MAYBE THE RELATIVES IN AUSTRALIA CAN DO IT…

Understand, that I am truly grateful for the health service’ existence. I have never begrudged the National Health Contribution,( additional taxation) I believed I paid towards the service during my years of working life. It turns out though, it was a massive ponsy scheme that was allowed by successive governments and over decades. The National Insurance my generation paid was used for previous spends and not as future National Insurance.  Payment was deducted direct from earnings, before we received our wages, which payment, we were told, was for our generation.

I have been disturbed for a some years by the standards that vital services, including the health and safety of the nation, are being manipulated to descend to.  How do you succinctly describe what I have just been told, first hand. Sadly, similar stories are happening throughout the UK, this country that has some great professionals fighting a rear guard action working in an impossibly contracting National Health Service.

A lively 86 year old widow, living alone, was shipped by ambulance as an emergency to the main hospital, 120 miles along difficult roads. It’s a journey of about three hours minimum, if there are no travel problems en route. The widow had been unable to move and was in extreme pain. Paramedics called the doctor after one and a half hours of working with the lady at her home. Her domestic circumstances were passed on to hospital staff by the paramedical escort and the referring doctor.

A week later the widow was asking Occupational Therapy staff, (OTS) about going home. They had been waiting on news about the installation of support equipment outside and inside her home, they said, including an extra handrail up a steep staircase   The job had been completed two days before. No communication there then.

Next day she was told by OTS: You’re going at 11am…. Going where? She asked. ……Going home. …..How? All I’ve got is my nightie,slippers and dressing gown that I came in.  Can anyone bring clothes in for you? ……Ring Australia and see if the relatives, (her next of kin) there can help, she replied. It raised a laugh. Can you sit on a chair asked OTS? …I think so. …Right, that’s what we’ll do, we’ll get you a chair and, we’ll make sure there is someone to settle you in at home.  Luckily, another patient was being taken home by ambulance, so, the two shared the transport part of the way and the poor driver had  an unexpected very long return journey.

There was no-one to settle the widow into a very cold house. (No-one had been contacted ). Her hospital bag of requirements was dropped off in the middle of her sitting room and she was left to her own devices.

 

GREAT EXPECTATIONS

All the capable men waiting to be discharged from the day operation unit were asked if their wives or someone would help them to administer their post-operative medications.  Anyone with previous experience, however long ago, was given cursory advice, and was asked if wives would help.  One man who already had experience of his procedure, but some time ago, asked to have an update of what was needed.

A relative of a woman with dementia was given instructions to pass onto carers.

Not one compos mentis woman was asked if she had anyone at home to help her.  Obviously, the expectation of the relatively young female nurses was that women could just get on with it!

nurse-tux-icon

LIVING IN A NEIGHBOURHOOD

A few months ago I stopped to chat in  town with a neighbour. Our houses are only over the road from each other, but hey! The shopping street seems to be the place to meet and chat. We chewed the cud over many things, including how much fun it was to look after her very young grandson a couple of days a week. Though a young grandmother, it was why she had decided to retire.

We got to talking about a news item about a woman  being treated for cancer so as to live, not be treated to die. My neighbour’s very firm and candid view was that there was no difference between the two, they both meant the same in the end. Something in the tone of her voice and the expression on her face decided a change of subject.

We heard this morning that our neighbour had died. We were told it was cancer. We did not know.

 

 

DO-IT-YOURSELF…

This may be a sensitive subject, so the leaflet told me, but I wasn’t to worry, it was all quite normal. Why were these comforting words right at the back of pack? A first page flyer greeting you with those kind words might cause fright and flight, a good reason for offering supportive notes somewhere along the way, after you have started to handle the items in the pack, find they don’t bite, and read the ‘what we want you to do, how to do it and why’ literature.

What is this all about? There is a do-it-yourself national bowel screening programme in Scotland for certain groups of people.

WRONG CALL

They returned from Edinburgh, husband just having completed the first stages of prostate cancer treatments. He was tired and she was relieved they were back in their own home. He opened the post and handed his wife a letter. It contained instructions to report to a hospital – not the one where he had just been treated – for an operation on a cancerous tumour on his bladder. The couple knew nothing about this. In the bathroom and in private, she cried.

Enquiries the next morning with the GP drew a blank. The hospital patient booking service discovered that this man’s hospital identification number was almost the same, but the appointment belonged to another patient. As she said, surely someone could have checked a name, a date of birth….but no, I.D. number with the data input error winged its way to a household already recovering from a health trauma.

Patient services were so grateful for the call and the opportunity to re-send the appointment. “Most people wouldn’t phone, they would just turn up”, they said. It begs the question, how often do they cock up and send out wrong calls? It’s awful and it is frightening.

:no: 88|

HOLY JOE! WHO IS INSURED?

Six session of physical therapy (physiotherapy)in America, and the insurance company halted the treatment programme. My friend said she was feeling the benefit of the therapy and thought, she was almost ‘cured’. Her therapy can resume in her new insurance year.

Well, what about me then” replied a cousin of ours who lives in the USA, on hearing the story. He was in the dental chair, he told us, and a hole had been drilled out in a tooth ready for a filling. “That’s it,” said the dentist, standing back from the patient in the chair, surveying his handiwork; “that’s as far as I can go, your insurance has run out.” Getting over the shock of the position he was in, cousin negotiated a temporary filling. He’s returning to the dental chair to resume and complete his treatment when his insurance cycle is refreshed.

YOU HAVE A YELLOW CARD!

How many people in the UK know that there is a yellow card system where they can report adverse reactions to prescribed drugs, vaccinations, inoculations and medicines in general?

I had a vague memory of a reporting system from a radio discussion I heard, two or three years ago, and that is the total sum of it. There has been no repeat media awareness-raising of this service. The reason that reporting was opened to the public was because it was clear doctors were not feeding information they received to the drugs information authority. I recently tried to discuss a reaction with a GP, who was most dismissive of my concerns.

Very cross, I stomped off to one of the local pharmacists who found the yellow card web address for me and commented on what she thought I may have reacted to in the medication I was given. The URL is, I believe, www.yellowcard.gov.uk (The name can be Googled). I chose to reveal my identity and give the details of my community medical practice. You can report anonymously.

There are a number of pages to complete, all pretty easy, I found. You can fill out the forms in stages. It will save and let you back in when you have finished your drink of tea or coffee. I believe you can also update the information you have given. I have yet to try this.

There is a section that lists differing grades of reactions to medicines, from;

‘mild’ ( helpful example descriptions given);through to some more serious levels of injury (again, helpful descriptions given)
and ‘death’, (no description given )…that is obviously final.

Who, though, would with knowledge, report to the yellow card people on your behalf , should you by misfortune, be deceased?

A concern I have, that has loomed larger than when I first expressed it, is the increasing number of people I am coming across who have had bad reactions to the current flu vaccination. More excessive than would be acceptable or expected. None of them knew about the yellow card reporting system.

It is obvious therefore, that unless the Government is given information by people, the government health department will assume, by default, that there are no large numbers of difficulties, as a consequence of limited reporting.

FORGETFULNESS – JUST AS WELL WE CAN LAUGH AT OURSELVES!

I was so engrossed in commenting on other posts, I forgot the focus for this post. My forgetting is rather apt, because the post is about memory loss. The article that took my interest on this subject was still open on my desk top and so reminded me what I intended to do. Should I be personally concerned at needing a memory aid?

Many people go to collect something from, say, a drawer,and forget what it was they wanted. It is quite a common event. There are sillier forgetfulnesses and distractions, such as putting something in the oven instead of the fridge. Thank heavens we can laugh at ourselves! Lots of people have done it. Is it really funny?

There could be a range of reasons for increased confusions and exacerbated memory loss, especially in older people. Infection is certainly one possibility, there are others. For now, there does not seem to be any magic answer for the prevention of chronic cognitive decline.

Research is indicating that body infections may speed up memory decline, especially in Alzheimers disease. Researchers at Southampton University say that infections increase an inflammatory protein in the blood, known as a tumour necrosis factor (TNF). The obvious defensive responses to this, are good observation, devising fast action to deal with suspected infections, and providing skilled care, especially in residential, nursing homes and hospitals. Preventing infections from spreading is nigh impossible.

This is the point where it is necessary to think outside the box (lateral thinking). It is where the researchers and pharmacological experts join forces. One thought is to try to protect the human system by blocking TNF to prevent more inflammation of the brain. Research into cognitive decline is a growth area. TNF is just one aspect of it and like many others, needs further research.

COGNITIVE DECLINE

THANK HEAVENS WE CAN LAUGH AT OURSELVES!

I was so engrossed in commenting on other posts, I forgot the focus for this post.  My forgetting is rather apt, because the post is about memory loss. The article that took my interest on this subject was still open on my desk top and so reminded me what I intended to do. Should I be personally concerned at needing a memory aid?

People go to collect something from, say, a drawer,and forget what it was they wanted. It is quite a common event. There are sillier forgetfulnesses and distractions, such as putting something in the oven instead of the fridge. Thank heavens we can laugh at ourselves! Lots of people have done it. Is it really funny?

There could be a range of reasons for increased confusions and exacerbated memory loss, especially in older people. Infection is certainly one possibility, there are others.

For now, there does not seem to be any magic answer for the prevention of chronic cognitive decline. Research is indicating that body infections may speed up memory decline, especially in Alzheimers disease.

Researchers at Southampton University say that infections increase an inflammatory protein in the blood, known as a tumour necrosis factor (TNF). The obvious defensive responses to this, are good observation, devising fast action to deal with suspected infections, and providing skilled care, especially in residential, nursing homes and hospitals. Preventing infections from spreading is nigh impossible.

This is the point where it is necessary to think outside the box (lateral thinking). It is where the researchers and pharmacological experts join forces. One thought is to try to protect the human system by blocking TNF to prevent more inflammation of the brain. Research into cognitive decline is a growth area. TNF is just one aspect of it and like many others, needs further research.

LOWER LIFE FORMS

So far, I have managed to host a virus or two, meet people with bugs, sore throats and running colds. It’s no wonder that I can only stay healthy-ish for limited periods. Or maybe, just maybe, I have got so used to being below par that I no longer recognise anything better than that. The rotten little bugs keep deciding they want to pay me a visit; I shall have to work out how to be less welcoming to these forms of lower life.

Bah!

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