Wednesday 20 June 2018

A reprieve and a celebration of goodwill

The signposts are appointments
The year in almost a decade now has been signposted by my visits to see my hospital consultants first in Amsterdam, then in Wrexham, London and now Manchester.
My visit today for which I took the day off started easy. My Uber ride to the hospital was without event, arriving with about 5 minutes to spare. I do worry about the rides because of the concern about getting to the hospital late has added more millimetres of mercury to my blood pressure readings as to put it in the danger zone.
Up and down and just about right
I booked in at reception and within minutes of my sitting down, a nurse I had not seen before called me in for the initial checks, weight, up a bit, height, down a bit, blood pressure, good, a bit can be improved upon.
After that, I met with a registrar who seemed to have swotted up on my notes before asking a few questions about how I felt. It seemed to me that my concerns about memory in terms of shortness and loss of it at certain times for which I had the HAND test last year had become something to do with my moods.
Moods are not memories
I had to immediately correct the impression, the medication I have been on for 8 years now, might cause cognitive impairment, that impairment is neither psychological nor psychiatric. Then the issue of folic acid deficiency anaemia, the counts are still low and this might need stronger medication than can be bought over the counter. My GP will be instructed to that effect.
The reason I was back for consultation within three months was to review my drug regime, a topic that had come up for the past two years. At my last appointment, I was given four choices to review. One that would have changed my drug regime from single-pill daily to twice a day, I ruled out, but I did have concerns about hepatic and cardiovascular side-effects, whatever is lactic acidosis and the dreaded lipodystrophy.
The registrar assured me that there would be stricter and frequency monitoring considering my medical history, however, we could postpone this activity for another three months.
Giving back wealth and experience
Through our discussions, as I had mentioned the many consultants I had met in that department over the last 3 years, we touched on the activities of the retired head of department who is out in Myanmar working for a foundation proving acute healthcare services in the region. He showed me his blog which makes interesting and revelatory reading, especially when comparing the advances in the West to the issues in less developed countries.
This is after 27 years of being an NHS consultant, he has retired to work in environments that would tax people half his age and he seems to be having a time of his life. Very inspiring.
I had a new drug prescription made before I went for phlebotomy, where the queue was 40 deep until 10 were called off to be fed to vampires in another consulting room, the waiting time was close to 60 minutes. When I did have 6 vials drawn, I returned home and went to bed. Until September comes.

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