Tag Archives: blood test

Sunday Morning Catch Up

I haven’t been particularly fluent in the last week and I’ve missed a few things out.

The anti-coagulant blood test came and went. They managed to get the blood first time and the next appointment is in two weeks time so things are back on track. I’m hoping to extend the interval so I only need monthly tests. I know someone who has quarterly tests, which would be even better.

We went to the farm on Friday, as I mentioned and found that Evie the sheep dog had died at the weekend. The general view is that she had eaten poison, though I’m not sure where she would have found any as all the rat poison round the place is put out properly in bait boxes. It’s not the best run farm but they do get that right.

She was bred to herd sheep, and as I mentioned when she first arrived she immediately tried to herd the Quercus group, but she was never properly trained and I’m not sure if she had a fulfilled life or not. She didn’t seem overly happy at times, which is a shame.

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The new puppy

The men in sheds were saying how good my bread was on Friday. This isn’t linked to any proper measure of quality, they just used to like getting free bread when I was practising and made too much. I said I didn’t bake these days as the kneading plays havoc with my arthritis. Next thing I knew I was being offered healing.

I’m not much of one for faith healing and that sort of thing, and was prepared to feel no benefit, but can’t say that was the case. There may have been some improvement for a couple of days, but it might just be wishful thinking. The jury is out, but I’m certainly not going to dismiss it. The improvement may show more about my imagination than about my arthritis, but even an imaginary improvement is worth having.

Then on Saturday I met a paranormal investigator. You’ll have to come back later for details, as I need to get down to the launderette now. Suffice to say that if I had doubts about healing…

 

Dentistry, Decay and a Difficult Day

First call of the day was dropping off Julia at work. The second was visiting the dentist, which proved to be the start of the decline.

The X-Rays showed a suspicious spot at the base of one of my teeth. It looks like decay. It also seems that I have strangely-shaped roots. After what happened with my wisdom tooth and its strangely-shaped root the words “strangely-shaped root” do not fill me with optimism.

To remove a wisdom tooth with a strangely-shaped root takes a team of medical students, power tools and just over an hour in the chair. It also involves a fair amount of pushing and pulling and the smell of burning.

There are three choices. One, go to a specialist, who may be able to save the tooth, but who would charge around £1,000 whether he saved it or not.  Alternatively, I could have it removed and have an implant fitted. That will be £1,500. Or I could just wait.

When the inevitable happens, and I am groaning in agony from a major abscess, I will have to go down to the dentist for emergency treatment and an extraction on the NHS. That will cost £56.30.

Tricky choice…

I then went to the pharmacy at TESCO, where they refused to supply me. One item is, it seems, difficult to get, so they suggested I try elsewhere. A second was out of stock, so they suggested trying elsewhere. They then handed me the prescription and suggested it would be simpler to (yes you guessed it) get it all elsewhere.

From there I went to the surgery for my blood test.

This didn’t take long as, for once, I bled extensively.  This would seem to indicate that the anti-coagulants are doing their job. I then continued to bleed, which was tricky.

From there I visited the pharmacy I used to use, who don’t find anything too difficult and who had all the necessary items in stock. Strange how a small shop can do things a multi-national can’t be bothered to do.

The rest of the day passed in a blur, looking for a birthday present for Julia. Yes, straight after the wedding anniversary and just before Christmas. It’s a tricky time of year.

 

Blood and Weight Loss

It was blood testing again today. They are bleeding me weekly as my results are failing to impress. There’s probably a pun or two in there somewhere, bearing in mind that I’m not much good at bleeding and am therefore bleeding weakly. I’m also getting bleeding irritated at having to go in every week.

This week I managed to provide a sample after being stabbed in the arm just the twice. This is better than recent results and I’m glad to report I hardly felt a thing.

I thought I’d get weighed while I was there, as I wanted to check if I was actually losing weight or whether the slack trousers were merely an illusion.

It turns out that I have actually lost nine pounds in the last four weeks.

I’ve not used any fancy diets, and done very little exercise, just cut out bread, potatoes, pasta and rice. And cut back severely on chocolate and cakes. I’ve also started cutting down on portion sizes. Simple things, small steps, and so far it’s producing reasonable results.

 

 

 

Ideas (Part 1)

By the time I’d finished my frittering yesterday I had twenty minutes to post before midnight. At that point I decided that it was time to take a more relaxed attitude.

I’ve become adept at knocking out a quick post over the last year or so in order to maintain a record of daily posting. The post is the easy bit – adding photos and tags is what seems to take time. You can meet the deadline despite this, simply post before midnight then edit to add all the other bits after midnight.

At the moment I have photographs with no words, words with no photographs and ideas with no words or photographs. For the sake of symmetry, I really should add that I have words and photographs with no idea, but I don’t. One thing I’m not short of is ideas.

They say that the most frightening thing in the army is a new officer with a map, and I can see this being true. In civilian life the most frightening thing I know is a committee member with an idea, or even worse, several ideas. I was at a committee meeting on the farm once when a new member announced “I don’t do things, I see my role as being more about having ideas. I could probably write a list of fifty ideas now.”

The ironic thing, as anyone who has ever served on a committee will know, is that everyone has at least fifty ideas, but what you really want is people who will do things. If committee work was about sitting round having ideas we wouldn’t be permanently short of people on committees.

The phone has just rung. I should have left it but I am conditioned to answer telephones. Four rings later, as I am half-way there, it stops. This is more irritating than actually picking it up to find either the noise of a call centre or the inane scripted chatter of an operator.

So, idea number one – see if there’s a landline that offers call barring.

Two – go ex-directory.

Three – disconnect the phone.

Four – look into the Edgar Wallace plot device that allows you to kill someone via a telephone line. I can’t remember the story, but I do remember the ability. My grandfather often mentioned the story, so I assume this is a case of genetics.

Five – see if it’s possible to set it to stun or sting, as killing someone for being irritating is a little harsh.

Six – look up You Tube footage of sturgeon. I saw some on TV and at the Garden Centre yesterday. There must be a celestial purpose to it. I like sturgeon.

Seven – remember that the irritating Scotswoman is called Sturgeon. Nicola Salmon is just a figment of my imagination.

Eight – and remember Salmond, Alex Salmond. See above.

Nine – look into careers that offer fame, fees for speeches and generous expenses.

Ten – look into careers where you can promise much and get away with delivering nothing.

Eleven – find address for Liberal Democrat Party.

Twelve –

Is that the time already? Better get ready – I have an appointment to be stabbed in the arm in half an hour.

Twelve – develop a better blood test. Preferably one that involves no stabbing.

Thirteen – develop a blood test that uses a mobile phone app.

Fourteen – check what a “mobile phone app” is. I’ve heard people talk about them but I really have no idea…

A Day With Few High Points

I’ve just spent several minutes trying to remove an unwanted comma from a piece of work. It’s frustrating when you can’t get a computer to do what you want it to do.

It was even worse when I realised the “comma” was a mark on the screen. Laptop screens seem to attract more detritus than the screens on ordinary computers.

That’s been one of the highlights of the day.

The second was my blood test. The blood was not flowing well today and it felt like they were having to dig it out. When they removed the needle it suddenly decided to flow. Fortunately it hit the chair arm rather than me. Having changed specially for the visit I was glad that it didn’t go on my clothes.

It seems I passed the blood sugar test two weeks ago. Unfortunately I had a phone call from the anticoagulant service this afternoon to tell me that things had not gone so well. I need to go down for testing again next week: they do that when things don’t go well.

The final high point was sitting in a chair making demands for constant hydration (tea). Number One Son is back from Portugal and has been working well with the kettle. He even put a couple of sausages and some beans together for a light lunch.

I had to pay for this attention by listening to his views on nutrition and where my diet is going wrong. As his first degree is in Sports Science, including nutrition, he has the moral high ground.

Apart from that, I just sat here gently recovering and shouting at the television.

A Day of Luck and Spiders

I dropped Julia off at work this morning and, as the day was briefly sunny, came back the long way round. This proved to be a good decision as it enabled me too avoid a terrible tailback and look smug. The two things were not unconnected.

The weather is forecast to be significantly less good for the rest of the day. Hopefully my luck will continue to be good.

I knocked out 350 words about volunteering on my return home, as it’s something I’ve been thinking about and there had been an item on the radio this morning. Unfortunately, despite writing and rewriting (the likely word count was probably at least double the 350 that resulted) I still wasn’t happy with them.

It took so long I was nearly late for my blood test.

Fortunately they were running late so I had time to make an appointment for the flu vaccination clinic. Between 8.00 and 9.00 on a Saturday morning is not the optimal time because it’s our relaxed breakfast morning, with Julia buying fruit from the market and starting work at 11.30. However, I want the jab so I accepted the time.

The luck was clearly starting to leak out of the day.

It took three shots to find a vein today, but it doesn’t really hurt and we had a good laugh about it. Well what else are you going to do, complain to a woman armed with a needle?

I was definitely feeling less lucky, and slightly more leaky by that time when she said:

“Would you like a flu vaccination while you’re here?”

Save a trip to the surgery and have time for a leisurely breakfast – yes I would.

I had to have a different nurse for that. It seems that when you are on Warfarin you need a specially qualified nurse to give you an injection.

You can, it seems, prod me with needles as much as you like, open veins at will and extract blood by the bucketful – that’s OK. But load up with flu vaccine and stick it in a muscle and you need special training.

I had special training in hospital to inject myself with anticoagulants. That took five minutes.

The NHS is a wondrous place.

At that point I had to admit that my luck was improving, as I was vaccinated and had saved time.

After that I called at the parcel office. An irritating family got there just before me and clogged the system up a bit, with two noisy daughters guarding the door while the scrawny father and amply proportioned matriarch blocked the enquiry window. They seemed more than normally concerned by a note they had been sent, telling them pick a parcel up from the office. As they were already in possession of an armful of packages I don’t know why one more was significant.

It was, she thought, a scam facilitated by the theft of her phone on holiday. I don’t  know if it was stolen or not, if she always speaks so much drivel it had probably thrown itself off a cliff.

I’m not sure what sort of scam involves sending the victim a parcel. Possibly one where you post a parcel full of burglars, but I don’t think that’s worked since the Fall of Troy.

Back home I noted a Small White fluttering round the front garden, then a Red Admiral, then a second Red Admiral. By the time I had the camera in action I noticed a massive spider sitting in a web, waiting…

In the end I took pictures of the spider, as it was the most unusual thing. The White flew off, and as I focused on the first Red Admiral they both became skittish and refused to settle.

In the end I think it’s just a female Garden Spider (Araneus diadematus), and not at all rare. It is, in spider terms, quite big, and I will sleep easier tonight knowing I have something that size guarding my garden.

As I sat down to write this they came back so I went out again.

They flew off as I stalked the first one.

If I spot them again I’m taking a rolled up newspaper and a bottle of glue. That should sort out the skittishness.

And finally – they came back!

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Red Admiral – at last!

No Red Admirals were harmed in the taking of these pictures. Honestly – no glue needed!

Down at the Doctor

First – blood test at 11.40. I managed it just in time after doing a few errands round town.

Despite the experience of the last blood test, which made the nurse more nervous than I was, everything went well. I hardly felt the needle go in and next thing I knew we had a tube of blood. I’ve had no phone call this afternoon so I assume I’m within the correct range and will have at least another three weeks before the next test.

That is good.

Then, after a few more errands, some washing up and cooking a pan of carrot and ginger soup, it was time for my 4.30 doctor’s appointment.

It was the follow up to a letter from hospital about my heart scan. No problem, just a tweaking of tablets. Clearly it wasn’t cause for concern as the hospital had waited two months to send the letter.

I assume the delay is calculated to allow the Grim Reaper to balance supply and demand.

I took my list with me.

We did an Epworth Test to examine my propsensity for falling asleep in front of the TV. I was within the normal band and thus it’s another thing to put down to the aging process.

We will be moving on from there and looking at ways of stopping my nightly trips to the toilet. This will be after I have a month of increasing the dosage of heart pills so we’re only changing one thing at a time.

After five years of disturbed sleep another month shouldn’t harm me. The question is whether I am waking up and wanting the toilet, or wanting the toilet and waking up. There is a subtle difference.

The doctor thinks it may be prostate-related.

I’m hoping that something happens in the next few weeks that diverts her attention to a different conclusion.

If Julia, for instance, notes that I am waking myself by snoring we might still be able to blame sleep apnoea for me waking up. That would be a nuisance, but I would be able to keep my trousers on.

I also dispensed with the asthma test advice that was printed on my last prescription – seems it’s not meant for me.

Weight is holding steady. That’s sort of good news. But not good enough. More exercise, less food.

So, two visits and I’m pretty much in the clear, with no new problems for the moment. I am feeling quite relieved.