Tag Archives: blood test

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.

 

Silver Stamps and eBay

I passed my blood test, and as a reward they have given me a whole four weeks until the next test. This will save a lot of time, car parking and pain. Not that there is much pain really, but I like to go for as much sympathy as possible.

This morning I continued putting stamp ingots on eBay. For those of you who don’t know, these are models of stamps made in silver. I knew such things existed because I’d seen them, but until Tuesday I didn’t know what they were called. I do now.

 

Silver Marks

Silver Marks

Ironically for something called “The Empire Collection” the third mark, the one that looks like a cross and circle is an import mark, which means the ingots were made abroad.  The others are the maker, .925 to denote Sterling silver and, at the end, an “E” for 1979. You’ll have to take my word for that, it’s a peculiar font for that series of date letters.

My current homework is learning about American coins, as I put some on earlier this week and realised I didn’t even have a basic working knowledge of the subject. It’s by no means my only area of ignorance, but it is one that has a good book to remedy the deficiency.

Not sure what I’m listing tomorrow, but I’m sure there will be something to do.

I would write more, but my card reader is playing up and I can’t access more photos.

Meanwhile, Julia was down at the Mencap garden watching butterflies and watering in the polytunnel. She had Orange Tips, Peacocks, Small Whites and a Common Blue.

In the shop we had to content ourselves with one single, droning fly.

Julia cooked tonight so we ate in a more sophisticated manner than normal – seafood linguine and rhubarb crumble (with rhubarb fresh from the garden). It’s nice to have someone else doing the cooking.

Blood Testing Blues

I went down to the hospital early and was rewarded with a choice of parking spaces. This was good.

Little did I realise it was to be the high point of my morning.

My first clue to trouble ahead was the crowd by the door of the Phlebotomy Room. The second was my ticket number – I was ticket A134. The first ticket called after I sat down was A119. (Yes, it’s run like a supermarket deli counter).

Fortunately I had a book with me. It’s not as interesting as it may seem, as my forthcoming review may mention. For now I’m keeping an open mind. I had nearly an hour of open-mindedness to devote to it this morning.

Little did I realise etc….

It took three attempts in the right arm, and one in the left (including one with an old-fashioned syringe used with a stab it and hope approach). If we’d been fighting a duel honour would have been well and truly satisfied by all that blood and wounding. At that point she called in help.

It seems that I may have some scar tissue in the arm from the number of blood tests I’ve had, and this is causing some problems in drilling for fresh blood. If I live to be ninety I expect I’ll have arms like sacks of walnuts and they’ll be using power tools.

The reinforcement didn’t mess about. One swift jab with a massive needle and the blood was drawn.

It’s a shame she couldn’t have done it sooner as it would have saved me from having to pay £4 for car parking.

It normally only costs me £2  but it went over the hour so it cost £2 extra. Next time I’ll take a flask and sandwiches and have a picnic until the time is up. I like to get value for money.

I took these pictures of flowers at the Mencap garden on Monday when I took Julia down to water the polytunnel. They have a close-down week this week, when they just shut up shop and all have a holiday. Of course, this was all decided by people who don’t have a garden to run.

In the shop we didn’t have as many parcels to pack as yesterday, just a mere five today. I sorted five lots of American coins for eBay, added to my numismatic knowledge via Google (after all, you need to know something to write about them properly), served a couple of customers looking for postcards, answered the phone, polished the counters and cleaned 24 silver ingots in the shape of postage stamps. They will be going on eBay by the end of the week.

Finally, someone brought a medal in to part exchange.

 

It’s the South African campaign medal with the bar for 1879 – the year of the Zulu War. It was originally instituted in 1854, and the date 1853 was placed was at the bottom of the reverse (or “the exergue” if you want to be technical). It  was awarded in a back-dated fashion for campaigns dating back to 1835. In 1879 they decided to re-issue it with Zulu shields in the exergue and a set of date bars relating to wars in 1877-79. The date 1879 is for troops who served in the Zulu War of that year – the one that saw British troops with rifles and artillery severely mauled by Zulus with spears.

It wasn’t all plain sailing in the days of the Empire.

Although it’s a great bit of history, it has been spoiled as a collectable because it’s been re-named. This means that the original name has been removed from the edge and another name has been added. Unfortunately, though this was clearly done in Victorian times, it ruins it for collectors.

Soldiers, you see, would often sell or pawn their medals when short of cash and, when posted away at short notice, be unable to get the medals back. Rather than admit to the military offence of selling or pawning their medals they would merely buy one from the pawn shop and have their name put on them. But that is a subject for a different day.

We appear in the Local Paper…

Yes, we’re in the paper, though there is more coverage, including pictures of all the staff, online.

You’ll never guess what I’m doing on the video clip. That’s right, I’m sorting shillings.

It’s my day off today. so I took Julia to lunch at Pizza Hut for the all you can eat buffet. I’m capable (as you may guess from the unflattering pictures in the link) of eating quite a bit of pizza. I also had a bowl of salad to keep things healthy. Tonight we are dining on soup.

Anyway, while we were there a lady with a child sat on the table behind us. She also ordered the buffet, then, when asked what the child would like, said just an extra plate. I suppose it was worth a try. The waitress politely pointed out the range of items on the menu specifically for children.

When last seen, the lady was on her third plate of pasta and the child was carrying his second bowl of ice cream back from the ice cream machine.

I’m constantly amazed at what people do with the buffet offer. We once saw another family group pile their plates with pizza slices and ask for a doggy bag. They were most annoyed to be told that it didn’t work that way with the buffet and they had to eat it or leave it.

It takes all sorts…

Back at home I had two letters, one told me I’d passed the blood test from yesterday and don’t need to go back for three weeks.

The other was from Rotherham. I nearly threw it away unopened, as I often do with letters that come from unknown sources. They are usually of no importance and, so far, no harm has ever resulted from this practice. However, I did open it this time, and found it was from the Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Constabulary.

“That’s nice,” I thought, “he’s writing to me to thank me for all the safe and careful driving I’ve done in my years of driving through South Yorkshire.”

But I was wrong.

Quite the opposite, in fact.

Some people have no sense of gratitude.

Nottingham Post in the morning, Police Gazette by the afternoon.

Ah well!

Blood, worms and British Telecom

I regretfully parted with more of the red stuff yesterday morning. The phlebotomist stuck me in the painful place they’ve been using recently and drew three quarters of a tube before tutting, fiddling about and, finally, throwing the tube away. It was, it seems, not working properly.

For those of you not familiar with modern blood-letting, it is no longer necessary to put blood in a tube as it was when I first started. These days they have a tube that sucks the blood out. Or, in this case, sucks most of the blood out then stops.

If it doesn’t draw enough blood they can’t do the test, so they had to re-stab my arm and take another tube.

If I had a bad day, it was nothing compared to the bad day that a number of worms were having. After the night of constant rain there were dozens of large fat worms crawling around the footpaths. I’m not sure where they all came from, or why they decide that the footpath is suddenly the place to be.

What I do know is that when I arrived at hospital at 8.04, they were alive and mobile. When I left at 8.44 many of them were lying dead in the rain.

I blame the carelessly placed feet of the multitude of bustling NHS staff that always seem to be late for work as I make my way slowly along the path. It’s a rare day when I’m not overtaken by at least half a dozen of them as I hobble to Phlebotomy.

I have no evidence for this, as I wasn’t actually watching, but they are the only people likely to have the speed to trample worms underfoot. The rest of us move slower.

When you think about it the average worm is doing more for the planet than the average human, so we ought to take more care of them.

Meanwhile, talking of lowly creatures, and people who contribute nothing to the well-being of the planet, BT still hasn’t moved the shop phone number. They have, however, cut off the old number as of Monday, so we currently have a phone line and a number nobody knows.

Tuesday’s development was a letter informing us that they are going to provide us with an ex-directory number free of charge, because that’s what you want when you have a shop – a phone number that nobody can see.

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The shop front – with telephone number