Tag Archives: blood test

Day 166

I had a good blood test this morning. The weather was cool, the waiting room placid and the wait was not too long. I made three notes in my notebook, gave disapproving glances to my co-waiters (one playing noisily on his phone despite being in his 40s and one being “exempt” from wearing a mask) and eventually moved through to the blood letting room.

It was my favourite nurse. She made one hole, took three vials of blood for the three tests I need, and moved on to her next victim . . .

There is no bruise and there has been no phone call (which indicates I am within the target are)a. All is good and there should be no trouble with my methotrexate supply.

After that I went to visit my friends at the jewellers. I’ve not been very good at visiting lately and it was nice to see them. It’s not a long trip, and parking is easy, it’s just that over time I have developed a disinclination to travel or visit. A pendant in the window caught my eye and Julia is now wearing it as she prepares a salad for tea. Fortunately we are having pizza too, as salad by itself, of course, is not a meal.

The final part of my trip consisted of stopping for fuel as my warning light was one. I filled up. It’s the first time I’ve ever triggered the automatic cut off, as the pump cuts out automatically at £99. I had to start again, and got an extra £14 in.

It is not generally thought to be a good thing to fill a tank completely, as the extra weight can act against fuel economy, but I’m not keen on filling up more than I need to, and w also keen to see how much it took.

I am going to use it frugally.

I went for another bumblebee picture. I like bumblebees.

Day 117

I went for a blood test this morning and picked up a prescription from the pharmacy. Last year this would have taken me weeks, possibly months, as the prescription would have been lost, missing or wrong. At best, the blood test would have been 20 minutes late and the wait at the pharmacy would have been 30-40 minutes. Today it took me 20 minutes.

Not everybody was as lucky as me – one woman had to ask about her appointment (she had been waiting over 20 minutes) and the prescription of one elderly gent (no, not me) had been sent to the wrong pharmacy. It looks like fate has been kind to me.

I’m supposed to be sitting in a queue in the barbers at the moment but I forgot and came home. It looks like Julia has forgotten too, as she’s the one who is keen on me looking respectable. That means we have time to have lunch at KFC and I can still go for my booster at 1.30.

After that I am intending to look pale and interesting in front of the TV and eat cake. I’m on a diet, but you have to feed a cold and starve a fever, as they say, and there is a little known second verse – “and eat cake for everything else”. It’s like the National Anthem, there are a lot of lesser known verses to that. When you read them, you can see why they are lesser known. However, I think mine should be better known and will be using it several times a year to ensure it gets out into the world.

Botham’s Whitby

Day 82

It started so well, as I often say. I found the last parking space, and watched as the driver got out of the car that had parked just before me. She was wearing scrubs and a name badge, so the “No Staff” part of the car park sign is still working well (he said sarcastically).

The blood flowed well and took just one try. I had the results by 11.00 – I was a little low but they have adjusted the dose by half a pill a week and given me two weeks before the next test. I’m happy with that.

Julia accomplished her errands safely, despite being forced off the footpath and onto the road by an elderly gent riding his bicycle furiously along the footpath and ringing his bell to make her clear out of his way. Later on her travels she saw him at it again on his return journey.

For lunch we had avocados prepared two ways, as they say on cookery programmes. I had mine with prawns and Julia had hers with eggs. I’ve never seen egg as a natural accompaniment to avocado. To make it worse, she has soft yolks, something I have never liked. We then had chocolate and caramel brownies, which she had bought while she was out.

Of course, that then called for a nap, which became slightly longer than anticipated, and I am now writing this and wondering where my afternoon has gone.

Time for a nice cup of tea now and time to get some writing done.

As I say, it started so well . . .

The picture is Orton Mere in March 2017. Where does the time go?

Day 68

I was going to break out of the tyranny of the post numbering system, because I was having trouble with it now I have to add three months together, but then I panicked, because I started to worry about missing a day if I didn’t have a numerical sequence. It’s amazing what you can worry about if you have a fretful nature.

Anyway, it’s 10.55am and I have just returned from the blood test. I was happy to be back at the surgery, because it is a more restful way of having the test.Or, it was until today. One of the less sympathetic nurses perforated me three times, apologised and sent me on my way with instructions to go and get it done at the hospital because she couldn’t get any blood.

I’m going to give it a day or two because I don’t need any more holes for now, there will be no parking and there will now be a queue.

On the way back I was nearly involved in an accident when I pulled over to let someone past, and a driver behind me pulled out to overtake, nearly hitting the oncoming vehicle. Clearly they were only watching me rather than the whole road ahead.

Then I went down a road and found it blocked by construction workers, even though it had signs up indicating it was clear. It only took a minor detour, but why, when all you have to do is put up signs and dig holes, can’t you do it right?

If I got 50% of my job wrong, I’d not be in a job for long. But if I had a hard hat and a big digger everyone would just shrug and drive round.

 

Day 19

I finally dragged myself down for blood testing at around 10.30. There was a bit of a wait but I was till only number six in the queue. They were moving though us rapidly and I was in and out in just under 15 minutes. It would have been quicker but I couldn’t stop bleeding. The pills must be working, though part of it was probably that I had managed to fit in two cups of tea before going to hospital. When they have trouble they often blame it on my lack of liquid intake in the morning.

So far I’ve had no panic phone call so it looks like I might be OK.

Last night I did several of the Citizenship Tests posted on the internet, to see if I knew enough about the UK to be allowed to live here. Well, fortunately I passed. I did four tests and got six questions wrong out of a hundred. As I’ve lived here for over sixty years I feel I could have done better. I’m sound on Magna Carta, Tudors and Stuarts and electoral law, but can’t see that the first two are very useful today. There was a distinct lack of questions on queuing, recent history and the law as it applies to motor vehicles. All three of these are more important in 2022 than the date of Magna Carta and the Spanish Armada.

And in case you are wondering, yes, this is what they mean by “displacement activity“. It meant I didn’t need to fail to write any publishable poetry.

Anyway, why you would want to be a citizen of a country that demands you know such things?

The picture is one of Mrs Botham’s pork pies. There were no questions on British cuisine in the citizenship test. Not even fish and chips.

Fish and Chips – more British than Magna Carta. 

Day 5

This might be a slightly misleading title, because it’s not quite 9am. I have, however, got up early, moaned about having to get up early, got stuck in traffic going for my blood test, moaned about traffic and inconveniently placed roadworks, struggled to park, moaned about parking, and, finally, had a blood test.

The tester took three attempts but didn’t panic. Yes, strange as it seems, seeing as they are not the one being stabbed in the arm, they often get agitated if they miss first time. I know this because, as I have said before, they often do miss with my tricky veins.

I don’t mind a phlebotomist taking three attempts because it’s a difficult job. I do mind the other stuff because with a bit of planning  much of it could be avoided.

All I want is a blood test at the GP surgery. I’ve been having them there for months, but because of the number of nurses needed to give vaccinations there are none for blood testing now. The result of this is that I have to get up  at 6.30, add to the congestion, try to beat the staff to a space in the car park where staff, according to the big notice, are not supposed to park and then write a blog post to moan about it.

Is this what my “day off” is meant to be like? I haven’t had my breakfast yet and I already feel like I’ve put in a good day’s work.

“Work” was my 250th word, so I will leave it there as it’s my self-imposed minimum. If I carried on I would just start moaning again, as I’ve just been engaged in conversation with the pharmacy regarding a prescription that has disappeared. I didn’t want it, but they told me they had it for me. Julia went in to pick it up this morning and they now deny all knowledge of it. My original thought, that this was the most inefficient pharmacy in the world (you may have heard me mention this several times) has now been replaced by a theory that there are really two pharmacies working in parallel universes, which would explain why their right hand (in Universe 1) doesn’t know what the left hand (in Universe 2) is doing.

Header photo is my standard heron photo, looking hunched, dejected and/or grumpy. It seemed apt.

Closing Down for Christmas

I’ve just done 450 words on the evils of modern Christmas, but I thought I’d leave it until later. Christmas Eve (or Christmas Morning by the time you read this) needs a lighter touch and I don’t want to sound like a modern incarnation of Scrooge.

We closed the shop at 1.00 today, and queues at the shops were already backing up as people tried to get into the car park. One pm on Christmas Eve and you are doing your shopping? What sort of person are you? What sort of Christmas Dinner are you going to have. I missed a few items when doing my lists, but I’ll work round it rather than engage in a scrummage with a group of disease-riddled people who can’t plan.

Our day finished on a high note. I put a cheap medallion on eBay and the boss told me I was wasting my time as it was cheap, dull and wouldn’t sell. Twenty minutes later, it sold. I always like it when that happens. I have just checked, and find that two of the other items I put on have also sold – just goes to show the magic of new stock.

Meanwhile, I had a blood test yesterday. My INR ration should be 2.5. It was 1.5 at the last test. It had gone down to 1.2 by the time of this test. To compare – a normal person has a ratio of 1 to 1.1. I(n other words, the pills were doing no good at all.

I had the usual questions, but I hadn’t missed a dose or changed medication. Then she said, “It’s Christmas, the brussels sprout time of year.”. “Yes,” I replied,”and I have been eating more greens.”

I knew that green veg could counter-act the medication. I had no idea that they could wipe out the whole,benefit of it. I call it “medication”. It’s actually rat poison, but “medication” sounds better.

For blog post on the opposite problem, try this. It only seems like a few months ago that I had the opposite problem. Oh, it was only a few months ago. Warfarin is a very imprecise drug. Next blood test?  Wednesday 29th December. Bang goes my ambition of wearing my new pyjamas and slipper socks and not getting dressed for a week.

Happy Christmas everyone, and many more of them. Or Happy Holiday, or just Best Wishes for the next few days, depending on what you celebrate.

A Review of My Targets and Another Pan of Soup

My first job of the day was to take nourishment in the form of two slices of toast (brown seeded bread) with chunky cut marmalade. I know how to live.

I then reported for a blood test and, duly punctured, picked up a prescription from the pharmacy, had a cup of tea with friends (whilst delivering Christmas cards) and returned home for a light lunch made up of leftovers. Tea was home made soup (broccoli and cauliflower, including stalks and leaves) with a sandwich and I am now hungry as I sut and write this.

It is the price I must pay for my health. In the last three weeks I have not gained any weight, but I have not lost any either, and I need to get back into good habits. Lunch tomorrow will be more of the broccoli and cauliflower soup. Fortunately it is quite tasty, though Julia describes it, unattractively, as beige. It isn’t it’s a delicate green shade which, in certain lights, looks a little beige. But it’s definitely pale green. I would call it Eau de Nil, but I’m not sure that I want to associate my soup with the water of the River Nile.

A lot of my afternoon was spent in reviewing how my writing plans went over the last year. The plan took a bit of a knock due to me being ill and missing the best part of three months as I slowly recovered. I had  a target of 63 submissions, and managed 49. Not great, but not too bad.

Of those, I had 13 Haibun and one Tanka Prose (which I’m going to count as the same thing for the sake of these figures) accepted, which is 14 against a target of 18.

Haiku target was 12, and I have had 12 acceptances (a total of 15 poems) so that is OK.

I’m also writing Tanka, which I hadn’t planned for and have had four accepted.

One thing went badly – I had planned on doing three articles but after the first one turned into a bit of a disaster (originally accepted with edits, then turned down when the editor changed his mind< I didn’t pursue that. However, it will still be in the plan for next year.

I have also submitted ordinary poetry five times during the year and had three lots accepted.

I had been feeling a little deflated about my writing, and the way the year ended, but I’m actually quite pleased by the way it’s gone when I review the figures.

However, talking of figures, I’ve just been reading a website where a poet talks of their work. They have been writing poetry for 15 months and has had over 300 published. I really need to up my game. Or I could just stop reading author websites.

Old Oaks of Sherwood Forest

A Good Result

This was written yesterday, I seem to have drifted off into catching up with reading other posts and forgotten to publish. So here you are, yesterday’s post . . .

I have been in communication with the surgery three times today. Once they rang me but I couldn’t talk because I was driving. Then I rang them back when I stopped – they gave me my blood test result for the Warfarin – I am in the correct range and have another two weeks until my next test. Hurrah! he said ironically. In the early afternoon the original caller rang back to give me the same news – they hadn’t told her I’d called back. This confirms my suspicions about communications within the practice. Finally, in the evening, a doctor rang. I’m never keen on doctors ringing a it is seldom good news . . .

For the first time in my life they were ringing to congratulate me. They are, it seems, very happy with the way I am losing weight and, according to my blood tests, becoming healthier. This is unusual, and not entirely welcome. It’s a little like being smiled at when you meet an undertaker, as if they know something I don’t. However, they did remind me there was still more to do, and told me to stop eating bananas. That was my fault, I shouldn’t have admitted to it in the first place. I already knew they were bad for my diet. That’s why I try to say as little as possible when I talk to medical people.

Another unusual occurrence was me forgetting a submission deadline, and even more strange, not being concerned about it. I’m not sure if this is good or not. On one hand, it’s good to have ambition and discipline. On the other, I’m doing it for enjoyment o why should I make it hard work?

Blood, Soup and Tears

Today we had Cauliflower and Stilton soup. It’s like the soup we had yesterday but I added garlic and the remains of a packet of  Stilton. It was much better for the added flavour, though I think the lower calorie version (without cheese) is better for us, and means I don’t have to struggle with my conscience about putting Stilton in soup. It doesn’t seem a good use of  what Orwell called  “the best cheese of its type in the world”.

I had a blood test before that. She tried the left arm, then the right, then the left again. After that she went for another nurse, who tried both arms again. No blood. So they brought a third nurse in. She went further up the right arm and hit the vein straight away. Four plasters on the right arm, two on the left. It’s a new record!

Some days are like that.

And that, apart from some TV, is all I have done today. It’s 4.30pm and I am having a short break from TV.

No, there is one other thing, I weighed myself while I was at the surgery. Good news is that I haven’t put any weight on. Bad news, of course, is that I haven’t actually lost any.  It could be worse, I might have gained, but it’s obviously time to start getting serious about weight loss again. I probably need to become ill again as nothing helps a diet along like feeling too rough to eat. However, it’s a high price to pay for losing weight.

Today’s soup picture is a poor attempt, but I’m not in the mood for a long photo hunt.