Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Lost Midweek

Don't you hate it when you visit your GP about some minor symptoms on your way to the supermarket and within 20 minutes you're in hospital wired up to those beeping machines so familiar to us from TV programmes?
This was what happened to me this week.

The NHS now has a policy of reacting to any symptoms that might indicate a heart problem as an imminent heart attack. As someone who has a general 'just in case' approach to life, I find this quite admirable although it's a little alarming if you are on the receiving end of the policy.

My father sat with me in the A & E cubicle. Like many elderly people he watches 'Countdown' in the afternoons. I glanced at the clock and said to him "You're missing Countdown."
"Not necessarily", he replied. "This might be Countdown for you."
I thought the dour Scandinavian male nurse looked disapproving at this black humour whilst I had a delayed reaction to this joke and started laughing during my chest X-Ray which probably skewed the results.

Whilst the man who I at first thought was a porter but who I now profoundly hope was a nurse was injecting me in the stomach, I was thinking: "I can probably get two or three blog posts out of this...... assuming I don't snuff it. And if the latter happens, then my readers will be spared all those 'just a little prick' jokes."
Well, dear readers, you won't be spared because I was, for now anyway.
And yesterday afternoon brought the joy of a blond male nurse standing by my bed with my discharge in his hand.
(If you can identify which Peter Nichols play that joke comes from, I'll inscribe your name in the Middle England Hall of Fame).

For now, the experience is too raw to write much about and I'm rather woozy from lack of sleep and food, the two essentials of life that hospitals aren't very good at providing.
But, apart from a few minor quibbles, the staff were wonderful and the hospital spotless.

They sent me home with just a packet of aspirin and the only negative information being that my cholestorel is a little higher than it should be. This actually worried me disproportionately because it raised the awful possibility that I might have to eat Flora or take the Gloria Hunniford Flora Challenge. I'd rather jog round the neighbourhood wearing pink Lycra emblazoned with a Smoking Kills slogan than do that.


At 10:10 AM, Blogger Vicus Scurra said...

Don't pop your clogs just yet old chap. I am reliant upon you for tips about television programmes and such like.
Make sure you post pictures of yourself in pink lycra.

At 11:34 AM, Blogger Geoff said...

I'd rather have my doctor overreact than tell me it's nothing to worry about.

Apart from the time I went in with a virus and ended up being sent for a mole test.

At 4:26 PM, Blogger Willie Lupin said...

vicus: your need for TV tips will motivate me in my get fit campaign.
But the Lycra, of any colour, is never going to happen.

geoff: you're right. But this pro-active policy, which is saving many lives, is very expensive, so all credit to the Government for doing it.
Let nobody think that the Tories would invest in this kind of thing.

At 11:03 AM, Blogger Tim Footman said...

I would have guessed Joe Orton, rather than Nichols.

And if it is PN, surely The National Health is just too blimmin' obvious.

So... Privates on Parade?

At 7:29 AM, Blogger Willie Lupin said...

tim: Correct! The context in the play/musical is someone being discharged from the army.

Phone lines are now closed. Don't call or you may still be charged.

At 5:04 PM, Blogger cello said...

Bit late - and a bit soppy - but very pleased to hear that you are OK. Fuck the Flora and dip your bread in olive oil instead. Not great for sandwiches granted, but very healthy.

At 6:36 PM, Blogger Willie Lupin said...

cello: thanks. I do have a couple of mild heart conditions. Don't want to tempt fate by saying they're not life-threatening in case I keel over at the keyboard. (Like many 'rationalists' I'm quite superstitious).
My father goes through gallons of olive oil. He shaves with it and rubs it into his joints. And he's 96.

Just after I left hospital my father had a bad fall and broke his nose so it's not been a good week. But it could have been a lot worse for both of us.


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