Tag Archives: blood tests

Blood Test Debacle!

In many ways, yesterday’s post was quite easy to do. The words came easily, though I admit it was sometimes hard to select a photograph in the ones from the early years. In the latter years it became more difficult as I am hardly taking any photos. Apart from that, it wasn’t hard, and it was interesting for me to see how things have changed over the years. I hope it was interesting for other people, but my apologies if it wasn’t.

Next November I am hoping to retire, so I’m not sure what the next November post will be. The main worry, now that I am planning for the future, is that the future is uncertain and I can’t guarantee I will actually have one. However, I won’t dwell on that. The other negative scenario is that I mke a mess of all the arrangements and the move turns into a nightmare. That could easily happen, though I have said to Julia that if it happens we will just move anyway and sort it all out after Christmas (Christmas 2024, that is).

Piccalilli – I used to be a keen preserver.

Alternatively, it may all go well and I might actually enjoy it. Stranger things have happened.

Today I had a really bad blood testing session. Three nurses, twelve attempts. No blood. The general, view was that I was dehydrated and this flattens the veins. I’m going back tomorrow after drinking all day. It’s my fault. As soon as they mentioned dehydration I realised that the way I am restricting my intake (to regulate my outflow while I’m out during the day), was the fault. I know it isn’t really the way to go, but it makes life easier. Apart from blood tests. I’m going to have to drink more and face the consequences.

Life, eh? Nobody ever told me about this sort of thing when I was younger. What seem like basic human functions like sleep, bleeding and urination all get a lot more complicated as you get older.

Carrot and Parsnip soup, made from the mis-shapen veg the farm used to buy to feed livestock.

The photos are all from the first month of the blog. Happy Days . . .

Day 158

Only a few parcels today, but the calls and a steady stream of customers kept us busy. The owner rang this morning – he got his holiday plans confused and tells me he won’t be returning until Thursday. This is a nuisance because it means I am needed in the shop on Thursday, the day I had planned for a trip out with Number Two Son.  He has to cram a lot in to his UK trip – sightseeing, friends and parents – and things are tight regarding time. We will open the shop as usual on Thursday and close early so that we can get the bulk of a day’s work done and still have time for a trip around the Peak District.

Fortunately the weather forecast for Thursday is warm, sunny and generally dry. It is quite wet at the moment and has been colder than usual. In fact we both thought about putting the fire on last night, as it was a touch autumnal.

Rang for an appointment for a blood test today – I have made a mess of the organisation, due to the Bank Holiday, but got a time for my INR (Warfarin test). It seems I can’t book the other test at the same time. I have done before, and when I asked if the system had changed, was ignored by the receptionist, who seemed to be doing something else at the same time. She says I will have to ask the nurse if she can fit it in as a favour. It only involves an extra tube of blood once the have the needle in , and presumably an extra form to fill in, but they have refused before when I have asked.

At other times they have taken samples I didn’t realise were due, so they can fit them in when they want to. It’s another sign that the NHS is returning to normal after the trials of Covid. I can’t see that it’s efficient for them to drag people down for two separate appointments, and it definitely isn’t efficient, or convenient for me to go down twice when once would do.

However, I won’t go on.

Reading that back, I have become aware that the blog as a diary of my trials and tribulations, revolves round a small number of grievances with the world. I might try to convert to being one of those thought-provoking bloggers that always has a subject to discuss, preferably one that doesn’t involve doctors.



Day 41

It’s the early hours of the morning and, as usual, I am still up finding odd jobs to do. Yesterday was quite action packed so I’m going to write about it now and may even squeeze another post in today – or lengthen this one in the evening. There are so many options!

I’ve had a couple of emails in the last few days, but nowhere to fit the news in. I made four submissions at the end of January, two of them have now come back with acceptances. Two acceptances is good. It means I am back in the groove and it also means means I have 18 poems back, and can use them again. I will edit and polish and see what happens.

This is why it’s easier to make submissions when you are doing it constantly – there is a constant turnover as submittable material comes back. Some months last year my submissions were entirely poems which had already been out. This is so much easier than having to start from scratch. Admittedly, not all returned poems are fit to send out again, but most of them are, and many of them are used on their second or third attempt. I’ve read interviews by well known poets who have done well with work that has been submitted over 20 times.

Sometimes the talent you need isn’t writing ability but persistence.

Same goes for vegetable stew making. Last week it was appalling, mainly due to the use of putrid parsnips, this week it was excellent, and I had the added pleasure of using the cauliflower leaves from last night as greens to add more goodness to the stew and prevent waste. Why compost it when you can eat it?

I also had a blood test – as I said, it’s all happening! Nobody has rung so I assume I passed. Nobody has rung to complain that I am a week late either, I think we have finally reached an understanding. Next time I also have a liver function blood test to make sure the arthritis drugs aren’t doing me any damage. I hope they aren’t, as I’m reasonably happy with them at the moment.

The picture is snowdrops from 2019. They are out now but I have no new photos. That has been a feature of the days of covid – very few new photos.

Today, it was Sunny Outside

I can’t really think of much to write.

Unfortunately my daily routine is deficient in interest and can be summed up by saying “took Julia to work, went to shop, customers are idiots, it looked like a nice day outside, went home, had tea, watched TV”. It’s a dull life but someone has to live it.

Next week it will be enlivened by the return of children to schools after half-term – that’s always good for a queue or two of traffic and a teenager stepping into the road whilst staring at a mobile phone.

It always looks like a nice day outside when I’m in the shop (as mentioned above). On Wednesdays and Sundays, when I am at liberty to enjoy myself, it always looks like rain, or I have to go for a blood test, or Julia has a job for me to do. There is probably a natural law waiting to be discovered, one that deals with diminishing free time after marriage.

On the subject of blood tests I’m going to ask if they can put a valve in one of my fingertips. They take so much blood these days that it would save on time and needles. I’m told that my skin is thickening up due to the number of tests and is making testing more difficult. Much as I appreciate the difficulties suffered by phlebotomists, it’s not exactly great from my point of view either. If I had the choice of opening a valve and filling a tube instead of being punctured, I’d definitely take it.

On the other hand, if I was given  the choice of living to be 1,000 years old, I wouldn’t take it. Apart from the fact that I don’t believe it, or trust a man who looks like a mad scientist (the clue is in the words – “mad scientist”), I don’t even care for much of the world as it is now, just 60 years after I first started taking notice, so I’m sure that I really wouldn’t like it in another 940 years.

Even if I liked it, I doubt I’d understand it, as most modern technology is a mystery to me, as is much modern “comedy” and the sad realisation that as TV channels multiply, the quality of TV declines.

Imagine life in 2521. Ugh!

Talkuing of technology – you can’t use the tag “live to be 1,000”. As soon as you use the comma it start a new tag, becoming “live to be 1” and “000”. Live to be a thousand – I can’t even write it!




Zig Zag

If yesterday was a zig on the zig zag road to recovery (think of one of those cartoon-style graphs as you read,) today is a bit of a  zag. It’s not bad, but I’m definitely not as perky today. OK, I’m not generally known for being “perky” at the best of times, but I use the term comparatively.

Considering that three weeks ago I wasn’t entirely sure who I was, and that two weeks ago I was a festering wreck, I’m not doing badly. Most of my faculties are back, my walking is back to where it was and although I have to sit with my leg up, I’m nearly back to the state of imperfect health where you normally find me.

Nothing brings this home as much as a nurse saying they will have to “do something” about something you regard as being perfectly normal. They love tinkering, do nurses and, unlike doctors they never take no for an answer. I discussed the statin question with a doctor and they told me that even where cholesterol is good they like to put certain people on them as it might help. I looked at the figures on the NHS website – yes, they reduce your percentage chance of having a stroke or heart attack. By a couple of percent. What they don’t tell you is the chance of them interacting with other medication. or it being something else for the pharmacy to get wrong. We have agreed that I won’t take them. I will look at my diet again and see if I can lower the level that is causing concern.

Yesterday in the surgery I was listening to people being told that they couldn’t have liver function tests because we don’t have enough blood tubes. Only about a year ago they stopped prescribing my arthritis medication because I was behind with my testing. Double standards, or what?


I was downstairs for 6.35 this morning because I woke up before the alarm and didn’t thick it was worthwhile going back to bed for 20 minutes. It’s now 6.45 and I have spent ten minutes watching the blue circle revolve on my computer screen and checking emails. This is where my time goes.

The sky is bright, but lacks notable features, the air is coolish and the birds are quiet. I have missed the nice bit of early morning and just ended up with the dull bits. In a few minutes, having blogged about nothing other than the time, I will pop down to hospital, have my arm perforated and compose an imaginary letter to the Anti-coagulant Service explaining that I have better things to do than have a blood test every week. It is imaginary because it will have the same effect as writing one (ie none) but will save the effort of actually writing about it and enduring their response. There is something about the Anti-coagulant Service that drives me mad. It’s partly their assumption that I have nothing better to do than have blood tests and partly their view that Warfarin is the only Anti-Coagulant. I’ve actually had a conversation with a nurse where she used the word Warfarin in place of Anti-Coagulant.

At this point I will say no more, as I can get very cutting on the subject.

Time to go now, and see if I can get a parking space. If I do, all will be good. If I don’t, I will add to the parking problem by finding an awkward and unauthorised place to put my car.

That’s another subject Itry to avoid.

Has my life really become a series of gripes about small things? At one time I thought it would be about such interesting stuff, but this doesn’t seem to be the case. Even my blog is merely about the time I get up.

How the List Went

I’ve already covered the list and the progress, so now it’s time for the final wrap.


Sort out two submissions (well – 90%, but they will be done tonight)

Pick Julia up

Cup of tea, TV, nap. The nap went particularly well, as did the TV

Cook stir fry (excellent meal, though cooked by Julia as I was exploring all the possibilities of napping)

Write post (500 words) about how hard I’ve been working today – doing it now

Write more (the last post counts towards this)

Write haiku/senryu – was 15 minutes early for Julia so did a few then (note I didn’t say they had to be good)

I also rang the garage to discuss the flashing lights on the car dashboard (it is going in tomorrow so they can empty my bank account)

Not Done Yet

Start two poems I have notes for – fell victim to procrastination

Research for article – Bomb Disposal

Research for article – RNLI

I’ve done more than I was expecting. I’ve been putting off the two poems for a few weeks – doing a note here and there, but I’d like them to be good, and they aren’t living up to expectations so far. THe research was listed to make sure I do something about it, rather than in hope that I would get any done today.

Do lists do any good? I think they do. They keep me working and they preserve focus. Without  a list I would have done less today. I would have browsed the internet more, wasted more time, and have done less of the things that needed doing. Which reminds me, I need to get in touch with the doctor. I forgot to put it on the list.

I just went away to contact the doctor.They want me to use the online ordering system for medication, but they keep changing the system. last month I was able to request Methotrexate. This month I’m not able to order it so I’ve had to put in  a written request. Apparently it can only be ordered by a clinician. I’m not actually sure what a clinician is, apart from someone who works at a clinic. I’m also not clear why someone who hasn’t spoken to me about the medication needs to get involved in the supply. You would think that in the middle of a pandemic they would have better things to do than mess about with the way I reorder prescriptions.

This, of course, reminds me that I need a blood test for the Methotrexate to see if it is dissolving my liver. As I have not yet turned yellow I’m probably OK. I hope so because it’s a very effective drug for the arthritis. I’d better do that tomorrow as I want to try and coordinate it with the Warfarin blood test in two weeks time. Despite what they keep telling us, I see no point in going where there are a load of sick people if I don’t need to. One day and two tests is better than going down on two days. With any luck I will be able to get it done at the hospital too, as the nurses at the surgery don’t get the practice, and are not as effective as the hospital phlebotomists.

If you are going to be stabbed in the arm it’s better to get it done by a professional.

That’s enough writing now. I will probably discuss our new lockdown when I write again. Yes, we enjoyed the first two so much that we are having another one.


Blood Tests, Relaxed Restrictions and a Peaceful Protest

I had to visit the Treatment Centre for a blood test yesterday. I didn’t need one and I don’t do it for fun but I had been told to have another one in a clear case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing.

For posterity, I note the following things.

One – there was nobody on the door with masks, gel, advice or censure.

Two – people were once again drifting in through the door. Some weren’t using the hand gel and some were accompanying patients and didn’t need to be there.

Three – I saw a staff memeber walking round with their mask pulled down under their nose. Admittedly, it was a nose of heroic proportions and they were clearly proud of it (and possibly unable to get it into the mask), but it was still unmasked when it should have been covered.

Four – the cafe is open again, though you can onl;y have one person at a table.

Five – the phlebotomist is no longer wearing a face shield, as noted at City Hospital when I had my last anti-coagulant blood test.

These are not criticisms, just observations noted down for posterity. At a time we are told that a second peak is coming and that it is due to undisciplined social gatherings, it might be germane to note the slackening off of NHS discipline.

The service was excellent, if you ignore the fact the test was not necessary and the telephone helpline had proved to be bloody useless after they messed my prescription up.

On the other hand, I was able to collect a blood form, have the test, get my prescription and be given advice by the pharmacist and still get out of the car park in thirty minutes. Impressive stuff.



Tonight I have started learning the names for my finger joints so I can discuss them on the phone. There must be a poem in there somewhere.

I have also been noting the limits to my peaceful right to protest. It’s made a little more complicated by lockdown regulations but I may seek to defend myself using the Cummings or Stanley Johnson defence – I am too important to allow the law to limit my capacity for arrogance.

I’m also not quite sure about the legality of handcuffing myself to property which may or may not belong to someone else. The internet is rather uninformative on that point.

I now need as group of Suffragette bodyguards and I am ready for action.



There is, as you may suspect, a gathering cloud of civil unrest…

I wasn’t able to source any decent photos for peaceful protest or handcuffs on Pexels so I widened my search. Knowing what happens on the internet I really should not have searched for ‘handcuffs’.

That’s why you have poppies instead.

A Quick Post

I passed my blood anti-coagulant blood test, and as a reward I don’t need to go back until 11th December. If it all goes well my next test will be either 25th December or 1st January. I may have to rethink this.

On the other hand, I had a text from the surgery telling me that my doctor wants to see me for a face to face consultation and that I must ring to arrange it. This seems an odd way to offer congratulations so I’m expecting a lecture on my health. More precisely, I’m expecting a lecture on my cavalier attitude to my health.

We filled today, when not being texted, with a visit to Springfields in Lincolnshire, followed by a visit to my father, who trounced me at Snakes and Ladders before defeating me at several games of dominoes. He may not know what day it is, and he can’t remember my name, but he’s still got his competitive edge.

My sister complains that I have it too. She says it as if it’s a bad thing.


I get organised, and get punished for it

Tonight, in an organised fashion, I called at the surgery on my way home. It seemed to be a popular time as several other people arrived at the same time. One beat me to the desk and queued behind the woman who was already there.

One didn’t quite beat me to the desk but I held the door and let her go ahead. Before you start criticising me for chavinism reflect on this – I didn’t hold the door because she was a weak and feeble woman: I held the door because my parents brought me up to have good manners.

So, there I was, fourth in the queue. The first woman was one of those people who take a long time over everything, can’t take no for an answer and have no awareness of how many people are queueing behind them thinking of violence.

The second person was unremarkable and finished her enquiry in a couple of minutes.

The third person, the woman I’d held the door for, spent the entire wait hacking and coughing without bothering to cover her mouth. I presume her parents had never told her that coughs and sneezes spread diseases. Fortunately, because I’d let her go first, she was doing it over the people in front. Virtue, as they say, is its own reward.

Eventually I arrived at the front of the line. I picked up my prescription with no problem. The blood test form, however, was another thing altogether. It turned out that there were two of them. One is for blood. This good as the arrangement is that I am having extra samples taken next time I visit phlebotomy.

The other is not for blood. Somehow my agreement to two blood tests on the same day has mutated into a blood test with accompanying urine test. As I can’t see phlebotomy being ecstatic at being presented with a urine sample I suppose I’ll have to go back to the surgery, meaning that doubling up the blood test is saving no time or effort.

I mentioned this to the receptionist, who instantly became blank-faced and started up the Nuremberg Defence. I swear they have a special training school for doctors’ receptionists.

I’m thinking of what I can put in my urine sample to give them a hilarious surprise…