Thursday, 24 October 2013

Thought Picnic: The Bloody Tales

Sorry about the title, it is not an attempt at blurting out an expletive.
A medical roll
For the past few months, the highlights of my calendar have mainly been a number of hospital visits, many not having anything to do with seeing a doctor, but handling the consequences of a life-threatening illness four years down the line.
I have seen nurses, psychologists, therapists, social workers and doctors, but the approach to my care has been to attempt to address all other attendant issues beyond check-ups.
I will not attempt to make comparisons between what obtains in England compared to what obtains in the Netherlands, though I felt more catered for in the latter.
Differently tardy
The journey to the hospital did not take as long as I anticipated which meant I arrived on time, but it was not another 50 minutes after my arrival before I got to see the consultant.
None of the preambles of weight measurement or blood pressure readings took place, rather, after leafing through my medical notes we discussed the results of my tests which barely budged towards better compared to the last time I was there.
Lab specimen or drug mule?
Another concern I had which had bothered me for almost a week as I relived the horrors of chemotherapy were put to rest though I was being offered the option of running a hamster cage like a guinea pig for some new Big Pharma idea.
Drug trials can put you in the forefront of avant-garde treatments or completely ruin your life; it could be scary. As you survive or expire, your contribution to humanity is the knowledge gained to help others, more pertinently; the experience helps write the prescription advice and the notes necessary for safe usage.
Whilst there is no need for an intervention, monitoring and assessment are of the essence to ensure there are improvements; where the indicators read differently, we could tackle the issues promptly.
For the first time we discussed costs, not so much of my primary medication but of the supporting drugs that I ended up with a cheaper version and later the pharmacist gave me all the drivel about costs, options and much else for mere calcium boosting mastication tablets.
Drained
As I returned home, overcome with fatigue and a rotten headache, it was as if I was coming down with something, yet, I have two interviews tomorrow that I have to prepare for.
The tale of the bloods read fine though it was not as if I felt any better for the meeting, the atmosphere, the discussion or the future. We scheduled meetings for therapy, social services and the next consultation before we parted not as friendly as meetings I had before in the Netherlands.
In this poker game of life, you can only play the hand you have; the card deck is just a future of possibility, though the smart might well bluff their way to take the pot.
It is well, I am well, and all is well.

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