Disturbed Jelly

Posted By on 15th December 2014

You could be forgiven for thinking that this is going to be about some larey dessert dreamed up by the infamous Mr Blumenthal, or else a children’s party that has gone disastrously wrong. Well you’d be wrong on both counts, it’s actually about the NHS!

There has been a lot in the press recently about how the National Health Service is under pressure, how many hospitals are failing on every level and many patients are unable to get appointments at their local GP’s surgery when they need them.

I’ve been fortunate in that I haven’t needed the NHS much over the years, but a couple of recent events have changed that slightly, so I now feel qualified to express an opinion on the subject.

I’m not sure if Tescos opticians in Cleethorpes strictly qualifies as NHS, but I didn’t have to pay for my treatment, so I guess it does.

Ongoing problems with my eye, following the accident with the rake in November, raised worries over my retina. After thorough examination I’m pleased to say my retina is sound, but it turns out I have ‘disturbed jelly’, not uncommon among people who hit themselves in the eye with a rake handle!

It should settle down of it’s own accord and even though it’s 5 weeks since it happened, it could be another 4 weeks before it’s back to normal. Phew, I can’t help feeling I’ve dodged rather a large bullet there.

Earlier in the year a routine visit to the doctor had revealed that my blood pressure was higher than normal. I tried to laugh it off as a consequence of having just moved house following months of building work, but when it had refused to go down on a subsequent visit, I was referred for an ECG and blood tests.

In the end all my tests were ‘normal’ and I shall take greater care to watch my diet in future, hopeful that this will reduce the need for blood pressure medication in the future.

Another bullet successfully swerved, but if I was Leonard I’d be getting concerned about how quickly my 9 lives were disappearing!

But to get back to the point.

During these various procedures the service I received was first class. Appointments were readily available, staff were kind, polite and efficient, prepared to listen and explain, in short I couldn’t have asked for more.

I can only speak from my own limited experience but it seems to me that the National Health Service truly is the jewel in the crown of the United Kingdom, but I fear it is also a bit of a curates egg.

To paraphrase Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ‘when it is good it is very, very, good, but when it is bad it is horrid’, which is certainly not very funny when you’re ill.

I suspect that, as I’ve heard many times in the news, it’s a ‘post code lottery’, and I thank my lucky stars that, so far at least, I’m in a good place.

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