Monday 28th November, 2016

Buying milk

Posted by at 10:19 pm in Lost in translation.

Her: "Do you want a bag at all?"

Me: "Yes, I'll have a bag at all, please."

Her: "What?"

Me: "I'll have a bag at all, please."

Her: "... er... um... what's one of them?"

Me: "Forget it, I won't have a bag at all after all."

Her: "... um... OK.... Will there be anything else?"

Me: "That's an interesting question... philosophical... who knows what the future will bring? Let's start with the change."

Monday 21st November, 2016

The Angle of the Dangle

Posted by at 7:17 pm in Just for fun, Maps.
Tags: ,

Unlike O.S. maps, this map of Britain is free and can be copied, posted etc. under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License (see here).

 

British Map

LOL @ the BBFC's protractor to the south of the Mull of Kintyre.

 

Sunday 20th November, 2016

Revelations

Posted by at 12:44 am in Illness and injury.

The latest monthly out-patient consultation at LRI was a belter. I managed to prise some interesting info from the consultant, info that clarifies the current ferritin issue.

So... the dodgy result of the test prior to the first venesection. They admit that it is spurious, but can't confirm whether it's a bad test, a bad result or someone else's result. If it's the latter then I pity the other wronged patient who probably has a result of ~1675 instead of 998 on his/her record and who may have been given treatment based on it. Either way the result clearly wasn't representative of my ferritin level at the time and I've been advised to ignore it, therefore it has been interpolated on the following chart which now shows a clear downward trend and which is up to date with almost all ferritin test results:

 

 

I say "almost" because of the second revelation... nobody told me at the time, but way back in July they did a ferritin test and the result was a staggering 2887 × 10-6 g/L, that's over 14 times the upper limit! I know that at that time we were waiting for my Hb to rise to an acceptable and stable level, but that doesn't mean that they couldn't have told me about the test result. I suspect that I wasn't told because my July consultations were with Prof. H.. I've had run-ins with her before and she's always stingy with information, I suspect that it's a "Knowledge is Power" thing. Whatever the reason, I really can't be arsed to re-jig the chart to show where the result plots.

The bloods are holding up fairly well considering that I have a bit of a snivelling cold and that I had a flu-jab a week before. The latest newts result shows as just a minor droop of the line, nothing to worry about:

 

 

It's taken a while, but I now have confirmation of which type of AML I was fighting. AML Type FAB M2.

Out-patient consultations at LRI to continue at 4-week intervals, venesections at LGH to continue at 3-week intervals.

Nothing else to report.

Friday 18th November, 2016

Currying favour

Posted by at 11:18 pm in LMAO!.

 And the award for "Dumbest, Most Hilarious and Most Unhelpful Answer of the Year" goes to...

one of the food-serving staff in the LEat Restaurant at Leicester Royal Infirmary.

Yesterday, while I was waiting for my lamb curry with rice to become sufficiently warm to pass the thermo-probe test, the next customer at the counter asked the server if the chicken dish was Halal.

With only a split-second of hesitation and with utter conviction the server responded with just one word:

"Mostly."

I looked at the other customer. She looked at me. We both had that "WTF?" look on our faces.

For a while words failed us, we couldn't speak for laughing.

Happiness comes from the most unlikely places.

My angels – updated

Caring At Its Best Winners 2015 / 2016

My angels take the stage to receive the "We are one team and we are best when we work together" award at about 3:00

The Ward 41 team have been my extended family for so much of this year, I owe them much more than words can say, and I'll never be able to thank them enough for all that they did.

Here are some snaps kindly sent to me by HCA Natalie... the roll-call, the citation, and one of the shift-teams. Hopefully I'll be able to post a few more pics soon.

It makes me feel really sad that some members of the team have already gone on to other things in other places while I've been out, and I've not been able to give them goodbye-hugs and thanks. I'll miss them more than they'll ever know.

Update: Here's another pic kindly sent to me by Ward Clerk Sam, who always manages to miss the photo opportunities:

They scrub up well, don't they? TBH, I didn't recognise some of them with their clothes on 🙂

Friday 11th November, 2016

Random Acts

For those who missed it on the telly, here are four minutes of brilliance:

Thursday 10th November, 2016

Ferritin / Addict

Posted by at 11:12 pm in Illness and injury, Maps.

I went to LGH for venesection no. 3 today, and got the pre-bleed result from venesection no. 2 - you may recall that I had a bit of a WTF episode during that session.

That pre-bleed result from venesection no. 2 was 1462 × 10-6 g/L - way higher than the previous result, but it seems to be a better fit to the calculated "decay" lines, and the Hb is still holding up:

 

 

This seems to add weight to the theory that the pre-bleed result from venesection no. 1 was either wrong or not mine. Time will tell - three points on a graph isn't really enough of a basis for a trend. Nevertheless, I still intend to "discuss the matter" when I attend my next haematology out-patient consultation next week.

Anyway, sitting on a bed for over 2 hours today in a room full of ill people while intermittently bleeding into a bag does have a few benefits... as well as getting me free cuppas and biscuits, it also allows me to get stuck into a good book which I've not read for some time:

 

 

Map Addict. A Tale of Obsession, Fudge & the Ordnance Survey, by Mike Parker.

If you've not yet acquired a copy, I recommend that you add it to your Christmas wish-list. It's much better than a poke in the eye arm with a sharp stick.

Thursday 3rd November, 2016

Much depends on what shape balls you have

Posted by at 7:20 pm in In the News.
Tags:

Rugby Football Union chief executive Ian Ritchie has confirmed the England players will wear poppies on their shirts for the autumn Test against South Africa at Twickenham on 12 November.

World governing body World Rugby has been "very supportive", according to Ritchie.

"We are commemorating and remembering all people who have died in conflict. This is not a partisan thing or a political statement," Ritchie told BBC Radio 5 live.

"This is something that is just right as an act of remembrance, and it is right to do it on the weekend when we play South Africa."

Wales' rugby team will also wear a commemorative poppy on their shirt in their Test against Argentina on the same day.

The above is from http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/37853386

FIFA - not "Fifa", as the BBC (or perhaps that should be the Bbc) insist on reporting - could learn much by pulling its head out of its arse and looking around to see how others deal with such matters.

There's a petition at https://www.change.org/p/fifa-let-england-and-scotland-footballers-wear-their-poppies-with-pride

Saturday 29th October, 2016

One man’s muck…

Posted by at 5:04 pm in A bit of a rant.

Councillor Smithers: Hmm... it looks like we underestimated the uptake of the new green-waste permit, Sir. You know, the one that you brought in because green-waste services were paid for out of the Council Tax, supplemented by the County Council. We have a surplus of £165,000.

Mr Burns: Excellent! Just give me a moment to rub my palms together and to don my Face of Avarice.

Councillor Smithers: Shall we give them a partial refund, Sir?

Mr Burns: No. It's my money now. MINE, I tell you!

Councillor Smithers: Shall we reduce the price for next year, and hence attract more people to the scheme?

Mr Burns: Hell no!

Councillor Smithers: Then what do you suggest we do, Sir?

Mr Burns: Put the windfall to a different scheme, one which they might not support, and where they'll never see any benefit.

Councillor Smithers: Will there be anything else, Sir?

Mr Burns: Yes. Crow about it in the local free rag. We ought to keep the proles informed, it's good politics.

Councillor Smithers: Should we issue an apology or express some gratitude, Sir?

Mr Burns: Over my dead body, Smithers!

 

I don't mind paying for the service, but I do object to paying over the odds for it. I also object to paying into the Developing Communities Fund without my consent while others who didn't pay for a bin-permit won't have to do so.

Friday 21st October, 2016

Ferritin downer 2

Posted by at 10:36 pm in Illness and injury.

This last two days this whole affair has become a lot more bizarre...

Yesterday I attended my monthly out-patient consultation at LRI. Good basic blood results, the Hb had climbed back to 148, so no anaemia due to the first venesection. Curiously, I was given no result for ferritin, which I thought was strange as that's the only thing they are actively treating at the moment. The consultant was oddly reluctant to discuss it, so naturally I pressed the matter 🙂

He said that there wouldn't be much effect after just one venesection and that they would check it after 6 or so of them. Not good enough, I said, telling him of the grief that I would suffer when SWMBO asked for the non-existent test-result, and that we weren't going to be happy waiting about 30 weeks to find out if the procedures were working. After me threatening to give SWMBO his email address he relented and said that they would do a test at the next monthly consultation.

I told him again that his "6 weekly" instruction on the venesection referral form had been "interpreted" by me and by LGH as "one a week for 6 weeks" and that the second "bleed" was provisionally booked for today (21st October), 11 days after the first one. He said that he had intended it to mean "1 every 6 weeks", I told him that if that was what he meant, he should have written that instead. I told him that I felt fine, and pointed out that according to his own results my Hb had recovered within only 10 days, so there was no sign of venesection-induced anaemia. Grudgingly he said that "1 every 4 weeks" would do, and then after a bit of muttering and keyboard-mashing he changed that to "1 every 3 weeks". I asked if he wanted me to cancel the provisional for today but he didn't say yea or nay.

So today I made the executive decision and went to LGH for the second bleed.

As previously reported, the first venesection was done on 10th October. On that day, before they drew the blood, they took a mandatory sample so that they could measure the ferritin (yeah, it's not rocket-science) and the Hb. Today I got the result of that test...

Ferritin: 998 × 10-6 g/L

So it had gone down by 677 × 10-6 g/L with no intervention whatsoever between 22nd September and 10th October... just 18 days.

And nobody has yet been able to explain how or why.

I suspect that at least one of the test results is wrong. That, or at least one of the test results is someone else's result. Don't snigger - it's happened to me at least twice this year. I know that I'm often over-cynical, but either scenario might explain the consultant's reluctance to disclose a ferritin result yesterday.

Regardless, LGH proceeded to take another pre-venesection sample and hooked me up to a drain-bag. While that was going on they made me another appointment for 6 weeks hence. After I queried that, the Ward Sister quizzed me regarding the confusing "6 weekly" thing. When I told her that I'd discussed it again with the consultant and that he'd clarified it... and then changed it... and then changed it again, she said that she wouldn't sanction any more bookings for me until the whole sorry mess was sorted out officially and to her satisfaction. She was on the blower to Haematology in seconds flat.

Eventually she returned. 1 every 3 weeks. Official. So now I have 2 appointments at 3-week intervals.

Sorted. But it shouldn't have taken over 4 weeks to sort out and they shouldn't have used me as a go-between.

It'll be another 3 weeks until I discover the ferritin level from today's pre-venesection sample at LGH, and 4 weeks for the ferritin level from the next out-patient consultation at LRI. Those results might just depend on which way the wind was blowing, what colour socks I was wearing and which other patient's tests were being done at the same time.

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