saying this is the reason, but it might be.

There is also the well known “white coat effect”. I used to be able to control this by imagining sunlight streaming into a wooded clearing. These days, I can’t hold the picture in my mind and I frequently find myself having discussions with doctors about my blood pressure.

I don’t know why it should be so. I’m overweight, so as far as I’m concerned that gives the blood more room to spread out. I should have low blood pressure, not high. Unfortunately this, according to my doctor, is not how it works.

Plan B then, should surely to go back a few hundred years and do a bit of cupping and bleeding. Looking at it logically this will reduce the pressure, just like letting air out of a tyre. Simple.

I shall have a word with my doctor when I see them on Thursday.