Thursday 6 April 2017

Clinical Notes

History in bodily detail
A 4-page printout from my local clinic this morning details a two-year medical history drawing in information from London, Wrexham and Amsterdam about observations, diagnoses, prophylaxes and treatments for a condition that is in its 15th year.
Reading through, I am somewhat amazed at the ability of the human body to face the onslaught of infirmity and find recovery in help from medication, the state of mind and just sheer good fortune, to which I can only say, I have been blessed.
Under pressure to be at ease
Whilst away on a course yesterday, I received a call from my clinic to visit for a bicep cuff encounter with a sphygmomanometer. Yes, when I was last at the consultant’s just over two weeks ago, my blood pressure readings were a matter of great concern.
We agreed for an appointment for this morning and I walked up to the clinic just a little over 250 metres away. Observing the lady who went in, in front of me, she did not stop at the reception but touched a device where she entered her gender and date of birth to be informed about who she would be seeing and where to wait.
It is all now electronic, so I touched the device, entered my details and when the name of the nurse came up, I cross-referenced with a chart to the left of the device on a noticeboard that told me I should wait on the 1st floor.
Don’t you worry ‘bout a thing
Just under 10 minutes later, I was called into a waiting room where my blood pressure was taken twice, with the second reading much lower than the first and both readings considered normal. However, I was told if there was any indication of abnormal blood pressure, I could be put on a 24-hour monitor to gauge what my blood pressure is on a typical day.
We discussed my meeting with the consultant two weeks ago, the suggestion of prophylaxis for pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) which was decided against without a consecutive blood test with similar indicators, I was told I needn’t worry about it. My drug regime might be changed in 6 months because the drug is now out of patent and there are more affordable variations of it, though I am not under any obligation to change them if I don’t want to.
In all, it was pleasant and I was back home within 30 minutes of leaving, looking forward to a more eventful day. Despite the many problems the NHS has, I owe a lot to the NHS for my health and wellbeing; long may that continue.

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