If Needles Must

You know you’re getting old when….. Yes, it sounds like the beginning of a really bad joke, but recently this one line took on a whole new meaning for me. I received a letter from the NHS offering me my free health check which is being offered to people aged 40 and 74 once every 5 years. This did confuse me a tad, given that I’m 58, however, I shall continue. It’s a great idea, helping prevent the likes of stroke, diabetes, heart and kidney disease, although, something happened a couple of weeks ago to move things forward: just a bit. Ros and I had been out shopping in Corby when I began to feel a little dizzy and very breathless, almost akin to the asthma that I used to suffer as a child. We were close to a chemist’s and decided to seek advice. Perhaps I needed an inhaler, or decongestant of some kind. The chemist listened to my symptoms and suggested I visit a doctor.

My doctor's surgery closed at weekends

My doctor’s surgery closed at weekends

Now, my doctor’s surgery is closed at the weekends, presumably because nobody feels the need to be ill from a Friday night through to a Monday morning. Anyway, she suggested that I visit the medical walk-in centre that is the Corby Lakeside Urgent Care facility on Cottingham Road. This was such a good move: what a fantastic resource, run by the most dedicated, professional and empathetic staff.

The Lakeside Surgery & Lakeside 'Plus'  8 to 8 Healthcare Centre in Corby

The Lakeside Surgery & Healthcare Centre in Corby

To cut a long story short I had an electrocardiogram and the dreaded blood test: I say that because I live in fear of anything to do with needles. The staff gave me all the attention and help I needed to sort out my immediate breathing problem, yet at the same time had unintentionally provided me with an alternative and somewhat relieving clean bill of health as suggested by the NHS health review. Now, do I still make an appointment for the aforementioned examination, or do I still need to face yet another horrendous blood test?

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One response to “If Needles Must

  1. I take statins and also a blood thinner to help reach the parts that normal blood can’t. Long since over subscribed to the blood bank when I was given 26 units during surgery and apparently another five or six post op. To then be subject of blood samples twice if not three times a day I began to think they must be taking the very generous donations were to be returned, once my system was empty what then. Would I qualify for another refill just on the basis of fairness I really should be. After all I had two whacking great tubes sticking out of my neck which could be the precursor to topping me up but then again they would be useful for draining what was left in my system. I was told not to worry and the garden hoses placed in my neck were just a precaution, oh yes for what I ask, you may need dialysis – pause – might be needed for the rest of your life — gulps in astonishment. I am sure they wished I would have a heart attack as then they could have everything as well as my blood. My worry was compounded when a very nice oriental chap examined my arms. MMmmmm he said followed by you have had a lot of needles. Then he whipped out his permanent marker pen and began writing on my left arm, I was about to call a halt to this rather unorthordox medical procedure as I read the writing. NO NEEDLES in capitol letters, goodness I thought, is he going to do both arms, unfortunately not. I queried this and was told “we need at least one good arm” thoughts of Tony Handcock episode came flooding back, he was right, they have emptied my right arm. He then uttered stream of verbs and adjectives as to what they would do should my left are become necessary, in the process of my recovery, none registered as I suggested at this point some morphine would be good for me. He politely said “morphine for pain only – not used in any other way”. Oh well I just have to accept the reality of it all then. Eventually I recovered without becoming dependant on my meager morphine doseage. My thanks to Mr Lipitini and the surgical team as well as all the staff in Willow ward at Northampton. How I survived mystified Mr Lipitini who on each visit would tell me “you are remarkable Mr Drummond–you shouldn’t be here”. He previously informed my family that 99% of people in my situation don’t make it – which just goes to prove what a stubborn B I can be lol.

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