Tuesday, 10 January 2006

Well done Borders NHS

Today was appointment day for the Cardio clinic at Borders General Hospital. I’d been waiting for this since my fibrillation scare last August. My determination to see a specialist had been heightened by the attitude of the Saturday Girl temporary doctor at the Knoll Clinic.
I’d been asked to get there a bit before the appointment time so as to have an ECG, blood pressure check and other measurements so my five minutes before time of parade thing was fully indulged. The ECG was normal – normal for everyone or normal for fat old oxygen thieves was not declared. The blood pressure did its usual thing and embarrassed me by being almost off the top end of the scale. I had my record of readings though and this demonstrated that my pressures are variable give or take 80 points.
I was called forward to the registrar bang on my appointed time. First shock was being seen by a black doctor – a Nigerian gent with a name suffering from and excess of vowels. I have obviously been here a bit too long if a black doctor surprises me; I thought they were all in the South. Anyway, spoke better English than I do so origin was not a fault. At least I didn’t have to describe my problems in Arabic as happened in Kent.
Very early on in his history-taking I made the point that my concern was avoiding – so far as is possible – the risk of stroke and my not wanting to rely on a 13 amp plug and electricity for birthday presents. Seems this was a thing worth mentioning as the priority determines the treatment. Before deciding that the heart would have to do its own thing though, I had a echocardiogram and a chest x-ray. Again, requisitions written up there and then. Off to the respective departments before back to see the man of vowels. By the time I had got there he had received the echo results on his desk screen and the x-ray pictures came through as I sat down. Reading was that he heart is mechanically OK and can be left to its own devices at the present time. We then had a long discussion about reducing pressures and it seems that warfarin is the drug of choice. I have heard some very bad reports on warfarin or rat-poison as it may more commonly be described.
Super-doc then hand-wrote a report for my GP and off I went; 100% satisfied and amazed at how things can be done within the NHS when everyone is trying. In Kent, each examination would doubtless have entailed a wait of weeks to get followed by weeks to get an interpretation. Then a further delay to discuss things with the specialist.
My Boys Day Out At Hospital was not yet over however. My escape route took me past the Audio Clinic and I thought I’d see just how my luck was riding. I poked my head in, removed my plastic ear and told them it had stopped working – did I have to start over again with the GP or could they help? Fixed an appointment there and then for two days ahead! Beat that ANYONE never mind those in the South.

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