Friday, 26 October 2007

Do we Know We're born?

Debi Alper has been commenting on aspects of
NHS care as it exists in London today.

As I recall it was crisis management at St Thomas's
hospital nine years ago - but there was still a sense
that the show must go on. I emerged from it's
double doors with perfect double babies, which
although born two months early had been
given the best possible care. I was in 
an interesting, fairly grubby ward with a variety of new mothers.
Ranging from traumatised teenage parent (also of twins)
being treated for psychosis, to a woman with learning difficulties
who twice dropped her baby. But I was so chuffed my kids
and myself, were alive. And the staff were very smiley.

Last March I was a little bit ill - and then more ill.
The GP prescribed antibiotics for a chest infection but
when I said I couldn't really breathe - listened and couldn't
hear a 'rattle',  so declined to investigate further. He grumpily
signed me off from work for five days.

At home I phoned out of hours service and described
intensifying symptoms - couldn't breathe without feeling as if I'd
been stabbed. Advice: Carry on with antibiotics. Take painkillers.
Several types at once. Couldn't move and had to sleep sitting up.
Too ill to feel sorry for myself, I just hoped I wouldn't stop breathing
completely. Entered strange grey world and wondered how soon 
I could leave it. Wondered if lungs were tiny, deflated party balloons 
and what sort of salary GP was on.

Looked up Pleurisy on internet.

And yet we do have an NHS.

Apparently Michael Moore said 'the only place you can get
free medical treatment in America is Guantanamo bay'.

What is the reality. How do different systems compare?
Global comments welcome - even from Aberdeen. 


Odd things happening in the NHS ( Thanks, James Thurber).

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

The Divine Comedy 1: L' Inferno

After a strange summer of jumping and wondering
if the parachute would open - we hit the ground running.

To celebrate, we did a bit of tidying up. Painted some walls
took things to the charity shop. Then we thought a smart new
desk would make us think we were organised.
We would still have piles of paper - but they'd be important
and not covered in jam.  

So we found ourselves, on a mellow Saturday afternoon
approaching the Croydon Ikea....

" Ho!  thou comest to the house of pain
Cried Minos when he saw me, the appliance
Of his dread powers suspending, think again. "

Have they changed the road layout - this roundabout
wasn't there last time. Can any one see a parking
space. No? Keep looking. What! it shuts in half an hour?

"How thou dost go, in whom is thy reliance;
Be not deceived by the wide open door!
Then said my guide - wherefore this loud defiance?"

Round and round we wandered - in ever increasing circles.
Passing unsustainable potted ferns ripped from the Amazon
basin. Averting our eyes from hideous printed fabrics and
polyester rugs. Feeling the static rise from a hundred
mass produced orange plastic camping forks. Ooh they'll
come in handy. Entering a zone of soft furnishing despair....
and then a bright and jolly halogen lit kitchenette hell.

Mum. I really really really want a fluffy cushion.
You'll get a hot dog if you're lucky!
It's closing now. I'll get the desk. See you at the checkout.
They haven't got the legs that go with the top bit.
Get it anyway.....

"And now the sounds of grief begin to fill
My ear: I'm come where cries of anguish smite
My shrinking sense, and lamentation shrill "

The coffee place shut five minutes ago.
But  I REALLY wanted that fluffy cushion!

" When they are borne to the rim of the ruinous path
With cry and wail and shriek they are caught by the gust,
Railing and cursing the power of the Lord's wrath." 

The shop is now closed, will customers please make their
way to the checkout.

"Hither and thither, up and down, outworn,
Hopeless of any rest - rest did I say?
Of the least minishing of their pangs forlorn"

Yeah, though you gain a toughened glass table top (with no
legs and as yet unpacked) - verrily you shall lose your soul.

......... And still not get a fluffy cushion.

( Apologies to Dante Alighieri )