matters medical

I’m not sure that my GP surgery knows its arse from its elbow at the moment!

I had a DXA scan on Tuesday of last week (12th). The day after, the surgery rang me to arrange a phone consultation for Weds 20th (yesterday) between 0800 and 1000h, which I got up early for as I’m not coherent before the first mug of coffee of the day.

So, GP rang yesterday as arranged, says I have some bone density loss (osteopenia, not osteoporosis), not to worry, see NHS website for advice and I’ve been flagged for a re-scan in 3 three years. A bit casual, but there it goes.

Then this afternoon I get another call from the surgery. The GP wants to see me, about the results of the scan. I said we’d already had a phone consultation about it, but apparently things have changed! So now I’m booked in for an appointment on 4th December …

Oh well, I’m off to the “patients’ participation group” meeting there tomorrow (my first one), to give feedback from the patient perspective …

garden bits

Really dodgy wrists and hands – doctor on Monday said “splint and complete rest”, plus new painkillers. Splints arrive tomorrow (I hope), so lots of garden chores done today so that a complete rest for a couple of weeks will be possible!

Pond pump jammed solid this morning, for the 5th time this year. As usual, it was a horde of baby water snails that had got through the filter … maybe they squeeze in as eggs, as I can’t see how else they’d get in. Lovely damselflies flitting about me as I wrestled with the pump – this one’s on a mimulus leaf.

Then the pruning of the ceanothus. Over 60% (by bulk) of it cut off, now it’s finished flowering, and height down from 7 foot to about 5 foot. It’s allowed the acanthus (“Bear’s Breeches”) to show up, anyway: they’d been screened by ceanothus boughs (pruned ceanothus on the right).

The lawn – unmown for nearly a month due to dampness – is a decorative mix of red clover and daisies.

The very first sweet pea flowers are open, with a glorious scent. I very much like this colour, as well, so I’ll try to save seeds from this to see if it comes true.

health scare

Ironically, having attended a Healthwatch Worcestershire focus group last night, I experienced A&E at first hand today.

Stabbing pains in the left-hand side of my chest started just before 11. I took a couple of doses of GTN spray, but things only moderated slightly, so I rang NHS 111. After talking me through their script, they called an ambulance. The paramedics arrived, did an ECG (which they said was fairly normal) and suchlike, but decided I’d better go to A&E anyway. No blue lights, however!

A&E at Worcester Royal has marginally improved since my last trip there about three years ago. Patients are still stacked on trolleys in the corridor, but there’s now an official ambulance reception office with a counter on to the corridor, and a couple of curtained off areas  to examine patients in!

Fortunately, it turned out merely to be a rather atypical angina attack, and not the heart attack at first suspected. But a bit scary to start with, and then very tedious lying on a trolley for the best part of seven hours. However, I was fed jelly and ice cream at half past four (preceded by a cheese sandwich), before being discharged around six.

A cab home of course – no way could I face waiting for the bus, changing at Lowesmoor, and waiting for another bus (and #35’s get very scare after  6pm). I rang Mum just after nine, as I’d been due at Green Mount tomorrow, but have been advised to take it easy for a couple of days. Difficult not to worry her, but I’ve briefed Sim so hopefully he can be a calming influence if necessary. Visit to GM now due for Saturday.

part of the ECG trace
part of the ECG trace

dental stuff


The family curse of rotten teeth! £90 to the dentist a couple of weeks ago, £190 today, with a further £500-ish next Tuesday, and a further sum tbc next Thursday. Plus a couple of days of living on soup, while my top partial denture is sent away to have stuff added to it to compensate for the teeth (and therefore bridge) being extracted.

Hopefuly, back in working order for Christmas.


Having been at my Mum’s for a couple of days really brings home to me just how much difference the very small changes and adaptations I’ve done at my own home do actually make!

An adjustable chair to support my back. Eye-level grill. Fridge in top half of fridge/freezer, not bottom. Dryer for when carrying/pegging out wet washing to line dry is a bit much. Heavy furniture in arms reach to grab if I go a bit wobbly, so I don’t need a walking-stick indoors. vegetable waste on worktop not at floor level. And so on … All small things which turn out to add up to a really important difference.

Currently lying flat on my back on the bed, waiting for strong painkillers to take effect. At the moment, it feels as though I’m lying on a sack full of hamsters! Lots of muscles twitching and moving, which don’t seem part of me … Meds usually sort it out in an hour or so.

ugh !

The grey fog of seasonal depression swirled in on Wednesday, leaving me tearful and unable to cope with normal domestic stuff like cooking or cleaning. It’s still there (and will be, in the main, until after Christmas at least), and the aching damp has got into my bones, but today has been one of the rather better days.

The wood-burner is lit, for the first time this autumn, and through the window I can see that at the bottom of the garden there are raspberries ready to be picked for supper.

visitors, etc

A really good few days when my niece Phoebe and her fiancé Jake were staying. We drove over to my Mum’s yesterday: a route taking us past Pershore and the Vale of Evesham: the heart of plum country. I couldn’t resist buying a basket: three kilner jars done, and plenty left to make stewed plums.

But this afternoon has turned really damp and thundery. My back is not liking it: I’m effectively immobile, waiting impatiently for the time to come when I’m allowed another dose of painkillers. Things always get *really* shitty when the weather takes an abrupt change for the worse, though it settles down in longer spells of nasty weather.


more medical

I finally got speak to a sensible Nurse Practitioner, who took a blood sample today – it makes a change from the semi-sentient simians who staff the phone results line!

It turns out that they are worried about my blood sugar level. I have an HbA1c ( a proxy for long-term blood glucose levels) of 41 … “Pre-diabetic” starts at 42, fully diabetic is 48+. We wait to see if it’s a blip, or whether this repeat test will confirm it.

Really, the last thing I need now is a further complication to my diet, or to fret about the additional risk.

(from Facebook comments)
If it does turn out that I’m basically prediabetic, my suspicion would be that I might be type one (body does not make enough insulin – effectively an auto-immune disease) rather than type two (body does not react properly to insulin). I have a number of autoimmune things anyway, nd seem to have few risk factors for type two … but hopefully it is all just a blip and it will turn out that I’m in the condition of “normal, if only marginally so” which has been so common in all aspects of my life!


Drat! And similar remarks.

The GP “wants to talk to me” about the results of my last fasting blood test (lipids). The other test (blood sugars) which they called me back for has been screwed up, and needs to be repeated. Fortunately, as it’s non- fasting, I will probably just go very wobbly for five minutes, and not actually faint while they draw blood …

tooth out

The good news about my dentist visit this afternoon was that not everything under the dental bridge that came off on Sunday is a complete write-off. One extraction only, replacement crowns, etc …

The bad news is that my guess of up to a grand was a rather woeful under-estimate!

Visits again in a week’s time, and again after the Bank Holiday, but no more injections to make me faint, or bloody extractions!

Back on a diet of mush for the next few days. I hadn’t planned on a no-chew meal, but a bit of scavenging produced a ham omelet with frozen potato waffles, followed by rice pudding flavoured with cardamom and vanilla paste. I wish I’d had full-fat milk to make the rice pud.with!

Tomorrow, shopping for some easy-to-eat stuff is called for.

omelette and potato waffle
rice pudding