Tag Archives: NHS

back (excuse the pun) at the chiroprator

Having managed to put my back out speaking at the Public Procurement Show the other week I have been back at the chiropractor. The one that sorted me out after being rammed from behind on Birdlip Hill has moved so I have found myslef a new one. Not the one where the owner runs a Maserati and wanted me to pay them thousands, presumably to keep up the payments on the trident job, but one who has reasonable charges and has got me walking around pain free again.

If you do take up this route you do need to think about long term work on your skeleton to get bones and muscles working and, as you get older, this makes more sense.

So if you have problems, do consider a chiropratctor to help you. It has worked on me and I would be happy to recommend my lady to you. Drop me an email or post a comment here and I’ll pass on the details.

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Hopefully my last NHS encounter for a while

This time last week I was back at my local NHS hospital waiting to go into theatre for another general anisthetic and what, I hope, will be my last encounter with the NHS for a while. At least the surgical branch that is; I shall still have to battle with the local doctor’s end for the foreseeable future.

One week on I can report what seems like a complete success. For the first time in a year I can hear properly and am no longer suffering from the disorienation and balance problems that one good ear and one useless one had been causing. Listening to music on my headphones has been restored to the pleasure that it once was, and visits to supermarkets and similar places of high ambient noise are no longer such an aural trial.

I have a great empathy with those who have these problems on a permanent basis, but am very glad that, for me, I’m back to what represents normal for a man of 58.

My encounters with the NHS at this level have been good. Only the ridiculous issue of the hospital and my doctor not being able to see the same information even though they are part of the same local body has clouded things (it has meant that I have had to go through the same tests twice on several occasions which is a stupid waste). Poor process aside, as for the people that I have had to deal with, I cannot fault them. They are a fine crew and but, now that they have restored me to my former glory, and therefore for purely selfish reasons, I do hope that I have seen the last of them for some time to come.

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and yet another MRI scan!

Yes, I’ve been down the tibe again. Is that 6 times now? I’ve lost count.

They have given up looking for signs of intelligent life (I think) and this time wanted to have a look at my hearing gear as they’ve worked out what my recent problems have been all about and are going to have a bash at a minor operation to get me back to, if not as good as new, then at least as good as I ought to be.

A 10 minute lie down in the drainpipe this time; about average really, and they are nothing to be afraid of if you are facing one. Just lie back and relax and it will soon be over and done with.

If anyone reading this does have their first scan coming up and are bothered. Feel free to get in touch (Leave a comment here or click on the link to my web site where you can email me) and I’ll be happy to try and reassure you that it’s not that bad.

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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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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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