Saturday, 15 March 2014

Update 38 - Latest Consultants Visit

Here is a little anecdote that sums up the NHS in the UK:

I have just been seen by my consultant at QA Hospital Portsmouth.  The appointment was for 12:00 in Wednesday.  So I arrived at 11:45 and asked the receptionist if the surgery was running late as I had to drive to north of Blackburn (around 280 miles) straight afterwards and if it was running late I would get a sandwich before so I could get going promptly.  "No - we are running right on time!" said the receptionist.

At 12:05 the consultant came out and said "Mr Harris?" and another gentlemen got up and went with him to be seen!  I looked across at the receptionist and gave her a questioning stare.  She came over to me and said that was his 11:45 appointment and not to worry I was next.  When I queried the fact that 15 minutes earlier she had told me they were running on time, yet the 11:45 patient was already in the surgery and that I had specifically asked, she replied "Well I didn't know how late he was running until the 11:30 patient came out!".

I gave up at this point because there was nothing to gain by stating that she must have known it was running late because the 11:45 patient hadn't gone in near that time (Sigh!).

Obviously this strategy is used to calculate their waiting times as the NHS always seem to point out how good they are, yet every visit I have ever been to has been around half a hour late of when it was scheduled for.

I eventually went in and was seen.  The conclusions of the visit are encouraging:

  1. I have become stronger in my foot flexion and ability to push back with my muscles
  2. My reflexes are coming back
  3. I have feeling in more areas of my feet and legs

I asked about the constant tiredness, especially after doing anything and he responded that this was fairly normal and likely to continue.  I also asked about the sharp stabbing pains in my feet and lower legs, again he said this would continue and there was little that could be done about it, we discussed pills and I said though sleeping pills did help I was not willing to take them because I felt terrible the next morning and long term usage was not recommended.  So hello to 03:00 for a while longer.  I feel that if I could sleep through the night it may improve my general fatigue issues.

He says as I am slowly improving without pills, so unless I had any sort of relapse I would no longer have to see him again, as I was doing the right things and understood what was required.

I do have to go and see a chest expert for further tests on my breathing and Sarcoidosis, so off to the GP's on Monday to get that arranged.