Tag Archives: NHS

Blood, toil, sweat and sweetheart brooches

Today started well when I had just a short wait to have my arm stabbed. The blood flowed well and I was able to et out and get Julia to work in plenty of time. I’m hoping the free flow of blood indicates that it is going to give me another five or six weeks before the re-test. Tomorrow’s post will tell.

We will spool forward to my recent telephone conversation with the doctor. It seems that while testing for the arthritis consultation they took it upon themselves to test for liver function using a new test they can now do.

So, I had a test done for something we hadn’t discussed, for a condition I’m showing no symptoms of, to get a result that isn’t germane to the current issue so that I can be investigated for a result that isn’t any cause for concern and that isn’t going to cause any problems.

Meanwhile, I still have trouble dressing myself because of the arthritis in my fingers and would like to get that sorted before winter sets in.

But that doesn’t matter because they have a new test they can do for something that’s more interesting. I’ve agreed to have a scan because I was so tightly wound up by this point that I was on the point of being rude, and I’ve been brought up to be polite. I also don’t believe in being rude to people who may have to check my prostate at some time in the future.

But I am not happy.

On  a brighter note, Number One son will be home tonight. He’s having two nights in Nottingham then going up to Leeds to look for a job. This is good as we get to see him and discuss his trip, then we get rid of him. This, despite what Julia may think, is the natural cycle of life. You are born, you grow, you get a job, you leave home and pay your own bills. Then it starts over again. You settle down, you have kids, you moan about their effect on your finances…

The grandparents turn up and get them excited, give them fizzy drinks then go home and leave the consequences. I’m looking forward to that bit.

In the middle of all this, I had a delivery in the shop.

My military sweetheart collection is progressing in a shaky and uncertain manner. Like all my collections it is under-financed, under-researched and badly neglected. I’ve decided to put a bit more structure into my collecting. With the sweethearts I’m going to start looking at eBay a couple of times a month and buying something that seems  reasonably priced. If I don’t find anything it doesn’t matter. If I do, it will be a bonus. If I buy one item a month for the next ten years that will be 120 extra brooches for the collection.

Last week I bought a lot of brooches from eBay consisting of six pieces. I therefore stuck to my principles (just about) but managed to add five to the collection – one, I think, is destined for the swaps box. They have a definite Scottish theme to them with four out of the six being Scottish Regiments.

They are a sort you don’t often see – made to look like a hanging banner by folding celluloid over a pin. I suspect they were cheap at the time and , because they don’t look like jewellery, they didn’t survive in such numbers as the more durable and attractive metal ones.

At 600 words that’s more of a memoir than a post, so I’ll let you go now. Thanks for sticking with it so long.

A Hectic Day

I’ve agreed a course of action with the dentist (who tried to avoid doing the work). I’ve had this before with dentists – I don’t think the National Health payment scheme encourages them to do too much.

I’m back in a few weeks to start the treatment and am hoping to keep the old crowns. It will be useful to have some gold when the western banking industry collapses.

It was a case of grabbing a quick breakfast after that (I don’t like eating before dental work as the job must be bad enough without seeing the remains of my breakfast stuck in the gaps.

We had a full, possibly over-full, day in the shop and I found my abandoned half cup of coffee still in the cupholder. The day was so warm that, if anything, the coffee was hotter at 4.30 this afternoon than it had been when I’d left it at just after 10.00 this morning. I may have discovered a new way of cooking.

We’re off to drop Number Two Son at Manchester  airport tonight. He’s staying over overnight as he has to be at the airport for 6am tomorrow.

Number One Son is leaving tomorrow – he’s flying on Saturday. By Monday both kids will be thousands of miles away.

Julia is a bit subdued about the whole empty nest thing so I’m trying to be supportive,

I’m not sure it’s working as she just told me to stop smiling so much.

 

Close to Last Glimmering - Sherwood, Notts

Now fades the glimm’ring landscape…

I nearly caused a riot this morning.

Arriving at the hospital for my repeat blood test at 6.58 I went to the machine and pressed the button for my ticket. There were a few comments from people already waiting, though I didn’t really listen. When I turned round there was a whole crowd behind me jostling and muttering like a crowd of zombies.

It seems that the machine doesn’t switch on until 7am so they all sit there, mentally forming a queue until they can get a ticket.

All they needed to do was ask – as soon as I understood what was happening I handed my ticket over the the man who was “first” in the queue. Even after I did that they kept on muttering. It was very tempting, particularly in one case, to administer a swift tap of the forehead  – being backed up against a wall can have that effect on a man.

I made a mistake. It’s easily corrected. There was no need for a lynch mob.

Due to this I now know what the man in the Bateman cartoon feels like.

It seems the hospital keeps the machine off until 7am to stop the problem of people queuing at 6am – an hour before the session opens.

I didn’t realise there were so many people desperate to have blood tests.

It didn’t really save a lot of time turning up at that time, as I ended up seventh in the queue, which is pretty much the result I get when I go down at 7.15, but at least I was able to get home, pick Julia (and a lot of surplus art supplies) up, and get them all down to Mencap in plenty of time to start work.

The NHS, as I pointed out when being summoned for this second test, seems to think we don’t have other things to do in our lives.

The blood tester, incidentally, denies not filling the tube properly, despite her suspiciously lengthy perusal of it yesterday. Her evidence – she always uses a syringe so has plenty of blood to fill a tube. I didn’t argue, but yesterday I had multiple tests and she used three tubes on the vacutainer, with not a syringe in sight.

After dropping Julia off I went to work to bore myself to death. It rained heavily on the flat roof and was dark when we left.

The photographs are from yesterday, tonight was too dull for a decent photograph.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Last Glimmering…

 

A Gift from the NHS

This has truly been a week that keeps on giving. A curry, a nosebleed, new trousers and, finally, a booklet on bowel cancer from the NHS.

I think I’ve covered the curry and the new trousers. I’ve probably covered nosebleeds too, as I have several every year. I may have to have it seen to.

That just leaves the bowel cancer. I don’t really need the stress of being told I’m at risk of bowel cancer, as I’ve already had this pointed out a number of times. Nor do I need additional details on taking stool samples, reasons for false positives and how I’m at greater risk due to my weight.

I’m always at greater risk of things because I’m fat.

Greater risk of cancer, greater risk of heart disease, greater risk of running out of chocolate…

It’s possible I may be asked to do as many as four tests before they decide they need to have a look at my bowels.

That’s not a test, it’s a way of taking up more of my time than the NHS already does. Having fully explored the potential of one embarrassing orifice (see the posts from 12 months ago) they now want to shove a tube up another one.

It’s bad enough being 60 without all this.

I’m so annoyed that I can’t even begin to think of other things just now. This is a shame, as I have many other things to talk about.

If you are involved in the NHS I would just like to leave you with one thought – why not leave this sort of thing a month or two instead of diving in while I’m still getting used to being older than I would like.

Actually, two thoughts. You’ve never yet made me better when you’ve called me in for these age-related examinations – you’ve just added to the list of things that are wrong with me. I can do that myself thank you.

 

 

 

Blood Test Day

I cut out the middle man this week and went straight to the Phlebotomy Department at City Hospital. They looked at my veins, stuck a needle in the more promising one, drew the blood and sent me away.

It only took nineteen minutes from entering the car park to leaving.

I know this because it says so on my car parking receipt. If I’d been there fifteen minutes the parking would have been free.Instead, I paid £2 to park for four minutes.

So, am I happy because they took the sample first time? Am I glad I was seen free of charge, quickly and efficiently?   Am I pleased that I was able to get the test done and still get to work on time?

Of course not. I’m complaining that it all took four minutes too long and cost me £2.

That’s life.

 

 

Dentistry, Decay and a Difficult Day

First call of the day was dropping off Julia at work. The second was visiting the dentist, which proved to be the start of the decline.

The X-Rays showed a suspicious spot at the base of one of my teeth. It looks like decay. It also seems that I have strangely-shaped roots. After what happened with my wisdom tooth and its strangely-shaped root the words “strangely-shaped root” do not fill me with optimism.

To remove a wisdom tooth with a strangely-shaped root takes a team of medical students, power tools and just over an hour in the chair. It also involves a fair amount of pushing and pulling and the smell of burning.

There are three choices. One, go to a specialist, who may be able to save the tooth, but who would charge around £1,000 whether he saved it or not.  Alternatively, I could have it removed and have an implant fitted. That will be £1,500. Or I could just wait.

When the inevitable happens, and I am groaning in agony from a major abscess, I will have to go down to the dentist for emergency treatment and an extraction on the NHS. That will cost £56.30.

Tricky choice…

I then went to the pharmacy at TESCO, where they refused to supply me. One item is, it seems, difficult to get, so they suggested I try elsewhere. A second was out of stock, so they suggested trying elsewhere. They then handed me the prescription and suggested it would be simpler to (yes you guessed it) get it all elsewhere.

From there I went to the surgery for my blood test.

This didn’t take long as, for once, I bled extensively.  This would seem to indicate that the anti-coagulants are doing their job. I then continued to bleed, which was tricky.

From there I visited the pharmacy I used to use, who don’t find anything too difficult and who had all the necessary items in stock. Strange how a small shop can do things a multi-national can’t be bothered to do.

The rest of the day passed in a blur, looking for a birthday present for Julia. Yes, straight after the wedding anniversary and just before Christmas. It’s a tricky time of year.

 

A Low Blow from the NHS

The National Health Service is a fine thing, though far from perfect. When it started in 1948 it had a budget of £437 million (about £15 billion in 2017 spending power). In 2015-16 the budget was £116 billion.

The problem with the NHS, we are often told, is underfunding. Well tell that to Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo or Ethiopia – they all run countries on less than the NHS budget.

The NHS has so much money that it would rank 58th in the world in terms of GDP and could afford to buy an aircraft carrier (curremtly a very reasonable £6.2 billion, I’m told) to become a player in world politics.

If the NHS management were smart, and I confess my dealings with them have not persuaded me that this is the case, they could then threaten to leave the Union, like Scotland, and the Government would throw cash and jobs their way, just like it does with the Scots. That should solve the issue of funding.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, part of NHS funding in England is prescription charges. You pay £8.60 per prescription, so if you are on four types of pill you pay £34.40. If you want a pair of elastic stockings that’s £17.20, because each stocking counts as one prescription. I suppose amputees will see the sense in that one, but the rest of us feel the NHS is having a laugh. Sometimes the pharmacist will point out that they have the product on sale for far less than the prescription cost.

My annual prescriptions cost around £300. In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland the cost is £0. I will merely refer to this as an anomally, and pass over the whole painful subject.

There are several ways of paying less without moving house. One is to purchase a pre-payment certificate for £104 a year. I do this, as I feel that the £200 saving is better in my pocket than being squandered on wars and referendums.

Last night I went on-line to renew my certificate. I was part way through the process when a message came up on the screen –

Warning

The information submitted indicates that you are 59 years old. Please note that you will be eligible for free prescriptions from the age of 60.

Press continue to proceed with your application or cancel to stop.

 It’s a bit of a low blow, reminding me of my advancing age like that, but on the other hand I do like stuff for free.