Tag Archives: blood test

White Rajahs and Other Stories

Today started with a blood test. I aimed for ten past seven to avoid the arguments we had last time and arrived at 7.16. Instead of the machine there was a box of printed cards, which didn’t inspire confidence. I took card number 18.

On a brighter note, there were only a few people waiting and when they called for Number 15 I realised some people were waiting for other things.

The day started to look better.

After a swift test I was able to get home quickly enough to take Julia for breakfast and then get her to work on time.

They are hoping to get the ticket machine fixed tomorrow. Apparantly it was chaos on Monday when it broke.

Taking things back to Monday night, the main news is that I’m booked in for a tooth extraction next Tuesday and a blood test on Monday – it needs to be within 72 hours of the extraction, though I’m not quite sure how it helps. I’m on anti-coagulants so I’m going to bleed. You don’t hear about too many people bleeding to death from tooth extractions so I’m not too concerned. If the dentist wants to worry that’s up to him. Or her.

They rang to arrange that just as I was leaving home for the monthly meeting of the Nottinghamshire Numismatic Society. The subject was The White Rajahs of Sarawak, and was very good. It was reasonably entertaining and I learnt quite a lot of interesting stuff. One of them lost an eye in a hunting accident when in his 80s. He was known for being careful with his money so popped down to the local taxidermist (he was living in Devon in the days when towns had taxidermists) and bought a job lot of glass eyes. His favourite, it seems, was an Albatross eye.

If he’d been poor he’d have been regarded as an idiot, but as he was rich, with a private kingdom, he was merely eccentric.

 

 

Close to Last Glimmering - Sherwood, Notts

Now fades the glimm’ring landscape…

I nearly caused a riot this morning.

Arriving at the hospital for my repeat blood test at 6.58 I went to the machine and pressed the button for my ticket. There were a few comments from people already waiting, though I didn’t really listen. When I turned round there was a whole crowd behind me jostling and muttering like a crowd of zombies.

It seems that the machine doesn’t switch on until 7am so they all sit there, mentally forming a queue until they can get a ticket.

All they needed to do was ask – as soon as I understood what was happening I handed my ticket over the the man who was “first” in the queue. Even after I did that they kept on muttering. It was very tempting, particularly in one case, to administer a swift tap of the forehead  – being backed up against a wall can have that effect on a man.

I made a mistake. It’s easily corrected. There was no need for a lynch mob.

Due to this I now know what the man in the Bateman cartoon feels like.

It seems the hospital keeps the machine off until 7am to stop the problem of people queuing at 6am – an hour before the session opens.

I didn’t realise there were so many people desperate to have blood tests.

It didn’t really save a lot of time turning up at that time, as I ended up seventh in the queue, which is pretty much the result I get when I go down at 7.15, but at least I was able to get home, pick Julia (and a lot of surplus art supplies) up, and get them all down to Mencap in plenty of time to start work.

The NHS, as I pointed out when being summoned for this second test, seems to think we don’t have other things to do in our lives.

The blood tester, incidentally, denies not filling the tube properly, despite her suspiciously lengthy perusal of it yesterday. Her evidence – she always uses a syringe so has plenty of blood to fill a tube. I didn’t argue, but yesterday I had multiple tests and she used three tubes on the vacutainer, with not a syringe in sight.

After dropping Julia off I went to work to bore myself to death. It rained heavily on the flat roof and was dark when we left.

The photographs are from yesterday, tonight was too dull for a decent photograph.

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Last Glimmering…

 

In which I nearly use a Bad Word

I really don’t know where to start today. Rose at 6.30 (unwillingly). To hospital by 7.16 (I had a slow creaky start to the morning) and found myself 9th in the queue. 

I didn’t have to wait too long and only read four pages of my “waiting book” before being called. It’s taking a long time to read because I keep it in the back of the car and only read it while I’m waiting for something.

It was a three tube day. The needle went in fine and the blood flowed like… whatever blood flows like.   She looked at the first tube a little too long for my liking but I was soon done. I then nipped to the toilet and filled my tube for the urine sample. Returning to the car park, I was allowed out free of charge (I’m beginning to think the timer may be broken) and took the sample to the surgery.

Could it all have been so easy? Seemingly so…

Only one thing of note happened in the shop today. A lady came in to sell some coins and asked for a seat. When given one, she asked if we had a lower one. Fortunately we did have a lower one. She was, it seems, suffering from frailty and old age. 

In conversation afterwards my ungallant co-worker referred to her as a “little old lady”. I protested, not through gallantry, but because, in the conversation, she had told us she was born in 1958. 

Hot on the heels of the elderly retired gent we’d seen last week (born 1960), I’m beginning to feel quite youthful. Some people seem to look and act old despite still being quite young. 

I, on the other hand, having been born in 1958, still feel I’m quite young. Julia sort of agrees, though she did use the word “immature”, which isn’t quite the same as “young”. 

Later in the day I had a phone call – the blood test had not been satisfactory and I have to have a fresh test tomorrow.

It’s not a health problem, I’ve had this before. If they don’t fill the tube properly the laboratory refuses the sample. And if the blood tester looks at the sample for too long after testing it usually means they aren’t convinced they’ve filled the tube.

That means another early start and another half hour wait. 

I can’t help feeling cheated – I did everything they asked and I’m being punished for it.

I was so annoyed I came close to using a Bad Word.

The Trend Continues

I forgot to tell you that another of my shirts disintegrated yesterday, I was tucking it in when I felt it give. That’s what happens when you have cotton shirts and a disinclination to spend money. It’s always a bit of a downer when an old favourite disintegrates, though not so much of a downer as when trousers disintegrate, I admit.

After posting I took Number Two son to work and dropped him off for an 11pm start.  About 1 am I had a text.

“Are you awake?”

I was naturally inclined to answer “No.” but decided I’d better admit that I was still up.

“Can you leave the chain off. I’ve been throwing up and I’m coming home.”

Oh, the language of Shakespeare…

So, to cut a tedious story short, I went to pick him up. If I’m going to get him to leave home he needs to save his money, not squander it on taxis. We nearly reached home before he decided to throw up again. Fortunately he managed to get out of the car before it happened.

I think it’s true to say that he has the same gastric bug as Julia, He just doesn’t handle it with the same panache.

We returned home around 2.30 am, which left plenty of time to write my haiku quota and get to the hospital for a 7am blood test. This was handled so efficiently that I was back at the car and out of the car park before my free half hour was over.

I had the results by 11.20. I passed, though they have adjusted the dose and I have to go back in two weeks.

I wonder if this is a sign that things may be looking up.

A Crowded Day…

I had a blood test this morning so I hauled myself out of bed at 6.30 and muttered my way around the house.

By 7.05 I was yelling abuse at someone who was having trouble lining up his car to take a ticket from the machine and gain access to the car park. Unfortunately I’d already wound my window down in readiness to reaching for my ticket so he heard more of my comments than I’d really intended. The atmosphere, as we stepped out of our cars after parking, was a touch frosty.

At 7.10 I was ready and waiting with ticket 110 clasped in my hand. At 7.14 they called ticket 103. I read some more of my book on Vikings and watched the big screen with their advert for the NHS. I’m not sure why they need to spend money on promotional films, it’s not like there’s a rival health service or anything.

They got to me just after 7.30, which wasn’t too bad. I think I probably passed, as the blood seemed to flow well. In fact it was a bit tricky to stop it. There has been no phone call so I’m hoping to get at least two weeks before another test.

Back at the car I checked my leaky tyre and noticed it was looking quite flat. This only affected the bottom of the tyre but these things have a tendency to spread. As I’d blown it up less than 24 hours earlier I decided action was needed.  My original plan had been to slot it in between jobs in the afternoon, but this clearly needed action now.

My local garage opens at 7.00 so they put the spare on for me. There were two nails in the leaky tyre, and, to make things worse, considerable wear inside the tyre where the tracking appears to be out. I’m going to pick up the new tyre tomorrow morning and it looks like I’ll be getting the tracking done soon too. I’m definitely not buying expensive tyres again – I’ve had nothing but bad luck with this set.

After that I had time to impersonate Hemingway writing in a Parisian cafe. I was actually in McDonalds in Arnold but my intentions were good. I was catching up on my haiku challenge, which I mentioned a couple of days ago.

On Sunday I didn’t write any, so today I have twenty to do. At the time of writing I have done nine. This isn’t too bad as it means I’m pretty much in the same position as I was yesterday – just a day behind. I’m seven days in and have two hours to write thirty three lines of non-rhyming poetry. They don’t even need to be good. That shouldn’t be a problem – disappointing haiku are one of my specialities.

I will cover this question of quality in a post later in the week.

We had thirteen parcels to pack this morning, plus a few minor jobs, which neatly filled the three hours.  I posted the massive lot of royalty medals just before lunch and notice we have sold one already.

On my return home I spent an hour or so reading WP, including catching up with escapetothebarn.

Next I had to drop Number Two Son off at the station as he’s flying back to Malta from Stanstead tomorrow. Julia had some extra hours today so it was just a short trip to The Meadows where I waited 20 minutes for her to finish and took some pictures through the rainy windscreen. The “Meadows” is not a very accurate description.

I wasn’t sure if I had enough rain in the picture so I took one of my mirror too.

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Rain in a rear view mirror

We had chicken thighs and mediterranean vegetables for tea, mainly because we had a lot of courgettes to eat. We also had rosemary from the garden and ready chopped garlic from a jar.

I’ve decided that life is too short to chop garlic.

 

A Bad Day, Getting Worse…

It’s been a bad day and it’s going to get worse, I can tell.

First of all, I arrived for my blood test at 7.03. I was seventh in the queue but, despite the phlebotomists allowing themselves to be diverted by a number of things, they managed to see to me by 7.20. That left me very close to the time allowed for free parking, but just a few frustrating minutes over.

I then went to McDonalds to eavesdrop and drink coffee. Er…and have a sausage and egg McMuffin. I have no willpower.

The phone call at lunchtime told me that I’d failed the test and need another one next week. Their first suggestion was that I should go to a hospital and be tested whilst on holiday. I said I thought this was unlikely to happen, particularly as Julia had not expressed much of an interest in touring NHS waiting rooms while we were away.

So they are going to test me on Friday and then leave me alone for a week. They are, it appears doing me a favour.

Things went well after that for the rest of the day, then I got home. I had a letter in a plain white envelope. I nearly binned it as junk mail as most people mark the envelope with at least a return address. Fortunately I opened it, and saved myself £30. It was from the council. In between cutting back on bin collections and social services and splurging money on consultants and office decoration they find time to fill the city with cameras and appoint themselves Guardians of the Bus Lanes.

It seems when I went to my last blood test I turned left out of city hospital and left again (yes, it’s the way to McDonalds). This took me into a bus lane. They aren’t always easy to spot. I use that road frequently when the bus lane isn’t in use, but hardly at all at that time in the morning. As a result I cost myself £30, but if I’d thrown the letter in the bin it would have cost me £60 for failing to pay.

I then went on the internet to book our holiday. I’d not quite managed it last night when the special offer link didn’t work. I’m supposed to be able to save 15% by using a link from Travelodge. What they don’t tell you is that there’s a time limit and a limited number of rooms.

When I got home tonight I had another email to tell me I could qualify for a 15% discount. So I clicked a link to a hotel they provided and…drum roll…found it didn’t work. It’s incompetent at best, but possibly also dishonest. And an idiotic waste of time.

Of course, the best bit is that when I left the hospital this morning I turned left, then left again…

…so I’m expecting another bus lane ticket last week.

I’m seriously thinking of just curling up in a ball and refusing to move. That way I can stay out of trouble. Although, when I think about it, it isn’t a strategy that works well for hedgehogs.

Image result for hedgehog

 

 

Ah! Forgot the title!

I’m trying to get back to posting every day, but I’ve just realised that I only have 32 minutes.

Julia went back to work today after her Maltese holiday, and found that the rhubarb has faded badly. On the plus side three of the nest boxes have newly hatched broods in them, so the winter of renovating the boxes has paid off. (All the new ones we made were sold off to raise money for new seeds and tools).

Meanwhile, it was the first blood test for a month (a reward for passing the test regularly). There was a staff shortage and, according to the phone conversation I overheard, there was a queue of 33. There had been a queue of 18 when I got there. It took an hour for me to be seen to, so someone was in for a long wait…

Looking at it with a positive slant, I had a book with me.

I loaded this with a minute to spare, and then had to edit to add a title and add categories/tags. There’s nothing like good organisation, as my mother used to say. And this was nothing like good organisation.