Wandering off course

Every six months I arrange an appointment with my doctor for a check-up, specifically to have my blood pressure monitored. Up and until a couple of years ago I underwent regular blood checks for lipids also but for one reason or another those checks lapsed. That was partly my own fault I know but the surgery should have reminded me too. As I take hormones I have to watch my cholesterol levels, hence the lipid screening. At the same time and in order to keep my cholesterol levels down I have to be a little strict in my eating habits, low intake of dairy products for instance. Now due to the fact that I’ve not had any blood checks for around two years I basically forgot about my health in that respect. A case of out of sight out of mind I suppose. Consequently I have allowed myself to slip into bad eating habits by consuming more of those foods I should be steering clear of! On Monday I had an appointment to see the doctor to arrange for a repeat prescription and expected and received a blood pressure check. I get six month’s worth of hormones to save the need for frequent visits to the chemist (drug store). The doctor brought up the subject regarding blood checks and I have now been put back on track so to speak. Since my old doctor retired over ten years ago I have been attended to by a number of different doctors at the practice but not all of them were shall I say too conscientious with regard to my blood check-ups. This new doctor whom I have been seeing for a few months seems to be more on the ball. Having arranged for my prescription to be repeated she took my blood pressure, which was high, and she arranged for a blood test. At any rate she has reminded me to take more care of what goes into my mouth too and not to wander from the path I should be on. With immediate effect I began to put my diet back in order and at the same time increased my exercise regime, not that I really lacked in that department. Happy days.

Shirley Anne


Eleventh hour

I took the short walk of about a half-mile to the doctor’s surgery on Tuesday morning to have my blood pressure checked and to arrange a repeat prescription. Actually the doctor presses a couple of keys on the keyboard to place the order at the local pharmacy and about three days later I collect my prescription. It has been a few years since it was all done on paper and the patient took the prescription to the pharmacy themselves. That done I walked back home for my belated breakfast just before nine o’clock. The morning was supposed to occupy my time clearing out the lounge of paint cans, brushes and all the other paraphernalia associated with decorating but it didn’t work out quite that way. Yes, I did clear out the room but in the process I noticed a small brown stain at the bottom of the radiator near-to but not where the lower valve was. In a recent post I mentioned there being a small leak on the valve connection but I had solved that problem, this was a short distance away. I wiped it clean and felt for the presence of water and there was an extremely slight amount. I wiped that away and it appeared again. The radiator was showing the first sign of corrosion. It meant a replacement but first I had to drain it down and avoid spoiling the decorations doing it. I set everything up and released any pressure using the bleed valve beforehand. The mess was kept to a minimum and it was just as well that the new carpet hadn’t been laid for some dirty water ended up on the floor. The old underlay absorbed most of it but that will be getting replaced when the carpet is fitted. I struggled a little but I managed to get the radiator outside and parked it near the entrance to the garage for disposal later. Now I had a space where the radiator had been and brackets fitted to the wall and skirting board which most likely wouldn’t be suitable for use with the replacement radiator. I decided to go and purchase a new one immediately but the store didn’t have the size I wanted (about 6 ft x 2 ft) in stock but they would deliver one the following day which was fine. I wanted to at least fix the new one to the wall before the carpet was laid and if I couldn’t do the plumbing immediately I could do it later. I would have to drain down the whole system if it was not possible to connect the radiator without altering the pipework. I would only discover that during the fitting of the radiator. The new radiator cost me £88. It was now well after two o’clock and I went to the pub for my lunch. The following day would hopefully be better.

Shirley Anne


Aneroid sphygmomanometer with stethoscope, use...
Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday, Monday, I had an appointment with the nurse at the doctors’ surgery. It was a routine check on my health because of the medication I am taking, estrogen. This time it was simply to check my blood pressure. It appears that the systolic pressure reading is too high. It’s my own fault really because lately I have to admit to not exercising as I should and of course being a little ‘lax’ with my diet. I will get it all under control before my next appointment in one month’s time. Whilst I was waiting in the surgery with my tag in my hand I noticed the guy sitting nearby had a black coloured tag, mine was silver. The system they use in the surgery is to give each patient a tag depending on which doctor or nurse they are seeing. That means nine different coloured tags. A display board shows the colour associated with each doctor/nurse and when the buzzer sounds and the relevant light is illuminated then the next patient makes their way to the appropriate room. The tags are numbered so that the patient will know if it is their turn. When it is your turn you place your tag on the relevant hook beneath the board and proceed to the room. It sounds complicated but it is very easy and almost fool-proof. I smiled to myself when I saw the guys black tag because the colour is assigned to the Midwife! LOL. I still can’t figure that one! About an hour and a half later I had another appointment with the dentist 21 miles away but before I drove there I had to buy some flowers and pay a visit to a woman I know who has just returned home after having a brain tumour removed. She works in the kitchen as a chef in my local pub. It was less than two weeks ago when I last saw her and when I was in the pub on Saturday night I learned about her illness for the first time. She lives about two and a half miles from my house in the direction I was travelling to get to the dentist so it wasn’t out of my way, not that that would have made a difference but I had an appointment to keep. Anyway she was up and about and let me inside for a few minutes to speak with her. When she told me what they did to get at the tumour I was horrified! It appears that they peeled the skin down from the top of the head to gain access to the skull and then replaced it as if pulling back a blanket on a bed! Absolutely amazing and the only real damage is temporary bruising and water retention swelling. She looks remarkably well after such an operation but she is still weak. I left after five minutes so that I could make my appointment with the dentist.

Last week I had a tooth removed and this time I was to have preparatory work to ‘cap’ another tooth which I will get done next Monday. Although the dental work is covered by the NHS I am still having to pay £204. Just imagine what it would cost if done privately! So that is another appointment for next week. As the journey to the dentist is over 21 miles I was beginning to need the toilet on my arrival there. Another woman beat me to it and was waiting outside the only toilet’s door. We stood there laughing at our predicament along with an old guy who was sitting nearby. After an embarrassingly long wait the old guy said,’Did you try the door’? The other woman was reluctant to do that so I stepped over and discovered the room was empty! I had assumed that she knew that someone was inside. What a laugh!

Monday evening saw me at the pub having a good time. Not many ‘regulars’ there but I wasn’t bothered (where have you heard that one before?). I spent time reading the newspaper whilst sitting on the most comfortable leather couch. Later I had a meal and then some more drinks, actually I had purchased a bottle of red wine so I finished the bottle. Naughty girl I am sometimes and that won’t help my blood pressure but  I am not worried about that, I will get it under control as I said I would. I met with a couple of people but by and large spent most of the time alone. I sometimes welcome that.

Shirley Anne