Tag Archives: worry

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

 

 

 

 

Starting with Teeth…

The good news is that I have no more dental work for a while. Having spent the last two weeks with a temporary cap I’m now pleased to record that I’ve just had my new crowns fitted.

I have kept the old ones, because one is gold. I’m thinking, as with the previous one that I kept, that they will be useful if the world banking system collapses. I’m also wondering about the idea of melting them down and using them to make a piece of jewellery for Julia.

Dental gold, I’m told, is about 60% pure, which makes it close to 15 carat gold. This was a standard used by the Victorians and I’ve always liked it. This probably seems strange, but there are some nice items made in 15 carat. It went out of use in 1932. Unfortunately, it’s quite close to 14 carat gold, a tawdry American standard that has been popularised in the UK by TV shopping channels. They have also popularised chocolate diamonds. Brown jewellery, whatever next?

And here is another place where American and English diverge as languages. We have the word carat, which describes the weight of a diamond and the fineness of gold. In America they have carat for the weight of diamonds and karat for the fineness of gold. It is both an example of American logic and the capacity of the English language for absorbing ambiguity.

You only need to think of a metal cleaning solution made in Eastern Europe. That would be Polish polish, and I’m sure most of you instinctively read it as that.

Further to the story of the skip – Julia finally tracked the company down and on being told that they couldn’t do anything, informed them in steely tones that she was sure they could.

They could, she said, either provide us with a skip or refund us for the one they had taken away early.

They are sending us a new skip tomorrow.

Then I left the AA. That for American readers, is like the AAA, but not based in America. My breakdown cover was due to cost me £312. I looked at it and decided I can’t afford it. So I looked at reducing cover, and got it to £171.

At that point I turned to the internet. I could, if I was joining the AA for the first time, get the reduced cover for £25 less. I’ve had this argument with them before and, after 38 years of continuous membership, it finally annoyed me so much I decided to do something about it.

I now have breakdown cover with Green Flag. It has cost me £58 and offers, on paper, the all the important elements of the AA cover.

Of course, I’ll only know if I’ve done the right thing when I’m stranded on a dark road in the middle of a rainy winter night. That’s what always worries me when changing insurance, have I done the right thing or have I sacrificed security for a few quid?

Featured image is a Razorbill. I was just wondering about sticking some lipstick on it and calling it a Puffin.