Tag Archives: health

for food fans

The Wokingham Wonder and I have started a new blog here on WordPress to share some of our passion for home cooking. We’ve listed a couple of recipes so far and will try and add new ones each week, along with some of the other things we’ve picked up over the years in terms of making life easy in the kitchen and good at the table.

We’ll also provide reviews of places we find to buy food, web sites we think are useful and anything else that we think might help.

Home cooking doesn;t have to be hard, and you can create all sorts of healthy meals if you try. We do, and so can you.


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more fun with the national health service

I had to go over to my local health centre last week for a periodic check up. As I’m getting closer to three score years it’s good to keep a check on how the old body is doing, and I’m pleased to say that it’s not too bad at all. A couple of things I need to watch, but I’m doing better than maybe they thought, and this is the issue. I knew that I was doing better than the numbers that they told me I needed to be around because I had the same set of blood tests a couple of months ago at the hospital.

Bearing in mind that we are talking about two establishments both part of the Swindon NHS trust and barely two miles away from each other as the crow flies why is the information not shared?

How much time was wasted on two appointments for the tests, two more appointments for the results, two sets of postage to send the samples plus all of the consumables involved, two lots of tests?

I know the anti big brother mob are rabidly against centralising information, but this is an area where surely it would have made sense to have made the first test results available to my general practioner’s office? With all the waste in costs why oh why does this sort of thing go on?

When I had the first of the two operations at the NHS hospital I signed a form and that released all of my notes and test results from the private hospital that I had seen previously about that health issue, so if we can swap data between the private and public services, why can’t two parts of the same public service do the same?

What saddens me most is that money and time has ben wasted on me that could have benefited somone who really needed it. This government has done so much damage to the NHS it is hard to believe that it was a Labour party idea in the first place.

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and a nice meal to round off the day

Sole fillet poached in milk with a little salt and pepper, Jersey Royals tossed in butter with a little chopped parsley, our first English (Hampshire) asparagus and cumin spinach. All washed down with a white Rioja and with coffee and baked cheesecake to follow.

Time to flop on the sofa for the evening.

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mri scan results again

Down to the hospital again today. I walked both ways again, a nice day for it, 25 minutes or so each way. Inconclusive, so we’ll wait and see and have another go in a couple of months. No news is good news as they say.

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Back in the MRI Scanner

Back in the MRI today. They wanted a scan from a different angle and also ones with die added to the bloodstream.

Now the MRI scanner I’m OK with as regular readers will know, but needles & stuff? Not my favourites and I hadn’t expected that today. I’ve had a lot of blood samples taken over the last couple of years and have only had the one wobbly moment, but today, it was lights out!

I had warned them that I can have problems, and had made sure that I was well anchored in the chair, so it was not big deal and I was soon back with them. They kept an eye on me for a few moments after the scan as well just to make sure I was OK before letting me go.

So another set of scans in the can. Thanks to the MRI team at GWH for looking after me and I’ll be back in a couple of weeks for the next set of results to see if they’ve found anything of interest.  Watch this space.

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more time with the NHS today

Off to the Great Western Hospital again today, partly for a review of my last MRI scan results and, hopefully, they will show that I haven’t developed a talent for growing salivary gland tumours after all. We’re pretty confident that I haven’t, that Larry the Lump was just a one off that needed three operations before I was finally rid of him, but you have to monitor these things.

The other reason for the visit is to remove the remnants of the wisdom tooth that my dentist left behind just over three months ago. I’ve joked before about this terraced house in the suburbs where I go every now and again to pay two women to cause me pain for half an hour, but on my last visit things did go wrong. Having declined to invest around £1000 (yes a grand) in having a tooth at the back rebuilt I opted to lose it. Nicely numbed up I lay back and thought of England (the good one we had before this government ruined it) and tried to relax, the crunch! The top of the tooth was just crushed leaving me with the base of it and its roots.

This was 10 days before I flew out to the USA for nearly 4 weeks and the root removal would have to be a hospital job, so with me not back until a couple of days before Christmas, it would be at least January before anything could be done, and here we are halfway through February. Part of that is because I have the A team looking after my other oral problem, and they have kindly taken the tooth extraction under their wing and scheduled me on their list and they have got me in 2 weeks earlier than it first looked possible to arrange.

So today is the day. Yes it’s pretty routine and, as I say, I have the A team doing the job, but I am a quivering wreck. I know that this is irrational and all the rest, but there it is. The best dentist I have had so far, back in Chelmsford, told me I had three problems with my mouth; small aperture, big tongue and teeth that would have served a horse well. He did manage to get in there and do a good job; most of his work is still intact and serving me well, but all other dentists have struggled with me over the years, even with just the routine maintenance.

I’m writing this in the hopes that, in doing so, it my help calm me a little. It has to be done; the remnants cannot just be left there and I haven’t been able to eat properly since the original botch up, and that came as soon as was feasible after my third operation on Larry the Lump, which in turn was as soon as possible after the second operation, so I have had works in progress in my mouth since last May. My mouth feel likes our road network – bits always coned off and dug up.

In fact it’s two years since the saga began. January 23 2008 I walked out of a consultant’s office with the news that I had a tumour and that it would have to come out before they could tell me more. I switched my phone back on to call home, but voicemail chimed in with the message that my Mother was not expected to see the day out and I should get to the hospital if I could. All being well today will draw a line under the whole thing.

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MRI scans – I get to have another one!

Having tried recently to reassure folks that these scans aren’t too bad I shall be putting myself to the test again in a couple of weeks. I got a call this morning to ask me in for another one so that they can have look inside my head from a different angle or using a different scan method.

Whatever. I’m off then to be squeezed into the tube once again and shall, as I suggested last time, lie back and think of something else.

I’ll let you know how I get on, but it won’t be too bad – trust me.

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more fun with the NHS*

Off shortly for a couple of blood tests, this time at the GP’s (doctor’s) surgery. I understand that they need to monitor me from time to time, but we seem to be getting into some sort of spiral. At one time I might have to be checked every 3 years or so and those were usually at my own instigation as time and the nature of my job suggested to me that my aging works ought to be looked at now and again in case something needed attention.

Now I seem to be required to turn up more and more often and find situations like the one last year when, having told the surgery that I would be abroad for 4 weeks, they booked me an appointment whilst I was away and castigated me for not having attended when I didn’t even know about it, and stopped the supply of medication that they had told me I needed to take.

I sense the hand of central government in all of this. Am I now a statistic that needs to be checked off and appear on a return just to keep the practice’s performance figures in line or something similar?

Who knows for sure, but I suspect that it could be and, while the surgery are dealing with me, disgustingly healthy as I am, answering my phone calls, phoning me, seeing me, filling in my forms and all of the other things that they have to do, there is some poor soul who could have better benefited from their time than me. And I am ashamed of that.

* For my non UK readers, the NHS is our National Health Service

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MRI scans – they’re not that bad

Just back from GWH in Swindon having had another MRI scan. One of my fellow outpatients was getting very distressed about their turn and I know of others who are terrified, so here are a few thoughts that I hope will encourage those who are worried.

I’ve had a few scans now, some in the open scanner where you lie on the ironing board and they move what looks like a big circular fluorescent tube over you, but the others, like today, have been in the tunnel version (I don’t know the technical term).

Yes they are a tube and yes you do have to be slid into it on your trolley. Now I’m not exactly small; I’m 6ft 2, somewhere around 20 stone (280lbs) and take a 50 inch chest jacket size, so I do touch the sides, but I just lie back and relax, shut my eyes and think about anything other that where I am.

Some of the scans are a bit on the noisy side and may involve a bit of vibration, but they warn you over the headphones. You have your buzzer in your hand if it really gets distressing, but if you can just lie still and let them get it done it’s soon over. If they pull you out they have to start again, at least from that scan, so relax and enjoy the chance to have a lie down during the day!

It doesn’t hurt and, whilst you are in a confined space, there is nothing to trap you or to fall in on you, it is nice and clean and you also have medical help a few feet away.

I hope that these words help anyone that reads them. Feel free to email me (via my web site – see link on right) if you’d like to cyber chat about it.

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more exposure to the health service

Off to Great Western Hospital shortly for another scan. Just a post operative check on what might or might not be going on in my head.

A good thing too you might say, especially if you read a lot of what I write; does he have any functioning grey cells? Any way, hopefully in and out quick today, then back again in almost 4 weeks for the results review and, hopefully, removal of the wisdom tooth roots that the dentist left behind when she pulled the top off by mistake. That was a couple of months ago now and I’m getting a bit fed up with the mess she left behind.

What with my late Mother’s various traumas and my own I’ve been in and out of GWH a fair bit since it opened and, no disrespect to the people who run it and work there, I am somewhat sick of the place. Unfortunately I’m now at the age where bits are falling off or failing so I feel it’s unlikely that I can escape its clutches.

Still it could be worse. My various problems are nothing to those of some that I’ve shared a ward with, and certainly a lot less serious than my younger sister has had to put up with, so I’m grateful for that.

Anyway, time to get a move on or I’ll be late.

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