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a trip to the hosp. clinic to see a consultant

This is very much a personal post. I do this to show the state of what passes for healthcare has become.

I want to be very clear about one thing however.  Overall, on a person-to-person basis generally, and having been in a hosp. here some time ago, the people I have come into contact with have been first rate.  But the system itself is somewhat screwy in that it does not allow for some things being different. For example, at home in the USA due to my age and due to the fact that my mom died of colon cancer, I was encouraged to have a Colonoscopy on some sort of regular basis. Now in the states, at least where we lived, the docs doing the procedure put you under.  You woke up a couple of hours later and got the results.  Well, things work a bit differently here.

Based on height and weight I guess, you are given a certain amount of painkiller but not put to sleep. One size fits all seems to be the rule and if it HURTS!!!!! Well, tough.  Which to my American eyes seem unreasonable.  I saw the report after the exam, which stated that “The patient experienced some discomfort.” Discomfort?

At the age of 70 plus, having had back surgery and bladder surgery for a tumor removal, I believe I know the different between “Pain and Discomfort.” Trust me, pain is the correct word to use. A lot of it.

I will not go again into the silly method used to refill an Rx.  That was once an entire post all by itself.

Now then, this has to do with my wife.  As anyone who has been around someone close who has a medical problem, Wardmom is a good example as she had to deal with far more than I could ever imagine, you may often feel somewhat helpless to take away the hurt a loved one is feeling.  So, you must rely on medical professionals.
You have to also hope that someone will listen and pay attention and then hope for the best.

After a six-month wait to see a “consultant” at the pain management clinic, we finally got a call last week letting us know an opening was available at 9am on Friday. Yesterday.

To give you some background, for those new to this site or just passing thru.
What was thought to be a scratched eye, specifically the pupil, turned out to be instead, the opening salvo of Shingles. But she was treated for a scratched eye for the first 24 hours or so. By the time a doc saw here again it was clear that she had a bad case of Shingles, caught too late and so the attack was very severe and lasted for quite some time.  Her nerves are damaged and now she has been left with a maddening itch on the right side of her head and behind her right eye. 24/7.  She has been putting an anti itch cream on her eyelid, which is not so good to do, but she is desperate.  Besides which, the cream only lasts a short time and the itch is more behind than in front.
Which makes things a bit difficult for me because I see it all.

It is difficult to describe the room I am in without a drawing. I am not an artist and a photo will not do because, good grief.  This room is somewhat untidy.
It used to be the dining room, and what used to be the table is about 56 inches long by 26 wide.  It now acts as a partial desk/ and seating at meals for one. The computer desk faces the front window and forms an L shape to this arrangement.  There are also a couple of small lamps on the table with a phone.  Opposite the table within line of sight is an easy chair. A rather low sitting affair she finds very comfortable but I don’t see how she gets out of the damn thing easily as it is so low sitting.

We get more than one newspaper delivered each day 7 days a week.  On weekends and especially Sunday, it can take all day to get through them all plus the magazine supplements.  The wife even reads the financial section, which I ignore almost in total.
Cannot be bothered, the damn thing is just full of numbers. Like, 1,2,3, 4 and so on.
Now at some point about 6 months ago, she had a fall here at the house. Lucky in that nothing broken but she did hurt herself and has NOT been the same since.  There is extreme pain in her lower back.  She has had a back problem for a long time but this fall has obviously aggravated something and so she was given various painkillers to add to all the other meds she is on. 

So there she sits reading if not one of the papers then a book.  When not at the computer I’m in another chair across this small room with another paper. Which brings me back to her itch.

She sits in her chair and doesn’t exactly scratch except for the eye. She sits there with one hand on her head and from time to time doesn’t scratch but moves that hand across her head. Back and forth and back and forth. ALL FUCKIN DAY.  Can you imagine how distracting that is?  I say nothing cos after all, it isn’t her fault.
The docs say it might get better in time, or if not, at least the itch will grow less in intensity.  So there is hope. Meanwhile, the back pain is always there. The pain killers she is taking for that last not much more then a couple of hours.

So finally, I am coming to yesterday.  At last, after waiting six months on a list we get the call. 

Over here, a doctor is simply a doctor. Lower rung. If he is a specialist or a consultant, he becomes Mister.  Ain’t that odd? 
So we got the very first appointment of his day, 9am. Which is good cos there would be no wait. Glad of that because he gave us (her, the wife) extra time as she had so much. Mostly he gave us a talk about pain and causes and all sorts of interesting info.
The wife explained about the awful itch that would not go away and he said, we might have something for that that could help.  Might not work with everyone but it’s worth having a go. He showed us this demonstration sheet. Maybe 5inches by five. Something like that.  He said what you do is cut a strip out of it, take off the backing and place it on the forehead for 12 hours. Take it off and it’ll keep working another 12 hours.
So I ask him, why hasn’t her doctor told her about this?  He looked at us and merely shrugged a don’t know. But hey.  We are making headway. Right?  Sounds good. Right?  Might be an answer to prayers. Right?

Not so fast Gringo.

We now have to see about the back pain.  It’s decided that the pain medication she is on may not be the exact right one, and so he recommends another and possibly better one. Won’t know until she tries it. So we’re possibly on the home stretch? Relief?

Well …… not quite but only a few days away. Maybe four. Depends. Depends? On what?  Well, he explains that he cannot write the Rx for this stuff.  It has to be done buy her doctor. But, but, butbutbut. Huh?

“No” he says.  “I have to write out this form with my recommendation and I’m sure they will okay the change of pain killer as it doesn’t cost any more then the one she already has and they should approve it.  You then must take this form to your doctor’s surgery (office) within five days and they should write you the Rx.”
image

What?  Tomorrow is Saturday, her doctor won’t be in and we can’t see her today (this is all taking place on Friday mind you) because the office (always called a surgery here) can’t get an appointment to see anyone on such short notice. PLUS, the form clearly says this is NON-urgent patient/Rx.  The form even says, as you will see, the meds do NOT have to be started urgently.
Well hell, they do if you’re the patient in pain and discomfort for so long. Hell’s Bells.

I believe in another couple of weeks they may start shots of some kind. Possibly steroids. 

Just can’t wait to see what ObamaCare will become if enforced.  If he and his people have been using the NHS here as devised by Blair and gang, god help you.

Much of the current mess my wife insists, is the work of Tony Blair and the former left Labour govt.  But then, my wife blames things that don’t work as they should on anyone on the left and especially Blair. Don’t get her started on that subject.

The wife has explained to me and I do not know how close to right she is because it sounds so odd.  Apparently, it’s her doctor’s practice that will pay for the medication and so they write the Rx.  Which explains why he didn’t write the Rx. If he wrote the Rx, his office would be billed for it. 
Please don’t ask.  It’s all too much for me to understand.

Lyndon? You there?



Posted by peiper    United Kingdom   on 12/08/2012 at 11:09 AM   
 
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