Archive for the 'Illness and injury' Category

Recent additions to the F.A.K.

Posted by on March 28th 2014 in Illness and injury

A few changes to the first-aid kit:

I never bothered with a Styptic Pencil when I used to wet-shave, but of late it's been handy to have around for those minor nicks and scrapes on various bits of me. Being on Clopidogrel and Aspirin means that even the smallest cut can take over three hours to stop bleeding, but one application of this stick stops most leaks within seconds. Stings a bit, though. Costing less than two quid, weighing only 12g and lasting for many years, it's a worthwhile addition to a first-aid kit regardless of background afflictions.



I've changed tack on tick-removers. For years I'd been using a Care Plus Tick-Out, it was good for pulling out the big ticks but iffy for the tiny ones. Now I'm using the O'Tom Tick Twisters that I liberated from the cat's med-box, these babies cope with all sizes of ticks and are a lot easier to use and to clean. Two sizes per pack, a choice of colours, piss-cheap from the vet's, and only 2g for the pair! What's not to like?



The final one needs no explanation:


Fannying around

Posted by on November 21st 2013 in Illness and injury

True to form, the Booking Centre staff managed to intentionally fcuk-up yet again...

By the time we'd left the house this morning, the thrice-promised letter of appointment hadn't been delivered. Undeterred, we turned up at Leicester Royal Infirmary well before the time arranged during the phone call with "Christine" c/o the Booking Centre and, as expected, I wasn't on the paper version of the clinic's patient list and my appointment wasn't "live" on the computer. What was on the computer was a marker saying that I'd cancelled the appointment. Hence no letter - in all probability it never existed, it was clear that the Booking Office never had any intent to honour the arrangement.

I tell you, I don't know how I managed to hold on to any semblance of fair speech. It was yet another example of totally bureaucratic bullshit that is spouted regularly by some of the lying feckers in the booking Centre, in particular the notorious "Christine", who no doubt attended the same School of Incompetence as Mr. Andrew Miller, the consultant who did my op and who, after I'd been admitted to the Emergency Ward a few days afterwards, misdiagnosed my condition as constipation and discharged me without treatment, saying that I should go home and eat prunes!

Of course, today's fiasco wasn't the fault of the clinic's desk-staff, so I couldn't let rip at her. She looked at the raft of bumped/cancelled appointment letters that I'd taken along "just in case", understood my angst, got on the blower, and somehow managed to "slot me in". She was a true professional - calm, caring, apologetic and pro-active - and I thanked her accordingly.

She told me that this meddling with the appointment system "happens a lot", that she took a lot of flak for it, and that she thought it wasn't a good way to treat people.

Hell, you don't say!

I won't bore you with the fine details of the consultation, suffice to say that the consultant seems to think that the treatment for skin-tags isn't surgery, it's Imodium. Further to that, I'm now awaiting the results of a blood-test for, of all things, Coeliac Disease. It all sounds far-fetched to me, I believe that they're clutching at straws and that they're trying anything to avoid having to actually fix their mistakes.

And just to add insult to injury, I've been told that my anus looks like a vagina! Now that I CAN believe, and I suppose it could explain why the NHS finds it so easy to shaft me time and time again.

It's a good job I've still got my sense of humour, eh?


Posted by on November 11th 2013 in Celebrations, Driveway-blocking feckwits, Illness and injury

Well, it's been a while. There's not been much to blog about - no epic days on the hill, no gear-testing, no firm plans for much in the way of outdoorsy-stuff.

Our bonfire party went well on Saturday. I would have taken pics but due to the lower-than-usual turnout of responsible adults I was stuck on firework-ignition and bonfire-stoking all night so the camera stayed unused. Our over-the-road neighbours donated a huge pile of privet from their garden-clearance, it lasted a good five hours and the fire-pit is still aglow two days later.

The cardiac rehab folk at Glenfield Hospital are on the ball - we've already been to an introductory lecture about CHD and I have a couple of appointments coming up: one to arrange a suitable physio regime (although they seem to think that my current levels of exercise and exertion are above and beyond what their usual patients are expected to achieve) and there's a follow-up with the cardiac consultant booked for the start of 2014. Indeed, they've been chasing me on the phone to make sure that I'm going to attend. It's a slick system, they're real pros and they treat me as a human being.

Sadly, the same can't be said of the staff of the Booking Centre staff Leicester Royal Infirmary where they're desperately avoiding having to fix my arse after they wrecked it back in January 2012, and where I'm just a number to be juggled to make their stats look acceptable, not a person who they've made virtually unfit for employment.

I saw a brilliant Functional Bowel Service Specialist Practitioner (SP) back on 20th June, she taught me how to exercise specific muscles and insisted on a follow-up appointment no more than two weeks later because if I wasn't doing the exercises correctly I'd be doing more harm than good. Before I left the consultation we'd arranged for the follow-up to be on the 4th of July, and she'd made the appropriate entry in her diary.

Just two days before I was due to go in, the Booking Centre staff phoned me to bump my appointment to 5th August, and lied to me about the reason why. My protestations and explanations of the medical need went unheeded, and when I explained the situation to the SP in August she was livid when she found that I'd been told that she'd not be on site on 4th July - she showed me her diary which clearly indicated that she'd been on duty on 4th July and that some lying sod at the Booking Centre had told her that I'd rearranged my appointment!

I left that consultation with the promise of an appointment with a colorectal consultant within the next month, and true to her word the SP managed to get me booked in - I received a letter, dated 15th August, detailing an appointment on 25th September...

but on 19th August the Booking Centre bumped that to 30th October...

and then on 15th October they bumped it again, to 26th November...

and today I received a letter, dated 7th November, telling me that they had cancelled that. Not bumped, cancelled. There was no explanation other than "due to unforseen [sic] circumstances..."

And they wonder why my blood-pressure is so high!

They can expect me to be in touch soon, and they'd better have a damned good explanation of what's going on. One more bump or fcuk-up and I'll be naming-and-shaming, first in front of the Trustees, and second, if necessary, here on my lowly blog. Oh, and probably on a few choice online forums too.

I tell you; come the revolution, the liars among the Booking Centre staff will be first against the wall.

Second against the wall will be the Macmillan Nurse who, despite having numerous options for sensible parking, insists on obstructing my driveway whenever she visits our neighbour:


A hearty breakfast

Posted by on October 4th 2013 in Illness and injury

Well, the NHS does keep going on about us needing "5 A Day":




Posted by on September 12th 2013 in Illness and injury

Yup, I'm back on topic...

That piles op back in Jan 2012 - remember that, and the aftermath of it? Well, it's still giving me hassle. I've not been able to exercise properly since the op because it makes the rear-end swollen and dysfunctional. Yes, I've had the odd good day in the hills but I've always paid for it during the following week.

Eventually they sent me to a bum-physio who taught me how to retrain the damaged/wasted muscles down there. They needed to be sorted before the NHS would even consider any further corrective surgery. I won't list the number of times my appointments were bumped, suffice to say that I ain't happy about it and that my next consultation (to arrange the removal of the large skin-tags and the repair of the muscle-damage, both of which resulted from the original op) was to be on September 25th but they've already bumped that to October 30th.

So... consequences...

My inability to maintain a proper exercise regime for well over a year has left me seriously unfit. I didn't read much into the aching torso thing when I went up Moel Siabod in July, I thought I was just lacking in the oomph department, and an occasional minute or two of rest combined with a slackening of the pack-straps allowed me to keep going.

Fast(?)-forward to three weeks ago and I was struggling on the flat. We were at a wood-craft fair, it was a very hot day and again I didn't pay much attention to myself. After a beer and a sit down in the shade I felt better, I put the whole affair down to the unseasonal hot weather, my unfitness and the need for the hydrating effects of real ale.

A week later and it was clear that something was wrong. Cutting the hedges became a task punctuated by rests and cups of tea. I thought that the aching in the arms and chest was due to the efforts of wielding the not-so-lightweight electric trimmers, but I followed the advice of all and sundry and took it easy for a few days.

Aldi had some Blood Pressure Monitors on sale so we bought one, just so that I could keep an eye on how my ticker was coping. The first few days of readings were fine (112/65, 80bpm for example) but a few days later I took a reading after tightening-up while doing a bit of leisurely gardening and the pressure result was a bit of a shocker - 212/125!

I went to see my doctor ASAP. The prognosis wasn't good. The doc put me on aspirin and nitroglycerine spray, and put me down for treadmill and ECG tests at the local specialist cardiac unit.

And that's where I was yesterday. They didn't need to do the treadmill test, the effect of the walk from the car to the reception was enough to make the static ECG results conclusive: Stable Angina. Against all expectations the tests indicated that apart from the effects of Angina I'm in really good nick for a 51-year-old smoker, with no respiratory or weight/fat problems at all. After a chest X-ray and blood-tests I was sent home with a big bag full of meds and the promise of a coronary angioplasty with stent implantation(s) within a month.

Of course, cardiac problems always trump colorectal problems, so I doubt that my bum-doctor will do anything more until the ticker's sorted, which puts me in a Catch-22 situation where exertion is good for one end but not the other.

Of course, this might all have been avoided if they'd properly managed my recovery from the piles op nearly two years ago. I'd have been back in the hills keeping in shape instead of getting progressively unfit to the point where I've started to fall apart.

I tell you, getting up those last five Wainwrights is proving to be more of a challenge than the previous 209 ever were :cry:

Are you s#itting comfortably?

Posted by on November 23rd 2012 in Illness and injury


It's time for another butt update.



I should have seen my NHS consultant in July but, due to NHS cutbacks and issues with funding it turned out to be in October. Obviously there was no point in discussing the results of the Mebeverine trial, as I'd finished taking that stuff several months before. The long and the short of it was that my consultant had done all he could for me, and I was being referred to a different specialist, and I was given a choice of two - either the consultant who actually butchered my arse (and, the weekend after, discharged me from an emergency ward without examining me) way back in January, or a consultant that I'd not met before. I chose the latter.

While in that hospital yesterday getting my Dad repaired I took the opportunity to chase an appointment with that new consultant. I came home armed with his name and number, and today I was on the phone to his secretary trying to get something sorted out.

She confirmed that although no appointment had been made, the new consultant had agreed to take on my case and "a letter had been registered". In other words, he's sent a letter to his appointments manager asking her to arrange an appointment for me. That's as far as it went. I explained that my condition was getting worse rather than better, and I was passed over to said appointments manager.

That turned out to be an interesting conversation. Apparently they need to see me in the Functional Bowel Clinic. I can't have an appointment until the clinic managers find time to fit me in, and they can't fit me in because they have a...


wait for it...


are you ready?





I must admit, that did make me chuckle. It was a great choice of terminology.

And then the chuckling stopped. It's no minor backlog. They're still making appointments for folk that should have been seen in APRIL!

Which, of course, means that I have at least eight more months to wait until it's my turn.

Eight more months of unpredictable sessions of thrush, pain and/or bleeding, eight more months of alternating between incontinence and constipation, eight more months of unnecessary hassle.

Fellwalking and so on will have to be risked rather than enjoyed. Wildcamping is a no-no.


Let me be the first to wish you all a Happy New Year.


Posted by on November 22nd 2012 in Illness and injury

Top tip

Be careful on the stairs when getting ready to leave home for a routine ten-minute hearing-aid repair at the hospital.


 One blunt trauma, one 10mm laceration, one fine black eye and one working hearing-aid.
Followed soon after by two layers of suturing, at least five visible stitches and three unplanned hours in A&E.


I've pixellated parts of the image to protect my Dad's identity.



I should add that both service and patient-care were excellent - only a short wait for assessment and then a fast-track through X-ray, vision-testing, proposed treatment second-opinion, final treatment and discharge. The doctor and her trainee were in almost constant attendance throughout, and they did a fine job.


Posted by on November 12th 2012 in Illness and injury, Just for fun

I'm thinking of giving this stuff a try:



I bet it'll taste awful. Bitter, I'd imagine.

Shouldn't "Nit Picking" be hyphenated?

My legs are grey, my ears are gnarled, my eyes are old and bent.

Apologies for the lack of regular posts. I fear that I'm becoming a virtual hiker...


Outdoorsy stuff

For me it's all on hold after the latest consultation. The expert reckons that I might have to wait another six months for my insides to heal fully, only then will they consider a further procedure to remove the tags and piles that were caused by the original op. Any exertion aggravates said tags, leading to inflammation, infection and blockage, this means that I only get limited exercise which in turn has led to significant muscle-loss and a reduction of core body strength. I'm now so unfit that wielding the vacuum-cleaner for only 10 minutes on Wednesday resulted in me straining my back and now I'm confined to quarters and popping the Ibuprofens. Looks like our week in Skye later this month will be a sightseeing tour rather than an opportunity to assault some classic ridges and peaks.



Well, I have plenty of time to watch the events on the box as I'm pretty much a captive audience. Anna's down The Smoke right now on a school-trip, she was in the basketball arena this evening watching Team GB v France and Team USA v The Czech Republic, where the Beeb's camera caught her and her friends doing their bit of a magnificent Mexican Wave. After overnighting at Eton College she'll be spending the morning in Greenwich Park watching the equestrian events.



I have plenty of time for this too, but the weather's been naff at night. On the odd occasions when it's been cloudless the jetstream has been playing havoc with the seeing - the last time I imaged the Moon it looked like someone was pouring water over it:




Hailstorm damage

The Loss Adjuster's been around and we have agreed terms. We've already been paid out for damage to the outbuildings, primarily because I'd done the pricing-up myself, but we're still waiting for builders to provide quotes for the repairs to the house roof and the windows. There's so much property damage around here that we're on a long waiting-list for repair-work, we're looking at mid- to late-September at the earliest.


Ah well, never mind, things could be worse.


Posted by on July 15th 2012 in Illness and injury, Just for fun, Pics

Compare the Meerkats:


 A sad victim of last month's hailstorm

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