Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Hospital: Bloody routines


Bloods for viewing
It was the ritual of bloods again today which presages my second appointment with my consultant this year. The meetings now seem to have stretched from quarterly to almost every 4 to 5 months though this was to allow for my consultant taking his holiday this year in July rather than August as he did last year.
This might well be my last major medical appointment in the Netherlands before I leave the country for a somewhat uncertain future to places yet undefined but I have lived dangerously enough to be sure that things will turn out fine and my outlook as I sort out the confusion from the direction will lead to a presently invisible but definitely better end.
Handled with efficiency
As I made for the hospital allowing for just under 3 weeks for the bloods to be tested, I found myself at the end of a queue over 20 deep but handled with the efficiency you will not find in the poorly managed supermarkets we ply in the Netherlands.
They had opened an extra registration desk and had all the 6 blood-letting temporary wards fully staffed even though when I saw I was being served unsupervised by a trainee, I held my breath long enough not to panic at the possibility of a mishap.
I only had two forms listing the blood tests that needed to be done requiring 7 vials of blood and it almost made me faint when the man next to me had what numbered like 6 forms, I did not bother to think of whether he’ll need a transfusion after giving blood.
Don’t stop flowing now
For the first time, I watched the needle go under my skin and after the second vial, the blood ceased to flow, in my mind I prayed I will not have to suffer another puncture wound for blood as she deftly manipulated the needle till the vial seemed to fill up with great reluctance.
At the seventh vial, without it getting to a quarter full, the flow stopped and nothing could be done to take any more blood from that puncture, after surveying the vial, she decided there was enough for the tests as she removed the needle and covering the prick incision with cotton wool then labelled the vials before sealing my arm with tape.
As I am wont to do, I walked round to the chapel office to see if the catholic pastor was in, unfortunately, he wasn’t and I really have not seen him for nigh on a year.
Appreciation
In three weeks, the tale of the bloods will be revealed and maybe, just maybe I will know unto whom my medical records will have to be transferred when I leave the Netherlands.
If anything, the quality of medical care I have received in the Netherlands has been sterling and amazing, I would not know if I can been assured of this standard of care in any other country and it is a primary concern that has featured in considerations of going to Africa – the honest truth is I do not expect to see anything near the quality I have grown accustomed to here.

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