Tag Archives: confusion

Down the NHS Rabbit Hole

You couldn’t make this stuff up. I had two letters yesterday. They came from Bristol. This is how the NHS now operates. I talk to a doctor, who I could see from my house if it wasn’t for the trees. She refers me to a Urologist, who works about 400 yards from her. I can see the hosp[ital from my back window. Then everything goes to Bristol where they type out the letters and send them. Bristol is 150 miles away. I detect the hand of a management consultant in this. If it’s more efficient I should try it. Next time I wan’t to ask Julia if she would like a cup of tea I will take a detour to Sheffield on my way to the living room. No, still doesn’t make sense . . .

One letter gave me a date for my urology consultation. It is in late January, which is slightly disappointing, but no big deal. Time passes so fast these days it will soon be here. A three month wait for a consultation is a First World Problem really. There are plenty of people in the world who would love to be me. Late January, down to the hospital I can see from my window, no problem.

The second gave me a date for my urology consultation. It is in late January, It’s the same day and time as my other appointment. There is just one difference. They tell me that it is a telephone appointment and that I should not go to hospital.

Hospital curtains – slightly more cheerful than the previous set

I’m tempted to go down, hand in the first letter and then see if they ring me while I am in the waiting room.

However, I rang the central appointment line for Nottingham University Hospitals. They told me to key in my seven figure patient number from the letter. Three digits in they told me they didn’t recognise the number and that I should wait for an advisor.

So I waited. And waited, and the tinny music assailed my ears and the insincere message of apology got on my nerves. Eventually, probably 20 minutes later, having lost the will to live, I got through. I’d only started in queue position number three so I suspect the team of advisors I was linked to consisted of one harassed women.

After I explained the problem she hummed and hahed and muttered and eventually, using a very unconvincing voice, told me it was a phone appointment.

My final room in the three month saga

I’m going to have to write and check, having been here (metaphorically) before. I was going to add links but blog posts don’t really tell the whole story. Basically, fro those of you who don’t know, I went to hospital for a procedure. IT was supposed to be followed by another one just two weeks later. It took 3 months and descended into farce. The NHS accused me of lying several times because I had nothing in writing to prove what I said, though I did have witnesses. They never did explain what happened. They never did apologise (though individual staff members did).

That’s why I am going to waste time writing, because if it happens again I want to be prepared.

Starvation – an ever present danger in hospital. Five chips! Five!

And Now – Part 2

This is Part Two of the post I wrote in the early hours of the morning.

At that point I was still struggling, but a couple of hours later, things seemed to improve. It wasn’t a great improvement but it was enough to give me some hope. This morning I felt better again, and was pleased to note a distinct improvement in the quality of my urine, which is where I will stop. There are, I’m sure, websites and specialist journals devoted to the subject, but for general purpose, lightweight blogging, which is where I consider my blog fits, “improved”  will suffice.

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Having said that, you might be amused by this short article (written by a proper scientist rather than a blogger with a questionable sense of humour). She treats it in a much less flippant manner than I would. I think I may have thought of a profession for the historical detective novel I keep thinking of writing.

I had a blood test this morning (does the joy never cease).  I’m now waiting to see what problems arise from this, as nothing in the NHS is ever simple. There are two sorts of nurse in our surgery – the ones who talk, listen and do their best to help. And the ones who are brisk, talk over you, and work to their own agenda. I’m not so keen on the second sort, though I would forgive them if they seemed to offer a better service than the first sort. They don’t.

Meanwhile, I am on the mend, so can’t complain too much.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

As an aside, they often say that the symptoms of confusion in the elderly are a sign of a urinary tract infection rather than actual dementia and I can now confirm this. The pain/panic/symptoms on Monday completely took away my ability to concentrate. Yesterday, with symptoms and sleep deprivation I had severe problems concentrating and keeping up with conversations. Today, despite improvements i’m conscious that I’m dragging my feet in mental terms (though my ability to mix metaphors remains strong).

It seems that I have perpetually linked bladder problems with soft fruit in the mind of one of my blog readers (sorry Derrick!). Let’s see what comments I get from using these pictures . . .

Photo by Tembela Bohle on Pexels.com

Trams and Transportation Trauma

Today I went to hospital to see my rheumatology specialist.They say that you can tell you are getting old when the policemen start looking younger. In my case it’s the consultants in hospital. The two I’ve had both look like they should still be at school. I was sorry when the previous one moved on, but they new one seems very good too. I like this new sort of consultant.

The rest of the day wasn’t quite so good, as was eleven minutes late for my appointment, which meant I had to wait to be seen. Really, I was only four minutes late, because I then had to spend seven minutes waiting as the receptionists dealt with patients who both seemed to have long, complicated requirements. I hate being late, but I particularly hate waiting in a queue and becoming even later.

Trees in a car park

I all started with my decision to use the tram to go to hospital.

We only have two tram lines in Nottingham, so it’s quite a simple system. You go to the tram stop, buy a ticket from the machine and get on he tram. Last time I used one Julia came with me and we had an interesting time on cramped seats looking at the armpit of a Dutch woman. It reminded me why cars, though killing the planet, are still more popular than public transport.

With so little to go wrong I was rather put out when Julia mentioned she wouldn’t be able to come with me this time. As if I am a small child who can’t be trusted to travel alone on a very simple system.

I think these are near Slaidburn

As it turns out, I actually had trouble before I even saw a tram. The ticket machine has a key pad, a couple of places to swipe cards and a screen. I couldn’t get any response. I couldn’t use the coin slot as I’d emptied my pockets of change as I knew it would take a card. It seems that the brightly lit screen with the advert is key to all this. If you tap it, it becomes some sort of space age console for buying tickets. How things have changed over the years. This sort of technology only used to be available on TV sci-fi programmes.

One of the advantages of having sticks, white hair and a confused expression is that complete strangers stop and ask if you need help. There is a bright spot in every event.

So, back to the simple system. I managed to miss the first tram whilst messing about with tickets. It was about ten minutes until the next one. I waited. A tram arrived, on time and accompanied by a flashing message on the platform display, so I boarded. Seconds later started, and a recorded announcement revealed that I was on the wrong one. What are the chances of that? I’m still not sure how it happened.

Fortunately, despite this, and the lack of maps in the carriages, I was able to work things out and get off several stops later where I then waited again and boarded the right tram. I tried ringing to tell them I would be late but couldn’t get through.

Pretty sure this is South Wingfield, where Mary Queen of Scots as an unwilling guest

Eventually, I was delivered to the tram stop at the hospital, where a walkway gave me access to the Treatment Centre. It’s quite an impressive piece of construction. Sadly, though I come from a nation that features such explorers as Cabot, Cook and Captain Scott, it seems that my ability to undertake long journeys into the unknown does not compare to theirs.

The trip back from hospital, being more crowded, and featuring various assaults on my olefactory system by a liberally applied combination of cosmetics, was an eye-watering exercise in why I want to live in a desert, and further highlighted my lack of fortitude compared to my forbears.

The pictures are thrown in at random. I haven’t been taking many recently. The captions show my lack of organisation in my early days when I didn’t caption every photo.

Day 150

Californian Poppies

Today, I am going to rush through my 250 words and then get on with something else. I only realised this morning, with a shock, that it is the last day of May and I have submissions to make before midnight. Having been caught up at work this evening, then slept in front of the TV I find myself a little short on time.

This afternoon was interesting. We left work at 4.00 and locked the shop. My workmate exchanged a few words with an elderly gent and walked away. The man then came to me. I smiled in a warm and friendly manner, expecting some comment on our opening hours. Instead he said, “I need help, please can you help me?”

It was the start of a series of events that lasted for over an hour. That’s not long in terms of a lifetime, but it’s quit a long time to be involved in the problems of a complete stranger.


His problem was that he had been dropped off by a taxi driver. He didn’t know where he was or where he was going (apart from the fact it was a hospital). He had no money, no phone and no ID. All this came out in the course of our conversation. He wasn’t quite sure how old he was – late 80s – but the age and DOB he gave didn’t match up, and there was nobody at home we could ring because his partner was in hospital and was expecting him to visit. He was a touch confused, though he seemed o know his name and address, and had not shaved recently or had the benefit of clean clothes. This was not a man for whom things were going well, and in some respects, it was like looking in a mirror.

It was also a nudge into a memory that I don’t really like. About 40 years ago I saw a confused elderly man hit by a car as he tried to cross the M11 motorway near Cambridge. He went flying through the air, and when I attended the inquest the events of that afternoon had clearly placed a great strain on both the car driver and the wife of the deceased. I wasn’t going to let him wander off, but there wasn’t  a lot I could do to help him either.


In the end I had to ring the police and wait until an officer turned up to attend to him. She was very friendly and efficient, and asked all the right questions and took him home, where she was going to check with the neighbours and see what was happening. I will probably hear no more about the story, and will always wonder how things turned out but, in the manner of these things, I suspect it is the start of a change in his life that will not be to his advantage. I hope he has a family and that they gather round to help.

And on that sombre note I will leave you and go to finish my submissions for the month. I am going to make the most of my brain while it is still working. Not sure what photographs I am going to post with this, I will try for something cheerful.

Yellow Flag Iris

Day 51

We finally got round to having the carrot and ginger soup today. You couldn’t notice the ginger, but I managed to find some coriander, and added a handful of that to the pot. It was a great improvement. Next time I will try lentils, as suggested by Helen.

Well, next time I will try celery. Next time I use carrots I will try the lentils. I haven’t used them for a while as Julia always feels the need to mention them, a sign that she’s on the verge of a complaint. The trouble is that she just doesn’t appreciate my exotic cookery.

We had Storm Franklin today. It’s the third named storm of the week, and it is all getting a bit stupid. Whatever happened to the days when we just had wind and rain? Weather is not improved by having a name and I really can’t see the point. It rained. Then it was windy while it rained. Then it was dry and windy and then it rained again. The ornaments on our mantelshelf vibrated every time we had gusts from a certain direction, which became wearing after a time, but that was really the worst of it for us.

Unfortunately, when I check up, a lot of reports say that it is going to get worse, which is worrying as I thought it had passed over. That’s the trouble with all the detail you get in weather reports these days – they tell you a variety of things and they don’t always agree with other reports.


My Final Word on the Subject

I’ve just realised where I have been going wrong with the new Block Editor. I’ve been approaching it from the position of believing it to be better than the previous version, and simpler to use. I based this on the fact that WordPress used words like improved, intuitive and effortless.

I also allowed myself to be confused by the idea that one of the world’s best known blogging platforms would base its improvements on making blogging easier and that as I pay £240 a year there is a contract between us that they will deliver a decent service in return for the money.

When I look into it, it seems that the changes are all about allowing creativity and website design, which are not things I’m concerned about. I want to write a plain blog and if I’m told that it will be “improved, intuitive and effortless” I’d like my blogging to be better and easier tomorrow than it was yesterday.

That’s like buying a car to use for shopping and day-trips, only to find out that the car company has redesigned it to be better at brain surgery.

I don’t need that.

So, that one is solved – it hasn’t been re-designed with bloggers in mind, it has been designed for creative people (because bloggers clearly aren’t creative) and to create work for the WP team.

So, it isn’t actually improved.

Intuitive? I don’t think so. If it was I would be able to use it instinctively.

Effortless? I now have to press buttons for things like word count that showed automatically. I have to select the Classic block where I used to go straight into the editor.  If I want to pin my toolbar to the top of the post (where it used to be automatically pinned) I now know which buttons to press to do that. None of this extra button pressing seems like less effort, so unless my dictionary has gone wrong (ie been re-designed by web developers) this is not “effortless”.

We then come on to the management of change. There was no discussion, I just switched on to find I had been forcibly placed in Block Editor. I don’t feel this is a good way of doing things. If I want to be bullied and forced into doing things I have Julia and the Government to do that. WP is supposed to be my escape from all that.

Then there is the glitchiness. During the writing of this post I looked up from the keyboard to find a blank screen and a fault message. This is the second time this week. Fortunately the post was saved in draft. I have also experienced a variety of missing buttons and other unexplained phenomena, such as things opening that I didn’t want. 

I’m going to give up at that point – the editor has shut me out twice in the last two lines and I have struggled to get the text back. That’s three times in total. This shouldn’t be happening.

I’ve also got the “Convert to Blocks” box up again now – I thought I was in blocks.

Just when I thought it was all fixed…

I don’t have a picture of an elderly man crying tears of frustration, but if I did I would use it as the Featured Image, I promise you.

Three times I got this message!

A Confusion of Scientists

From what I’ve seen today the Government doesn’t need to ease the lockdown restrictions because people have already decided to cut themselves some slack. This is annoying after we’ve made major efforts to isolate ourselves.

I’ve been reading about the voluntary lockdown in Sweden, which everyone says has worked well. I’m not sure it would work too well in the UK, from what I’ve seen today. On top of that, Swedish Government scientists have even said that our lockdown is futile.

However, after some of the things they have done I’m not sure how far I’d trust Swedish scientists. Not that they were the only ones who thought eugenics were a Good Thing.

You would expect that their death rate would be very low in that case, wouldn’t you? It isn’t. It’s lower than hours, to be sure. But it’s higher than Ireland, where the low rate of death has been attributed to Ireland adopting a lockdown policy.

So, with a lower death rate being linked to (a) strict lockdown policies and (b) relaxed lockdown policies you have to wonder who is right.

Or if anyone is right…

That’s it for now. I’ve failed to hit my self-appointed 250 words, but I’m having trouble concentrating. Lockdown has finally softened my brain, and I’m devoting too much of my brain to thoughts of the gooseberry crumble one of the neighbours gave us.

The picture is from the free picture library – sorry about that but I’m nor getting out much. That should be about the right number of words.