Adapted from http://www.xkcd.com/1786/
The call came, the results are in, and they're not brilliant. They make a mockery of yesterday's result-less consultation, which I am sure would have had a significantly-different outcome if the results had been available for analysis at the right time.
So, let's see what's what...
Ferritin vs Hb: Well, the ferret-reduction process continues to work while the Hb manages to stay within acceptable limits, but the rate of reduction has decreased significantly:
Neutrophils vs WCC: These are both trending downwards which isn't good. The newts are heading towards their bottom-limit, and the whites are now below their bottom-limit. I suppose it's possible that the lower-than-usual results could be explained by the testing being done by a different lab, but I suspect that the drops are real. If the latter, it could be that my remission has stalled, or it could be that my levels have dropped due to me fighting an infection (which is unlikely considering that I have a low CRP score of 5). Either way, it needs the beady eye of a diligent consultant, and probably further testing, to figure it out:
Of course, it could have been dealt with yesterday, but it was so easy for the consultant to smile it off, blame it on the system and assume that all was still OK. Well, here's the news, Professor... IT'S NOT OK. And that means an unplanned visit to LRI early next week, and another unnecessary cost added to the NHS overdraft.
It's not all bad news... platelets are higher than usual (213), so at least I won't bleed to death any time soon.
You can tell that it's Friday 13th.
P.S. I suppose it's possible that I've been given someone else's results again, they do seem rather prone to doing that for me.
So, with venesections every third Thursday and out-patient consultations every fourth Thursday, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that every 12 weeks the two sessions will fall on the same day. Today was such a day.
A month ago some bright spark at LRI decided that on such days it would be best to perform just the one set of blood tests, at LGH, on samples taken just before the venesection. Said tests were to cover everything needed for the venesection session at LGH and everything needed for the out-patient consultation at LRI about three hours later. LRI gave me an appropriately-completed bloods specimen form with attached samples bag to give to LGH on the day. It was, allegedly, a fool-proof idea...
I turned up at LGH early this afternoon, they took the blood sample and I handed them the form/bag from LRI. They said that they didn't need the form/bag as they would use their own, so they took away the LRI form/bag for disposal. They also said that they were now using a super-duper digital system on PDAs which would make data collection, storage and transfer much better. I was insistent that the tests would have to cover the requirements of both appointments and that the results would have to be available at LRI by 16:15. They were equally insistent that it would all work flawlessly. I was then bled and given saline as per usual. All good so far.
Of course, in accordance with my expectations and contrary to theirs, it didn't work at all. Nearly four hours later over at LRI the consultant couldn't find the test results in the database, so the consultation was a complete waste of time.
My Friday is now trashed. I have to wait in for a phone call - someone from LRI will be calling the land-line (but not the mobile) IF the results can be found. Oddly, even though they are going all hi-tech with PDAs and the like, and the results (and my records) should be on a database, they are not allowed to send me the results via text or email. For reasons of security the information has to be given verbally. How quaint!
But hey, they DO like to send me appointment-reminders via text - one seven days before each appointment, and another five days later - telling me that every missed appointment costs the NHS an average of £126.
We sure as Hell won't be doing it their way again. To quote Tolkien's Pippin: "Short cuts make long delays."
Maybe I should be charging "an average of £126" for this afternoon's fiasco?
Welcome to 2017.
I've been known to enjoy an occasional glass of cheap Chilean Merlot, but this 1.5 litre bottle of raffle-won posh Iberian pop is way out of my league.
I don't know whether to store it, donate it, drink it, cook with it or fight with it:
For many years some of the world's most eminent physicists have laboured hard to prove that some objects can be in more than one place at the same time, thus proving Einstein right even though he thought that he was wrong.
Well, they need not have gone to all that trouble. All they had to do was to use eBay to order something from the States via USPS for delivery in the UK, and then use the internet to track it.
According to the tracking tech, here are all of the places where my parcel was known to be at the same time this morning...
According to eBay, it had been with me for 2 days:
According to the Royal Mail site it was at their international mail centre at Heathrow "being made ready for despatch overseas"...:
but clicking the "Where has my item been?" button told a different story:
And the good old USPS site deemed it to have been delivered, but didn't state that they had delivered it to the Royal Mail and not to me:
I printed off all of the pics above and thrust them into the hands of the counter-jockey at the local sorting-office. He looked from one print to another, and another, and another, and back again, with a look of incredulity on his face.
They had my parcel. There was no Import Duty or Excise Duty, but it would cost me a Royal Mail International Handling Fee of a tenner plus V.A.T. to possess it, which was more that I'd paid the USPS to transport it from Port Saint Lucie to Heathrow via Miami, and more than the cost of the item inside.
But hey, cutting-edge science doesn't come cheap!
And I suppose that paying a burly sorting-office bloke £11.23 to handle my small package has some comedy value 🙂
Nice chocs, rubbish ad:
Sometimes I despair:
All who tell people that good SPAG isn't important should hang their heads in shame...
before being crucified, shot, buried, dug up and then shot again just to be sure.
And no, I'm not BillC45, innit.
For a stick?
There's nothing posh about it, there's no special treatment, it's not expensive Amazonian hardwood or a cutting from one of the Two Trees of Valinor.
It's just a stick with a bit of steel studding stuck in the end, two washers and a wing-nut.
Buyers of these probably know the cost of everything and the value of nothing.
Her: "Do you want a bag at all?"
Me: "Yes, I'll have a bag at all, please."
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."