Tag Archives: blood test

I Remembered!


Julia takes Christmas more seriously than I do

I remembered what I couldn’t remember yesterday. I had a text in the morning telling me that they surgery had cancelled my blood test at short notice. This was annoying fo  number of reasons, including that I am already a week late after working Wednesday last week. My appointment had been for 8.20 (which wouldn’t have been my first choice to be honest) and they had no more appointments that day. So, feeling pessimistic, I rang the surgery to reschedule. I was number four in the queue, then three then two, then one . . .

Whoever was in front of me took ages. They must have been asking something very complicated. I stayed at Number One in the queue . . .

. . . and waited . . .

. . . and tried to keep cheerful whilst waiting, and as the tinny music played . . .

. . . and got through.

I was cheerful and polite and came away with an appointment for 11.40 this morning. It seemed they did have another appointment today after all, and at a much more convenient time.

Christmas in a Tin? See above.

As a result, I was able to stay in bed until 9.00 (clutching the new tartan duvet around my ears) and have bacon sandwich before pottering off, yielding blood at the second attempt and returning home.

I hve thoroughly enjoyed my day so far. It’s  little cold, and the screen was still iced up at 11.20 but  apart from that all is good.

I’ve also found my methotrexate tablets. I’ve missed a week and that really makes a difference in winter, but I found some when looking through my bag. At first I thought they were the ones I knew I had lost, but they aren’t, because the box is different. These are not the ones I know I have lost, these must be the ones that puzzled me a few months ago when I ran out unexpectedly. I must have taken them away with me when we went to Norfolk.

A Quercus Christmas

I am going to have to introduce a memory support system where I  use one big box for tablets, keep a diary and, as Derrick suggested, photograph stuff to remind me.

This, in answer to a question I asked earlier in the week, is when I admit I am getting old.

Imperfection is the essence of a handmade Christmas. I refer, of course, to the wreath rather than Julia, who.like Mary Poppins, is practically perfect in every way. I pointed out that she looks very young in this photo. She pointed out that since this picture was taken she has had to put up with me for another eight years.


News of an Old Blogger

I had a nice surprise tonight when I checked my emails – Charlie Robinson, who used to blog as Charliecountryboy, popped up on Linkedin. I rarely get any use from it but I’ve now reconnected with two people I’d lost touch with so it’s quite useful.

He says:

I have published my first novel. The Siege of Mr Khan’s Curry Shop. I am presently working on a sequel and a separate collaboration novel. ‘If I Were You’, a romantic drama spanning two decades. 10k, Half Marathon, Marathon and Ultra Distance runner and member City of Hull AC. Passionately believe in challenging and motivating myself and others to achieve their best.

He also says he’s been short-listed in a short story competition (top 10) so it looks like he’s doing OK.

Apart from that I’ve napped, had a blood test (which I have already mentioned) and watched TV. made a few notes for new poems (based on my stay in A&E) and watched more TV.

Late in the afternoon i was roused from a nap by a ringing sound which I recognised, after a few rings, as my phone. In the other room. Missed the call, rang back and was told vie a recorded message, that they would ring back.

What could it be?

It turned out to be my blood test results. Not the ones from this morning, but the ones from 3am on Tuesday morning while I was in A&E. They may be slow, but they are thorough. The ones that were done this morning have got lost. To be fair, I did forget to take my form with me, though I did make a call to alert them to this. I can’t be the only person who forgot their card.

Gladstone Pottery Stoke on Trent

And Now – Part 2

This is Part Two of the post I wrote in the early hours of the morning.

At that point I was still struggling, but a couple of hours later, things seemed to improve. It wasn’t a great improvement but it was enough to give me some hope. This morning I felt better again, and was pleased to note a distinct improvement in the quality of my urine, which is where I will stop. There are, I’m sure, websites and specialist journals devoted to the subject, but for general purpose, lightweight blogging, which is where I consider my blog fits, “improved”  will suffice.

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Having said that, you might be amused by this short article (written by a proper scientist rather than a blogger with a questionable sense of humour). She treats it in a much less flippant manner than I would. I think I may have thought of a profession for the historical detective novel I keep thinking of writing.

I had a blood test this morning (does the joy never cease).  I’m now waiting to see what problems arise from this, as nothing in the NHS is ever simple. There are two sorts of nurse in our surgery – the ones who talk, listen and do their best to help. And the ones who are brisk, talk over you, and work to their own agenda. I’m not so keen on the second sort, though I would forgive them if they seemed to offer a better service than the first sort. They don’t.

Meanwhile, I am on the mend, so can’t complain too much.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

As an aside, they often say that the symptoms of confusion in the elderly are a sign of a urinary tract infection rather than actual dementia and I can now confirm this. The pain/panic/symptoms on Monday completely took away my ability to concentrate. Yesterday, with symptoms and sleep deprivation I had severe problems concentrating and keeping up with conversations. Today, despite improvements i’m conscious that I’m dragging my feet in mental terms (though my ability to mix metaphors remains strong).

It seems that I have perpetually linked bladder problems with soft fruit in the mind of one of my blog readers (sorry Derrick!). Let’s see what comments I get from using these pictures . . .

Photo by Tembela Bohle on Pexels.com

Early Morning Blood Test

After writing the post on rejection last night I wrote another post ready for today and then wrote two haibun. I still have the completed post ready to go, but am going to write this first as  I’m up early and I’m alert.

This was due to having a 7.00 blood test appointment. To get ready for that I drank two lots of water and did a couple of dozen squats to get the blood moving. The form was not good, and I had to hang on to the furniture to do them but when the needle went in I bled for Britain. There was so much blood it was actually filling the tube and there was extra running down my arm. I was so alert by that time that I booked myself in for a shingles vaccination in a couple of weeks. I could have had it next week but two weeks allows me to get a Wednesday appointment and  will probably synchronise with my next blood test.

Anyway, I wasn’t going to write about blood tests or vaccinations, I was intending to write about rejections. I have, as you know, been rejected twice by haiku magazines. One short-listed three, so I used the remaining seven as the basis for my next submission. With the second return I and another rejection of five others, I have about 20 haiku hanging about.

Now, there are two ways to write haibun. One, which I normally do, is to write the prose then write one or two haiku to fit. It can be tricky but I find it natural and never even realised there was another way until I read an article  The other way, recommended by some very good writers, is to write the haiku first then write the prose to suit. Last night, using three of the returned haiku, I wrote two haibun. It didn’t feel quite right but I’m sure I could get used to it. The big advantage is that by the time you get to the end of the prose you know you already have the haiku ready and the poem is finished. Doing it my normal way it can take me a month to write the haiku and complete the piece. And the best bit – I have a use for many of my returned haiku!

When you have lemons, as they say, make lemonade.

My Orange Parker Pen

Wednesday Already!

Tuesday ws a bit of a drag, as days go, though Julia did make fish pie in the evening, which perked things up. I was supposed to make it but I fell asleep in front of TV so she let me sleep. She is a jewel amongst women, and very patient.

Highlight of Tuesday was that an eBay member wrote to us and told us that we had misdescribed something as silver when it was cupro-nickel, and that the certificate we had put with it, describing it as silver, was wrong. We always try to be accurate and most of the time we are. You don’t get 10,000 satisfied customers without being accurate. It’s always annoying to be told you are wrong, but even worse when you are right.

We sent him a picture of the hallmarks on the side of the medallion, proving that it was silver and that it was with the correct certificate. I’m not quite sure where he got his idea from. There are gold-plated cupro-nickel examples around (though I’ve never understood why they make them – why add gold plate to base metal?) but I’m not sure why he decided ours was one of them.

It was annoying, and it was time-consuming. However, we have amended the listing to remove any doubt and we have thanked him for taking the trouble to write to us, because we are nice people and we are professional.

Time to go now. My alarm just buzzed and I have to get to the doctor for my blood tests. Never a dull moment in my life!


One Test, Two Nurses, Five Attempts

Yes, as you can probably tell from the title, it was not a great day for a blood test. It was a gloomy day, very different from yesterday’s lovely Spring weather, and there was a touch of rains and cold in the air. I was seen quickly but after three attempts, was passed on to another nurse (my favourite) with a comment about drinking and dehydration. This always the excuse. I have difficult veins, and some nurses have better luck than others at finding them. Even my favourite nurse took two attempts today.

It’s raining now and looks set to stay that way for the rest of the day. I am home from my errands and Julia is home from hers, so I have arranged for a delivery of Kentucky Fried Chicken. This is the height of decadence and I feel slightly ashamed to be doing it. However, if someone reads this in the future they might like to take a break from their processed soya meal in a tube/Soylent Green/organically grown algae and reflect on the fact that we could once order fried chicken for lunch. Others I suppose, would say that posterity doesn’t need to know about my attachment to junk food.

The food is nearly here now, so I’d better finish.  Once I correct my writing troubles (which are starting to get less troublesome) I will address some of the worst aspects of my diet. Now that Spring is here it feels like time to start renewing myself. However, I’ve said that before and it hasn’t really worked.

Turkey. That’s it really . . .

My “Friends At WordPress” as they sign themselves, tell me that I can secure the use of my domain name for another year at the old rate if I act quickly. As it’s only two months since I last did it I have to decide whether the saving is worth paying 10 months in advance. I suspect not.

Today I start my clearance activities. I want to lift the burden of junk that lies heavy on my life. This feeling will last for a few minutes then gradually fade away. My ability to stick to plans has become much depleted over the years. I think about this immediately after the WordPress comment as the two organisations seem to have the same sort of ethic regarding pricing – “jack it up every year and sprinkle the announcement with bullshit”. Entry level is announcing that they will be introducing “new and improved” features, which usually means new features and a variety of teething troubles. Advanced level is not bothering to pretend you are introducing anything new – just put the price up and fail to fix the old faults.

Yes, I’m in one of those moods.

I went for a blood test today as the one from a fortnight ago had slightly missed target. Just like last time I had to sit in a waiting room whilst a maskless kid ran round the room spreading germs and a maskless parent ignored them in favour of their phone. Same nurse as last time, but this time she hit the vein and took the blood faultlessly, as she normally does. So at least something went right today.

We’ve just done a bit of shopping and bought a frozen turkey crown. We thought e’d get in before the panic buying started, as the press are stoking up a frenzy of hysteria about turkey being short for Christmas. I’m not really bothered, as I’d happily eat a boiled parsnip for Christmas dinner as long as we have stuffing. It’s the company and the tradition I like (including the 34-year-old Christmas Card) rather than the food. I like the food too, but it wouldn’t spoil Christmas if we didn’t have it.

Now I’m going to start clearing junk from the house. Later I will write about how successful I have been.

A Day to Remember

My first blogging task today was to answer comments and the second was to add a note to yesterday’s blog as I was tired when I wrote is and didn’t explain something properly.

Unlike life you can actually go back a day and improve it. If only you could do that in reality. It’s something I have often thought about, and have blogged about a few times. My main conclusions are that I wouldn’t want to be a teenager again (too painful) and I wouldn’t want to do anything that would risk me not meeting Julia.  On a more practical note, I wouldn’t want to live in a time before antibiotics and anaesthetics either.

I’m having a blood test tomorrow, then a Covid booster (booked on the computer this morning) and am then taking Julia to the dentist They rang her today and told her they had a cancellation. This means her treatment will progress faster, but also means she will have to visit the dentist. It’s one of those things – everyone wants to avoid painful teeth but nobody wants to visit the dentist. I’m not exactly antsy with anticipation.

Bee Mural – Stoke

We had an interesting find in a collection of postal covers today – two of them were signed. The owner wandered through from the front of the shop and asked “Do you know who Millvina Dean was?”

The name sounded familiar, and I drilled deep into my accumulated memories of 30 years as an antique dealer before finding the answer. Millvina Dean was the youngest passenger to be rescued from the Titanic, at the age of two months. I’m not sure if the others were impressed by my depth of knowledge, but as a man who has trouble remembering what I did yesterday, I was impressed I could remember something like that. They aren’t hugely valuable because she lived to be over 90 and signed a lot of stuff as interest in the Titanic grew.

No, I can’t understand it either. It was a ship, it sank. It doesn’t require the same level of effort as climbing a mountain or discovering the source of the Nile. It’s strange what we hold on to from history.

If you want to read something interesting about Titanic survivors, try this link. I find it very interesting, and there’s a good chance you might too. I won’t tell you anything about it, as it might spoil the surprise.

Pictures are off the canal side murals we saw at Stoke last week.

Bee and other things – Stoke


Gold £2 Coin 1995 End of WW2 Obverse

Forgot to Add Another Title

Blood test this morning. I found a parking space, as the new Number Plate Recognition System stops staff parking in the visitor spaces. It took two attempts to fill the tube and that was that. I had my results four hours later. INR was too low, dose was increased and an appointment fixed for next week. I was, I admit, disappointed as I’d expected it to be better.

Six hours later I had another call. First there was an apology, then a promise of an investigation, and finally, my proper results.  INR is in the zone, dosage is the same and the appointment is in three weeks. That is more like it.

I’d better address the big news of the day, which is the death of the Queen. I’ve never known any other head of state and until recently thought she would probably see me out. Unfortunately she has not been well lately and by continuing to work, probably shortened what little time she had left. I’m sorry to see her die, although I’m not a great royalist, and my thoughts are with her family, though they don’t know me and my sympathy doesn’t count for much.

I seem to have pressed the wrong button there, and posted before finishing. That means, I imagine, that this one has no title either. I have added one now, but it may not show up.

Numismatically these are interesting times, because there will be a Coronation Medal, new coins and new stamps.  It’s going to be exciting for collectors, and also rather strange. I’m old enough to remember  coins with effigies of Queen Victoria, Edward VII, George V and George VI (there were to British coins for Edward VIII) but anyone who was born since decimalisation in 1971 (which is anyone under 51) will never have seen any other effigy other than Elizabeth II on a coin.

Gold £2 Coin 1995 End of WW2 Reverse

Dove of Peace on £2 Coin

Day 215

The inside of my right elbow (known as the antecubital fossa, in case you have ever wondered) currently looks like it has been the victim of a vicious assault. This is probably an exaggeration, but it is showing a variety of bruises from three blood tests over the last three weeks. Nobody seems able to grasp the concept of “trying the other arm”. It’s partly the fault of the layout in phlebotomy rooms, which always seem to be set up to allow the phlebotomist easy access to the right arm.

The NHS has a fetish about the right arm. A few years ago, during my three month adventure with the urology department, a junior doctor told me he had come to insert a cannula. I queried why it was necessary, as I was only in hospital briefly while they treated an infection. I was told it was standard practice as it saved time if I needed to have one put in later. Clearly this was unlikely to be the case, but they do have a one size fits all approach and it’s easier just to let them get on with it.

“Can you put it in my left arm?” I asked.

“No, I’m sitting on this side of the bed and it’s easier to put it in the right.”

Not better for the patient, easier for medical reasons or anything like that, just easier for some pompous newly qualified doctor with the bedside manner of a city trader.

They are, in case you’ve never had one, difficult to insert if the subject has veins that don’t like having needles inserted. The record was, I think, 13, when I counted the marks from all the false starts they once mad whilst inserting one. Then you have the problem that after a few days they start to itch and become sore. All in all, I’m not a fan . . .

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

So he put it in my right arm, after several attempts, and went.

Less than 24 hours later I woke up when Julia came to visit, and she pointed out that the cannula had become dislodged and was hanging on by a single piece of adhesive tape.

That’s what happens when you put stuff in my dominant arm, I move it more than the other and things get caught. Unfortunately he wasn’t about when I asked for assistance in sorting it out.

Wate Lily