Thursday, April 16, 2015

Doctor's Appointment

I went to Ashfield Medical Centre yesterday morning, arriving outside at around 7.45, having taken Carol to Tesco's in Oldbrook to buy sandwiches and other items for lunch as she can't seem to be able to get a decent snack for her lunch at The Academy. Another story for another day. It's been really pleasant and sunny for the past few days. There are a few other people ahead of me in the queue and soon quite a few draw up in their cars and join behind me. People seem to make a point of not giving any sort of eye-contact with anyone else and seem content to be plugged in with ear-phones to either their mobile phones or iPods or peering at their micro-screens rather than make any sort of conversation. It seems sad that that is the way society is going, no sort of human contact with a real person rather than with a gadget of some sort. The queue shuffles forward and eventually the doors to the surgery opens and we move inside. I manage to reach the reception desk and make an appointment to see Doctor Haye at 5 this afternoon. I return home and spent some time cutting the grass with the Flymo. It takes a good deal longer than it needs to complete the job. The length of the grass doesn't help, neither does the fact that the grass is slightly wet. Last year we didn't cut the grass for quite a while and it got so long it began to seed and it was a real jungle. When we let the dogs out they were barely visible. It is no good allowing the grass to get to that length so it's best to keep it short. Also, the uneven nature of the ground doesn't exactly make life easy, but doing the job in stages means I can complete the entire job over the course of the week. It's a very strenuous work and after a while I get some pain in my chest and arrms so I leave off and wind up the cable and put the machine back in the shed for next time.

I eventually make my way to the surgery for my appointment for 5, arriving at around 4.45. I find it's best to get there a good ten minutes before the allotted appointment as you can sometimes be seen before your set time if the surgery is running to schedule or another patient doesn't turn up on time. There aren't too many people waiting when I arrive so it seemed a good idea as well as being able to get through the traffic. You have to drive through the roundabout on Standing way which can become quite difficult if there is a really heavy amount of traffic. Fortunately this evening it wasn't too bad as it was before the usual going-home sort of time. Also, the weather was sunny and bright, no rain or other weather conditions bad enough to make driving hazardous.

My appointment eventually comes up on the digital display at around 5.10. Never mind the wait and my sitting and observing other people coming and going is useful for character-development for my creative writing. I go into the surgery. I have managed to make a list of things I need to discuss with the doctor. I have also managed to make a longer appointment as you are kindly told to make longer appointment with the doctors if you have more than one thing you need to discuss. Fair point when you consider that the appointments are supposed to be only ten minutes or so. One thing I needed to bring up was last week, when I was coughing on a regular basis, was when I was getting a pain in my chest, something like an angina attack. I can become difficult as you can imagine, having experienced a heart attack. Sometimes it can be very difficult to differentiate between 1- the symptoms of a heart attack 2- an angina attack and 3- a indigestion attack or 'heart-burn.' These there are very similar. having spent a few days coughing, and it has been a v very dry cough with nothing to actually cough our, there was no phlem to cough out, this coughing seemed to be responsible for the chest-pain. I cannot take certain cough remedies and have to be careful as some can interact with my medication. I have been taking one linctus which we bough over the counter in Sainsbury's pharmacy a few days previously. Also, merely sucking some sort of sweet or medicated confection which helps relieve the annoying tickling cough which usually develops when I lie down at night. Anyway, this chest-pain got really bad last weekend and into Monday when we went out for the day to visit Basildon Park. It concerns me to some extent that this is going to be a heart attack, and at one point I had to lie down until the discomfort in my chest subsides. I mention this to Carol, who had been coughing herself and had to spent time in bed because she wasn't feeling well herself. The discomfort I was experiencing gradually went off but as I had to visit the doctor anyway I decided to mention it to him. He listened to my chest and did a blood-pressure test and assured me that there was no problem with my heart. Certainly no chance of a heart attack coming on but I was glad that it wasn't serious. Not a good idea to ignore anything like I'd experienced. I had taken one or two of my isoborbide mononitrate tablets when the pain hadn't gone off last week. I had been prescribed this medication some while ago when I'd had fairly severe angina attacks and had to go into hospital. Up until then I had always used  a glycerol trinittrate spray which I had been given on prescription from the time of my original heart attack back in 2006, but I'd stopped having one for such times as I had an angina attack a couple of years ago.  When ever a bad angina attack happens you merely spray a short amount from the little bottle under your tongue and the pain is reduced. It does work, but I will keep this new bottle or spray in my medications box in case of emergencies. But now I was given a prescription to have a new one which I can use when and if another such angina attack comes on again. The doctor prints out my prescriptions and I leave the surgery and then go into Cox and Robinson's pharmacy which is conveniently located a short walk from the surgery. Within around 10 minutes they have made up my prescription and I leave and drive home.

I have been watching a really brilliant series on BBC2. Well, I have been downloading the episodes on iPlayer, so not actually 'on-air' as it's transmitted or recorded on our Sky+ box. The series is called 'Nurse' and stars Paul Whitehouse and Esther Coles who plays a community psychiatric nurse called Liz and we see her visiting her N.H.S, patients or to be politically correct 'service users.' Puts me very much in mind of my own work as a home carer as well as doing work with those with learning disabilities. We had to refer to our people we worked with as either 'clients' or 'service users,' both of which, to me are really clunky and sound peculiar. 'End-user' is another term I have come across which is even worse. I suppose it come from the Thatcher era when everyone and everything had a cost, had a monetary value when things were being privatised. Anyway, she visits a wide selection of different people in their homes who have mental health problems and is not what you'd describe as a 'bundle of laughs.' I don't think it's supposed to be a comedy in the loose meaning of the term 'comedy' but it has a much deeper meaning and purpose than a lot of what is put out on television but it's all the better that it gives a glimpse of this sort of work and makes the viewer think about mental health in a new way. What I am coming to is that when I arrived in the pharmacy having got my prescription from the doctor a few minutes previously, there was a young man in there at the counter who could have stepped out of one of those 'Nurse' episodes. He seemed to be dressed exactly like one of Nurse Liz's service users and even spoke like one of them. I think it made it seem more relevant this television series has been and how very well developed the characters have been. If you haven't seen this I can recommend it but don't expect a whole load of laughs although it does have a certain amount of humour in it, but in my opinion it isn't always the 'laugh-out-loud' comedy which works best but the work that makes you think that is often the best.
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