A&E not TLC

(Not a pic of me...I have my own teeth, thank you)

So, I dragged my sorry self to A&E.

After initial assessment, I waited for four hours on my own (Mrs Gripes would have come, but she had to attend some vitally important meeting: you know, the kind that if you don't attend, the world will fall off its axis or something...)

I came to the conclusion that games lessons at school are hazardous - a significant number of fellowA&E-dwellers were still mudded and kitted from whatever healthy team sport with which they had wrecked themselves.

I also concluded that old women really know how to dress for cold weather- several old dears were wrapped in so many layers I wondered if they were wearing their entire winter wardrobe in one- however it has the disadvantage of making them immobile and thus they become even more prone to helpless falling.

I realised that I never want to experience a heart attack, stroke or other extreme trauma. (A bit of a no-brainer, I realise - but nonetheless...)

I reaffirmed my opinion that generally, Scottish people are polite and patient.

I waited.

Eventually, I was ushered into a cubicle, had lights shone in my ears and eyes, was prodded about the face and neck, was left alone some more, then escorted to the X-ray department where I was nuked (and prodded a bit more) returned to my cubicle and left to wait a bit longer.

I waited.

I continued to wait.

A doctor and a brood of students came with my x-ray: finally, I was diagnosed.

I have unusually small ethmoid and frontal sinuses. (I'm not sure I like the term "unusually small": it sounds freakish). When blocked- and they will become blocked more easily due to their freakish narrowness- they become very inflamed and this can affect the optic canal (which accounts for the dizziness and concomitant nausea). Anti-inflammatories might help, steroids could be a short term solution, nasal decongestants could worsen the condition so avoid them, surgery could be an option if it continues: go home, take these pills, come back if you pass out...

Once more, I wasn't made to feel a fool for "wasting" the doctor's time, but I feel bad that I had to take up time that could have been spent treating someone else. Our approach to medical care is drifting more and more towards the US system, where emergency medicine is being used for routine illnesses because people can't access general practitioners. In the US the barrier is money, in the UK it's staffing levels, over-subscribed patient lists and inflexible surgery hours.

I am feeling better physically - the little green capsules are doing a grand job- but I am now far more worried about the health of our health service than I have been in a long time...


Anonymous said...

the nhs is v patchy - My crush tried to get a referral to the breast clinic in newcastle (her mum had breast cancer, she had a lump removed 6 months ago) after finding another lump. her GP agreed that it needed further investigation and tried to refer her for screening. except that the clinic won't see her because she's under 30, and under 30s are low risk.

so she's goiong private.