Tag Archives: blood test

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

Day 214

Sometimes plans go well. I woke reasonably refreshed and was able to get ready quickly. Leaving home at 7.30 I had a closer view than I wanted of the new roadworks on the Ring Road and arrived at Queen’s Medical Centre for 7.50.

I noted that the phlebotomy department at the Treatment Centre is still socially distanced, unlike the department at City Hospital. The paperwork I needed was at Rheumatology Reception, where I read and ticked the boxes on my forms (apart from the one about pregnancy – I’m just fat, honestly).

After that it was down to Phlebotomy, where I was number 105. 102 went in as I sat down and I was soon seen. The TB test is, it seems, the most expensive test they do as the blood is sent  to Sheffield for testing. They take one tube of blood but have to divide it into four lots. It was interesting to have a test I haven’t had before. In case you are wondering, I have to prove I don’t have TB before I can go onto the new medication.

The perfection of the day was broken when the parking ticket machine broke down. I buzzed the office and they told me to go to the exit and they would let me out. This was what happened. I must check my statement when it arrives and see if a payment went through – I also want to check, after making several attempts, that I haven’t been charged multiple times.

Julia was up by the time I got home and we went out for breakfast at McDonalds.

It is not, so far, a day of great sophistication or significance, but I’m enjoying it and I’m happy to settle for that.

It’s a case of being happy with what you have and not making yourself unhappy about things you can’t have. I’d like to be eating seafood on a private yacht in the Caribbean. I’m eating junk food in a rattly VW in Nottingham. In a minute I’ll be drinking tea in front of TV with Julia and deciding what to do with the rest of the day. More poetry filing, I think, followed by lunch, TV, a little light writing and more TV. Possibly internet grocery shopping and pizza and salad for tea – we have a lot of home-grown tomatoes and they won’t eat themselves . . .

Day 213

I checked dsh today. I am in it. That was short and sweet, wasn’t it? No preamble, no false modesty. I’m getting the hang of it now, though when I re-read it the words “could do better” emerge like a mantra from the past.

Apart from that today has been dull but busy.

I had a telephone consultation this morning – the one I should have had two weeks ago. I need a blood test for TB. This has to take place at the Treatment Centre at the Queen’s Medical Centre. No, I don’t know why. But then, I don’t know why I had to have my last chest X-Ray at QMC either when I have a perfectly good hospital only half a mile away from the house. It’s at 8am, so at least I won’t waste my day. Well, I may waste my day, but it won’t be on blood tests. I also have to sign some forms to give a private company access to my medical records – they are the people who will be delivering my new medical treatment.

Yes, I too would have organised it so I could have done it all in one visit. Apart from the convenience, there is the carbon footprint and the pandemic to consider. And no, I don’t really want to open my records to a private company, but I do want the new medication. It’s all very strange.

I’ve also booked my car in for MOT and servicing at the garage that’s 200 yards away from the shop.I did consider using it after my previous garage moved, but I’m loyal and I stayed with my original garage. As detailed yesterday, they have now packed up, leaving me free to move.

Last night I listened to the song of the D-Day Dodgers (the troops that fought their way up via Italy, instead of landing on the coast of France). I knew of the nickname and that there was some ill feeling about it but didn’t realise how serious it was until I listened to the song (there are ruder versions so be careful if you look for alternatives). It took several years, and some terrible battles, to reach the top of Italy. The role of my family was limited in WW2. having been thinned out considerably in the previous one. Two served in the Dunkirk campaign and two in the desert and Italy. None of them went to France in 1944. Therefore my whole family were D-Day Dodgers.

Anti-tank defences – Gibraltar Point.

The anti-tank blocks in the picture are a few of hundreds still scattered along the east coast of the UK, a reminder of times when we really thought an invasion was coming.

 

Day 209

Three unusual things happened today.

One, I went for my blood test at hospital after a week of avoiding it. Took a COVID test the night before, as I had been in contact with someone who is positive, and I didn’t want to spread anything. I am clear so I went. There were spaces in the car park and a man on the barrier, which I linked in my mind – there used to be space when they had someone there before. Walked in, hardly had time to sit down, was tested (though she only took two tubes when I was expecting three) and left.

Despite the ban on staff parking in the car park, two doctors were leaving as I left. Couldn’t get out. That’s why there was a man on the gate, they have a new system of number plate recognition. No free quarter hour now, just a Big Brother system where you are automatically In The System. Had to pay using debit card. More Big Brother – all my spending monitored . . .

So that was unusual thing one.

Number two. I had a parcel delivered. It contained  a medallion I had seen on eBay in the “sold” section as I browsed. I complained to Julia that I would have liked to have bought it. It seems that I must have done. I checked and saw I had used the “Buy it Now” feature. I must have bought it in my sleep. This is a worrying development in both the “Senior Moment” department and the “eBay Addiction” department. I have promised Julia that I will only go on eBay in the hours of daylight.

Finally, a man came into the shop. He had a mask.

“I’ve got COVID,” he said, “But I have a mask on so it’s OK isn’t it?”

My workmate muttered something unintelligible. He doesn’t like to say n0. I rolled my seat back and said: “I am on medication which lowers my immune response, so no, don’t come in.”

I actually thought something which had a lot more swearing in it, but I am a retail professional.

He was slightly taken aback by my refusal, as if he honestly thought we would want an infected person in the shop.

Apart from the possible health consequences to us and our families, did he really think we wanted to run the risk of shutting the shop because he’s too stupid to stay at home?

Even after being told to leave he insisted on telling us about the coins he had to sell – I doubt they came to more than a couple of quid, but they were, in his mind, worth enough to justify infecting a whole shop. remember that my work colleagues have frequent contact with two others and a mother in law who are all 80 +, one being over 90. That’s why I’ve been testing again.

It’s not about me, it’s about my responsibility to other people.

Grumpiness Personified

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.