Tag Archives: prescription

Simon Wilson, Nottingham Poet

Another Senior Moment

Today I got up, pottered and made my way down to the surgery for my 8.30 appointment. It turns out I should have been there at 7.30. I apologised and then asked for the blood testing letter they were preparing for me. I had checked with them in person, then on the phone, and had agreed to pick it up this morning. It was the third time I have done this and both the previous arrangements have gone wrong.

Surely nothing could go wrong today.

Ha!

There was no letter and nothing about a letter on the computer. Sometimes I get the feeling that, to the NHS, I simply don’t exist.

After ten minutes of phone calls it appears that the test is not necessary as they used the blood they took last week to do the test, even though it hadn’t been requested at that time. Yes, at the time of the test I had not yet had the letter telling me it was due. When I got the letter I spoke to the nurse (who had taken the blood on my previous visit) and we agreed that I should request a letter from reception to allow me to have the test when I had a regular Warfarin check. She seems not to have known that the blood she took, and the tests she requested, included one I didn’t even know I needed at the time.

Are you following this?

It is almost as if the NHS does things that none of its employees or clients knows about, but as a lot of the budget goes on administration and management this surely cannot be . . .

Of course, in a month’s time,  when I can’t get my arthritis medication because I haven’t had the blood test I will find that I have just been told a load of old rubbish, as usual.

Next, armed with the details of my latest prescription request (the one I have tried to collect twice already) I went to the pharmacy and gave them the details the surgery had given me. It took several attempts but they did eventually manage to find the details on their system, but only after I complained when they told me, again, that they had no details of it. Makes me wonder if I should have complained more the first time, and if they would have found it then.

If Alice and the Mad Hatter ran the NHS I wonder if it could be any more dreamlike.

The opening picture is of a confused old man, wondering where it all went wrong.

A Plan Comes Together

The first half of the morning’s plan is complete. I got to hospital for 7am, found the last remaining parking space (as someone left), had my tests done (3 tubes this week) and went back to the car park to find a number of empty spaces and several people wearing NHS lanyards getting into cars in the (visitors only) car park. At the moment I am filling in time before going to the doctor to be lectured on my weight. She dressed it up as a discussion on anti-coagulants, but weight came into the conversation at the end, and I can imagine what is going to happen.

I am now off to complete the second half of the morning’s plan.

That was the doctor’s visit. It started badly when I was held up behind a couple demanding information on getting a Covid Passport so that they could go away on holiday and help spread the disease. Bad enough they want to go abroad,  without cluttering up the surgery when I need to get to the desk.

The good news is that I am the same weight I was when they last weighed me four years ago. That’s even better when you think I ddi put weight on but have managed to bring it down again over the last few months. I’ve used the Tootlepedal diet – cutting out a little bit here and there, and it’s working so far.

The doctor was able to make some helpful suggestions and has also changed my anti-coagulant to one where I will only need one blood test a year. I can’t start it until the blood results come in, but if it’s OK I will be able to have blood tests every year instead of the current weekly tests.

It’s all looking quite good at the moment. I’ve been advised to lay off the cereal and go onto eggs for breakfast, which is good, as I like eggs. However, it’s also bad as I can’t prepare them in advance or take them to work with me. Swings and roundabouts, as we say.

The third part of my plan, which I forgot about until just now, which renders my maths obsolete regarding halves, was that the pharmacy had all my stuff in and it was correct. I didn’t bother complaining that they hadn’t texted me last Friday as promised. There’s just no point…

Musings on a Lack of Industry

What sort of day was it today? I hear you ask.

Well, it’s our day off, so it started with a lie in and then we baked a couple of bake at home baguettes (we have accumulated several packs over the last few weeks) and filled it with the poor quality bacon we got from TESCO last week. For lunch we had excellent avocados on sourdough toast (because TESCO does ro some things right) and this evening we had stir fried veg with rice, because we seem to have a lot of vegetables.

Tonight I have put in a grocery order online but have concentrated on things like washing powder and stuff as we don’t need a lot of food. In a couple of weeks I will probably rearrange the shopping so we can miss a week – we just seem to have accumulated too much food as a result of having to make a minimum order every week.

There are a lot of pitfalls to grocery shopping online, even without the inefficiency of the supermarket, one being the accidental stockpiling of baked beans and tinned tomatoes.

The rest of the day was reasonable. We picked up our prescriptions, though mine was two pills short. It isn’t even worth ringing up about, but it will go down in the new diary I am keeping about my prescription ordering, because I’m getting sick of the inefficiency.

I actually got a bit of writing done, read some blog posts and started to organise my submission plan for the month ahead. A couple of magazines have reorganised things – one isn’t taking haibun for a while and another is going to publish every two months instead of every month, so it needs allowing for in the plan.

That’s what they don’t tell you when you start writing – for every hour you write there’s at least on for errands, one for planning, one for reading and one for watching TV. Actually writing time is limited, and that’s before you squander it on video games, looking out of the window and chewing the end of your metaphorical pen.

NHS Roulette

Do you remember me saying “At that point we will start the game of NHS Roulette to see what I actually get. ” in the last post?

Did you think at the time that I was being unduly  pessimistic, or unfair on the saints who run the NHS?

Well, after picking up my phone from the shop I went to the pharmacy, queued, got to the counter, asked for my prescription and was given a bag that didn’t look like the one I was expecting.

It seems that the stuff I ordered four weeks ago hasn’t come, but I did have a bag of things I hadn’t ordered. I would have ordered them today, as they were due. Unfortunately there was one item missing from that lot too – the important one. So all in all, NHS scores zero for efficiency, yet again. It’s a wonder they don’t actually kill more people with the number of things they get wrong. I used to take the view that they did dozens of things right for every on they got wrong but at the moment it’s running about 50;50, which isn’t great odds when you are gambling with your health.

It’s possibly sorted now, after a phone call, but you can never be too sure about these things. I await the next cock-up with bated breath.

After that, I booked a vaccination appointment. That was an experience. The web address didn’t work so I used the phone number. I was number 50 in the queue and they were answering two a minute, according to the running commentary. Sometimes my hopes rose when they answered four in a minute, sometimes they fell as the number decreased by one, or even zero. Eventually, I got through, and found out why they were so slow. They needed my NHS number, and, of course, it’s not something you either memorise or keep to hand, unless the people asking you for ti have thought to tell you in the text they sent. They, of course, didn’t think of that.

Then, after ascertaining which was my nearest test centre, they told me there were no appointments there and they were waiting for more to be released, which wouldn’t be released until tomorrow. That was interesting, because until then I thought that each day had the same times as all other days – silly me. They asked if I’d like to ring back tomorrow.

Let’s see. Would I like to ring back tomorrow and spend another 25 minutes hanging on – it’s an ordinary number, not a free one, and I am of an age where 25 minutes is a significant amount of time. I settled for an appointment that is further away. Strangely, they didn’t offer me on at City Hospital, which I can see as I type. They are doing them there because one of the neighbours is going there for hers tomorrow.

It will take 30-40 minutes for them to assess me before vaccination, then I have a 15 minute wait afterwards. half an hour before the vaccination? NO wonder it’s taking so long to give them all.

Pictures are random sky shots – one being a rainbow over the Ecocentre and the other being crepuscular rays over the lake at Rufford park. That is knowledge I have gained by reading Derrick’s blog.

Crepuscular rays at Rufford Park

Crepuscular rays at Rufford Park

Running on the Spot

I had an email from TESCO this morning.

Dear Mr Wilson
We are extremely sorry to let you know that due to store issues, we have unfortunately had to cancel your order that’s due today. You have not been charged for your order.

Kind Regards

Your Grocery Home Shopping Team

The mildest word that escaped my lips is “unacceptable”. Fortunately, I have plenty of food in, and with a little thought can last until next week. We’ve done that before when things have gone wrong. However, this time it’s the casual way they tell you that your social distancing  efforts are all in vain and that your menu planning has been a waste.

I have just rung the company to check that it isn’t some form of clever scam email, but it is true. They have an in-store Covid outbreak. Now, if they’d told me that, I would have sympathised. But just telling mw that they had cancelled the order and are offering no alternative is asking for a negative reaction.

We will have to buy bread, milk, cheese and eggs but probably have enough of everything else. We would normally have plenty of cheese and eggs but I have been cutting back to prevent waste.

Before that, I had my repeat blood test after failing last week’s test. In contrast to last week the phlebotomist was eager to start and I didn’t even have time to sit down in the waiting area before he called me through. Good news is that I bled profusely, so no clotting problems there. Of course, that might mean I have gone too far the other way.

I have also just rung the pharmacy and my methotrexate is in. It’s taken 23 days to work its way through the system and I’ve had to request it twice. This is, of course, from the people who brought us The Great Track & Trace Debacle and Lockdown III – This Time It’s Serious.

The pharmacy, to be fair, has been very efficient – its the on-line ordering that has gone haywire. In the old days you got a piece of paper in your hand. These days you wait for a text, and when it doesn’t come you realise you have no pills and it will be another week, if you are lucky. There’s a lot to be said for simple paper-based systems.

So far it’s been a day of chasing my own tale – lots of jobs done, including getting Julia to work, and writing this post is the only thing I’ve wanted to do. And even this i just a list non-vents in the life of a boring man.

I’ve also had a phone call from someone who claims to be validating Life Insurance Policies, but it felt more like a sales call so I made my excuses and left.

The surgery just rang – I failed my blood test again.  Altered dosage and another test next week again.

And now I’ve had one of those calls pretending to be from Amazon.

There is so much rubbish to deal with before you can actually do anything useful.

How the List Went

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

Done

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.

 

Another Senior Moment

When I had a look at the last post, before going to bed, I realised it wasn’t there. I vaguely remembered that it had flashed up on the screen while I was doing something else and I think I probably deleted it at that point. I’m sure there should be a single button to restore it, but I couldn’t find it and had to reload it bit by bit. This is annoying.

It’s annoying because I had another senior moment, it’s annoying because I had better things to do with my time and it’s annoying because out there on WP there are probably people thinking “Does that idiot really think a picture of banknotes is a proper post?”

No. I don’t. And the worst bit of it is that the best I could do was American money. I live in a country where you can’t even get a decent banknote picture of my own currency. I do have a few somewhere, but there’s not enough money to be a suitable picture for an article about being  a millionaire. Or, in my case, not being a millionaire. Again.

The electronic prescription service, which I distrust, has failed me and I have had no text to tell me I have pills to pick up. It already takes two days longer than doing it manually, and now the system is even more delayed because it seems to have crashed. I will say no more, but I am very disappointed.

The pharmacy has a score of 2.7 out of 5 on Google, despite a few people giving it five with no further comment – looks like staff trying to boost the rating.One reviewer actually said he would have given it 0 out of 5 if he could have done. Thinking of it, that means it would score 1 out of 5 even if it was the worst place in the world.

If they think you order the pills too far in advance they won’t let you have them. If you order them just in time, the system breaks.

Of course, if they lose your paper prescription, as they did a few months ago, they ask if your memory is up to scratch. That’s why I’ve started keeping notes.

At this rate it looks like I might have to try keeping notes about how to work WordPress too.

Just two library shots for this one – a man writing and time passing. What sort of blogger can’t even be bothered to take his own photos?

brass pocket watches

Photo by abdullah . on Pexels.com

 

Caller Number Two

I am currently Caller Number Two in the surgery system. I have been Caller Number Two for the last ten minutes. I know this, because they keep telling me, and thanking me for my patience. It’s very irritating. The only good thing about it is that it cuts off the twangy music.

They tell me my place in the queue several times a minute and tell me they are currently experiencing a high volume of calls every minute. At least they are grateful for my patience.

I’ve now been waiting about 12 minutes. The music has changed several times. but my position in the queue has not altered.

My patience is, I admit, being tried.

I’m beginning to worry that I’m stuck in electronic limbo. Or that Covid 19 has ripped through the nation and that Julia and I are the last two survivors of the human race. It could happen. Assuming that the TV stations are on automatic it could be several days before we noticed they were repeating all the programmes (let’s face it, most of the stuff is repeated ad infinitum at the best of times) and we wouldn’t know until we went shopping.

I’ve been in the house for the best part of 96 hours now and I’m relying on my computer calendar to tell me what day it is. I could actually be the last man on Earth. If I am, the apes are welcome to it. I don’t have the energy to fight them for it.

Ah! Number One. I’m Number One!

I don’t remember being as excited as this for a long time.

And suddenly, I am connected. There is no human voice, just crackling. Am I through to a disease-ravaged room of death, where skeletal hands clutch crackling, endlessly unanswered telephones?

No, there is now a human voice. Ninety seconds later my business is concluded and I am happy. All is right with the world and I have a texted barcode to enable me to pick up my prescription.

It took 21 minutes according to my phone timer. As I sprang from being 2nd to 1st very quickly I can only assume that the original two callers spent ages on the phone. There is, as I recall, an Edgar Wallace story about a murderer who killed someone by sending an electric shock down a telephone (my memory is dim, but I know a telephone was involved). Maybe the NHS should look at that as a way of cutting down on telephone waiting times.

Anyway, I can now go and pick up the prescriptions.

If I could only get rid of the twanging music in my ears…

 

Pre-emptive Post

It’s going to be a busy day today so I’m writing a post in the morning to make sure that I get one done today. It’s not quite my Dad’s 90th birthday but we’re having a party today and another one on Saturday. That way we maximise the number of guests without causing any over-excitement. With the average age of the guests, you don’t want anyone getting over-excited. Or having too much sugar.

I won’t be able to go on Saturday but Julia will be going, as will both kids (work permitting).

Snow is forecast, which is worrying my sister as she doesn’t want me driving in dangerous conditions. We don’t handle snow well in general in the UK, but I’ve covered that before. We have an inch or two a year and the country grinds to a halt. We are always caught unprepared and by surprise. Those of you blogging from America, with your eight inches in one day and your own mini snow ploughs, don’t know how lucky you are.

If I win the lottery I’m going to spend the winters somewhere that doesn’t have snow. I’m tempted to spend it somewhere that doesn’t have Christmas either.

Health news is good.

Monday’s blood sample met with approval and my next appointment is now three weeks away. Three whole weeks!

My arthritis has subsided.

Even my face is feeling quite good, though the remaining stitches show no sign of dissolving. This is slightly worrying as I once had stitches that healed into my eyelid. They took some getting out. I’m hoping to avoid a replay of that one.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Pills. These are bigger and brighter and more photogenic than my normal ones.

I’m off in a minute to collect the balance of my prescriptions. They managed to give me three out of the four items last week and the doctors’ receptionist told me that was because I’d only ordered three.

This clearly isn’t true, but I smiled weakly to indicate that I believed her as there’s no benefit in winning the argument and no point in annoying people by proving them wrong.

I think I’m finally becoming wise…

 

 

My Day

I had to send Julia off to work on her own this morning because I had an 8.50 am appointment with the doctor and the timing didn’t allow enough leeway to get from one side of town to the other.

This brought back memories of sending the kids to school as I fussed round making sure she had her flask and sandwiches (ham and mustard on one lot, ham and pickle on the other – variety being the spice of life).

It wasn’t much of an appointment, just to confirm my new tablets weren’t causing problems and discuss a letter from the hospital.

I ended up being prodded and questioned by a medical student on work experience. There’s probably more to it than that, but that’s effectively what it was. They have to learn somehow, besides, the doctor offered to do my anti-coagulant blood test, allowing me to get on with my day instead of returning for the test at 11.30.

After that I shopped, called at the Arnold Sorting Office to pick up the parcels I missed yesterday, and called at the jewellers.

There, I scrapped in two gold medallions. Although the price of gold has gone down it is still high compared to a few years ago. As a result I got more for the medallions as scrap than I had been trying to obtain as a retail price when I last went to an antique fair.

If only all profits were that easy.

As I prepared to leave a local collector entered the shop. I haven’t seen him for years so we spent half an hour catching up. He’s aged over the years, his beard has turned white and he’s a grandfather now. It was a bit like looking in the mirror, apart from the grandchildren.

I’m seeing more people from the past now that I’m getting round the shops and markets, but also finding that several have died, which is a bit of a shock.

No photos today as I forgot to take the camera.