Tag Archives: Hospital

A Quiet Day

I went to Hospital this morning, back to the Treatment Centre. It went better than the last visit, as I was given treatment and was allowed to keep my trousers on.

The treatment consisted of injecting steroids into my troublesome knuckle. I wish I hadn’t bothered reading the article myself, as I hadn’t realised all the potential problems. I naively thought that the worst thing about the injection was that someone had to ram a needle into the space between two finger bones.

It seems that I was wrong. There is a list of possible side effects, including infection, bleeding and the risk of tendon rupture. It is for that last reason I was advised not to perform strenuous activity for the rest of the day. I’m not clear what strenuous activity I might have to carry out with my little finger, but I avoided it anyway and drank my tea without crooking my little finger.

I will try to remember to take a picture of my heavily bandaged finger later. If there is ever a competition for the most out of proportion dressing I may be in with a chance.

That’s really all I’ve done today. Get ready for the hospital, go to hospital, avoid strenuous effort.

I’ve had worse days.

 

Whining Wednesday

I went to hospital this morning – the (inaccurately named) Treatment Centre at The  Queen’s Medical Centre.

After a night worrying about being late I took a taxi and, as you do, found all my fears were groundless. I was then tested for blood pressure, height, weight and my ability to fill a small tube with urine.

I have blood pressure, height and weight, so that went well. The final part was trickier as I’d purposely not had a drink before going to hospital so I wouldn’t have to disappear to the toilet and have my name called in my absence. However, I did manage to provide a specimen, though not with any degree of accuracy.

The doctor then saw me. I had to drop my trousers. I moaned about not wanting to take my trousers down but they still made me do it.

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It’s a flower – how should I know what sort?

Oh yes, the dignity of an elderly man (I’m dropping all this “middle-aged” nonsense as I’ll be lucky to make 80, let alone the 120 that “middle-aged” implies) comes second to a doctor wanting a look at my terra australis. How a pain in the finger becomes a viewing of my lower extremities I really don’t know.

The good news is that I finally have a diagnosis for the skin problem I’ve had for the last 15 years. It’s definitely psoriasis. This is mixed news. It seems they can possibly do something about it. On the other hand, all that time I spent learning to spell eczema has been wasted. This is all heading towards a diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis. Or gout. They haven’t ruled that out yet.In fact they haven’t ruled anything out, they have just sent me for more X-Rays and more blood tests. That is why, in the absence of any treatment, I consider the unit to be inaccurately  named.

The X_Rays went badly, and involved more dropping of trousers so they could get pictures of my lower back without a zip and belt buckle getting in the way. They also asked me if I could move further up the table. As my head was already touching the wall I had to say no. They also asked if I could flex my knees “like this” (accompanied by a wrenching of my ancient knees). I replied, quite reasonably I thought, that if I was able to flex my knees “like that” I wouldn’t be in need of the X-Rays. Fair point, I thought, but my words seemed to produce a slight drop in temperature within the room.

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This one might be an anenome

Then there was the blood test. The Phlebotomy room at the Treatment Centre is the best hidden department I’ve ever seen in a hospital. It has a small sign saying “Phlebotomy” over a solid door with a combination lock on it. I asked about how to gain access and was told to take a ticket from the machine and wait.

Machine?

It’s like a bollard with some badly sellotaped signage, not at all like the one with the big screen that says “Please take a ticket” at City Hospital.

That’s just over 500 words now so I’ll stop. There were plenty more moans in the day (after all, I’ve only just arrived at 11.30) but I think this sample will do.

I thought the flowers might lighten the moaning mood a little. I’m gradually easing into maximum misery mode.

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Rudebekia – I know that one

 

 

 

 

Easy as a Monday Morning

On Friday I experienced an uneasy feeling, which grew through Saturday as I realised that I probably had a blood test this morning. I say “probably” as I had neglected to make a note in my diary and I had mislaid the letter giving me the next date.

Eventually I found the letter (which also counted towards my decluttering quota) and confirmed that I did indeed have a blood test this morning.

In the manner of these things, the plan suffered a set-back. I woke at 6.15, summoned by my bladder and then went back to my nice warm bed bed. That meant that instead of leaping into action at 6.30 I hauled myself out at 6.45 and the whole day started slower and later than intended.

There wasn’t much of a queue and the phlebotomist hit the vein first time. I bled well after they removed the needle and I’ve had no panicky phone calls so I’m presuming all has gone well.

As I left the hospital I noticed that the day was much lighter than it had been three weeks ago for my last test. Spring is definitely on the way.

I’ll leave out the boring bits – parcels, swearing at other drivers, TV – the normal stuff that makes up my life.

Tonight we had the beef stew I’d meant to cook last night. (We ended up with frozen veggie burgers due to time constraints). It turned out reasonably well despite my normal cooking technique of chucking stuff in and seeing what happens. I keep meaning to learn how to cook properly, but I never get round to it.

It’s cottage pie tomorrow. I made it while I was doing the stew. It’s good to be a day ahead.

That’s about it for today. Nothing interesting happened and I have 23 minutes left to post.

 

Thursday, Bloody Thursday

This being Thursday I went for a blood test. They are currently taking blood fortnightly and last week, to be honest, after several months of weekly tests, I felt like something was missing all morning.

Today’s appointment was 9 am, which was unusual as they are normally around 11. It looked like I was going to get a lot of Christmas preparation done today, which was good because I have a long list from my beloved.

The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men, as Robert Burns said, Gang aft agley. 

I was seen on time, but after two goes at getting a sample from the right arm the nurse decided to ask a colleague to have a go at the left. As if by magic the colleague appeared just as the phone was ringing.

“Ha!! exclaimed my nurse, “it must be ESP.”

But it wasn’t. The other nurse had bent down to pick up a piece of paper and her back had locked, so she was coming through to ask for help in taking blood from her patient.

Eventually we secured the services of a third nurse.

She had a go in the left arm, admitted defeat and instructed me to go to the City Hospital phlebotomy unit. That’s a word that’s just crying out to have a poem written around it. So I drove home, had a glass of water, as recommended by the nurses and went to phlebotomy.

These days you take a ticket, just like a delicatessen counter at the supermarket.

Mine was A161.

The screen flickered on as I sat down and a bored robotic voice called ticket number A149 to Bay 1. The woman next to me let out a great sigh. I would later find out that she had the ticket before me.

The difference was that I had a book and she didn’t. As I learned about the currency reforms of Henry VII she carried on muttering and shifting in her seat.

After what seemed like quite a short time I was in a chair with a young woman in a red coat (dyed, rather than blood stained). I can see that a red coat is practical but it did make me think back to the days of the barber surgeons. We discussed my previous history of unsuccessful blood sampling (this isn’t the first time I’ve been sent to hospital after the Practice Nurses found it tricky) and she set to work.

One prod of the arm, one puncture and, seconds later the sample was in the tube.

To be fair to the Practice Nurses they do a lot of different things whereas the phlebotomists are specialists in taking blood. It’s all they do. Smile, stab, label the sample and start again. It must be very dull. I’d be tempted to do it wrong just to relieve the boredom.

As I left the hospital I noted the time.

11.00 am.

Just goes to show that some things are meant to be.

 

All Went Well

Well, that was easy.

I arrived in plenty of time, sat down, opened my book and was called through before I’d had time to read the first page.

Of course, they didn’t want me, they just wanted to move me to the next waiting area. This was crammed with men of a certain age, mostly with a slightly haunted air. This was due, I found out, to the next instruction.

“We’re going to do a flow test today, so I need to ask you to have five or six glasses of water.”

She pointed to the water fountain and left me to it. The slightly haunted air of my fellow drinkers was now explained. Take a man with a dodgy bladder, fill him with water, and it’s not exactly a recipe for comfort and jollity.

I was able to read plenty more of my book, though I wasn’t exactly able to concentrate as the water worked its way through.

Eventually, as I was beginning to feel a touch urgent, I was called through by the consultant.

All is good.

He turned out, despite his formidable qualifications and reputation, to be a warm and charming man with a sense of humour. This is not, as I have discovered over the years, always true of consultants.

He discharged me, told me to see the GP about the disturbed nights, thanked me for my patience and shook my hand.

I shook back then made off in search of a toilet. I may have avoided the flow test, but I still had six glasses of water to unload…

 

 

 

 

In Just Under an Hour

In just under an hour I will be in hospital being prodded and questioned.

I’ve run through it all in my head and hope I have enough answers ready to avoid them following up with more pills or tests. I already rattle when I walk too fast and am still having dreams of long corridors from my last three month session of intensive prodding.

Recently, I have started daydreaming about hospital food. I’m wondering if it may be a form of Stockholm Syndrome. I do hope not, because spending more time in hospital would definitely be the wrong treatment…

When I was in hospital twelve years ago the procedure which now takes a day and a half used to take three or four. It was much more restful and they used to take the catheter out before sending you home.

There are advantages to the new industrial system – probably more people seen, and definitely less chance of becoming ill from something you pick up in hospital.

There’s another thing I noticed – when I was in for three days I was glad to get out.When I was in for four days I was resentful at being sent home on Irish Stew day. I’d been looking forward to that stew.

Ah well, time to go.

Wish me luck.

 

It’s happened already!

Do you remember me saying I’ve used a fingerprint as part of the set-up for my phone? And that I’d probably lose the finger now?

Well, I still have all my fingers, but…

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Sorry it’s a bit blurred but I had to frame it to miss out the clutter on my desk and take it with one hand, so focus proved to be a step too far.

It was the result of a blood test rather than accident, and I really ought to have thought about it before letting them use that finger. It bled quite a lot, because they’ve pumped me full of Warfarin and the injections that I can’t remember the name of. (That’s a little inelegant, but “the name of which I cannot remember” seems worse). I had also bled overnight from the site of the injection I gave myself last night.

Annoyingly, despite the bleeding, the numbers indicate that I’ve failed to reach the necessary threshold. They have upped the dose again and booked me in for a test on Wednesday, because I clearly have nothing better to do than go to hospital for tests. No doubt they will want me back on Friday  too.

Having switched the phone off as requested when I entered hospital I had to restart it to call a taxi. This involved jugging stick, phone and bag as I tried to remove the plaster with my teeth.

The result of all that was that I managed to get blood on the sensor which, unsurprisingly, could not be persuaded to open the phone. Application of a handkerchief to both finger and sensor finally enabled me to ring a taxi.

I’m having a rethink on this fingerprint technology.