|Yes, That's Me - Not A Deleted Star Wars Scene Of Jabba The Hutt's Body-Double...|
Before we get going, I have to say our National Health Service is amazing and this country's money-grubbing Tory government needs to keep its filthy, stinking paws off of it.
Every since the trash foot debacle of 2014, Rachel and I have been particularly wary of any "strange sensations" related to my feet, particularly the left foot as that was the one that evidenced my blood clot last time.
The thing is, since my original aneurysm and stroke ten years ago, I get a lot of strange sensations all over my body (random twinges, muscle pain, weakness, twitching etc) and I've adopted a quite laissez-faire attitude to them.
However, at the weekend, my left foot was experiencing a particularly strong tingling, pins-and-needles, feeling that didn't go away with a good night's sleep and, instead, by Sunday morning my left foot was icy cold (although my right felt normal).
After much soul-searching, I eventually told Rachel that I thought I should go to hospital and get it looked at.
Having left Alice with friends who'd kindly agreed to look after her, Rachel and I rolled up at the new Tunbridge Wells' hospital (in Pembury) at around 1.15pm... only to find a queue out of the door of the Accident & Emergency unit!
It took us half-an-hour to get signed in (as Rachel reminded me, nowhere else is open on a Sunday for people to go if they are injured or unwell), but then we saw a friendly triage nurse about half-an-hour later, who was wonderful.
However, she said that because of my medical history I really should get checked out by a doctor. We didn't realise at the time that she was referring us up to the hospital's only on-call GP... who was very much in demand, as you can imagine.
Despite my annoyingly frequent visits to hospital, I completely misjudged the situation and had thought we'd be in and out in three or four hours (I wasn't factoring in, for instance, the number of children turning up with Sunday morning sports injuries!).
|This magazine (and Rachel) kept me sane |
during the interminable wait in A&E...
We ended up sitting in solid, inflexible and uncomfortable, chairs in A&E for a further five or six hours (my back is still hurting today), and I was on the verge of leaving when we got called in to see the GP.
I'll confess, after all that time, he didn't fill me with a great deal of confidence, as he didn't seem able to get a handle on my medical history, but he then referred me to the minor injuries unit.
After another wait of the better part of an hour, Rachel and I were ushered through to a room in minor injuries... where I (finally) got a bed to lie down on (see the picture above).
Once we were in there, it was all hands to the pump. I saw an amazing doctor, who checked the pulses in my legs and feet - explaining everything he was doing brilliantly and putting Rachel and I at ease.
Then a really nice phlebotomist fitted me with a cannula and took (Rachel said, I couldn't look) five vials of blood for various tests that the doctor had requested.
Finally, a member of the surgical team came (slightly alarming to start with!), checked me out and agreed with his colleague that I was okay (and had a very strong pulse in my left leg), but that they would just wait for the results of the numerous blood tests.
Not only was everyone immensely friendly and reassuring, but they all said we had done the right thing, coming to get myself checked over, because it's always better safe than sorry.
Oh, and the coldness in my foot? Nothing to worry about. Just one of those things. As long as I was getting good blood flow to my my feet and toes (which I was), then everything was hunky-dory.
Rachel read me the first three chapters of Oliver Twist (downloaded onto her phone) while we waited for the test results.
Eventually they came back all clear and we were discharged sometime around midnight, giving us time to pick up Alice, and get home for a very late dinner at about one a.m.!
I was totally wiped out on Monday and it's taken until about now for a black pall to lift from my shoulders.
Yes, the initial wait had been excruciating (because of apparent chronic understaffing) in those painful, rigid, plastic chairs, but everything had worked out for the best in the end.
No, what really got me down was the premonition that this sort of occasion is going to remain a constant fixture in my life. This is never going to be something I can just shake off.
Through nobody's fault I'm stuck with these miserable medical conditions and the necessity to pop about 10 different pills every day, and - every now and again - am going to need these random check-ups in case anything is misbehaving internally.
It's never going to end. This is my life.
I'm just going to have to try and engineer future hospital visits so that we don't need to go on a weekend!
|Smurf's T-Shirt And Batman Socks - Surely This Man Isn't Almost 50?|