Saturday, 1 February 2014

A Bit Shaken, not Stirred.

An example of very bad taxidermy, but something of how I'm feeling . The wildlife at the bottom of my garden looks a great deal happier than this sad example, but I feel that he represents me, about to eat humble pie.
In my previous post about waiting rooms I was somewhat scathing about the National Health Service.
I apologise, as humbly as the appearance of this unfortunate fox!

Several family members have needed a lot of support and medical care in the last year, and now it's my turn.
I've been in a few more waiting rooms and, although the magazines may not always have been up to scratch, the care and the speed of its delivery have been wonderful.

Within three weeks of finally admitting that I was feeling unwell I have been scanned and X-rayed and blood-tested and booked in with a Consultant Surgeon at a privately-run hospital - all on the National Health Service. I can't believe the speed, efficiency and kindness of all concerned.

I am also very grateful to my neighbour's cat, Agatha, who triggered a quite impressive asthma attack for me. I  have a degree of allergy to cats but I don't have asthma, or at least I didn't before that happened. So I thought I should go to my G.P.and ask for some Ventolin before I made my next visit to son and daughter-in-law who have two cats. For once I stopped myself from saying I was fine when he asked how I was feeling. After all, I usually only go for flu jabs, and when you're seventy-four you're likely to feel somewhat frayed around the edges.
Aren't you?
But for Agatha I would not have gone to the doctor, and I would have continued to feel awful, thinking it was only to be expected after my last birthday.

Incidentally, I'm a cat-magnet. Cats love me, want to sit on me, rub round me, tell me I'm wonderful. I like them too, but if  I touch them I get swollen eyes and a streaming nose. Are they doing it out of a sort of perversity? Is it because I don't make much eye-contact and leave them to do their own thing? Or am I just genuinely irresistible? To cats, I mean.

Anyway, thank you, Agatha,
And thank you NHS for all that has happened so far, and in anticipation for all that is to come.

Agatha, in Guardian mode.


mm said...

Oh goodness, RR. Agatha must be your guardian angel heavily disguised.

I'm so glad you're getting good NHS treatment for your problem. When the NHS works well it can't be beaten. Fingers crossed that everything proceeds satisfactorily and that you soon start to feel better. Getting older does sometimes spring less than pleasant surprises on us, alas.

Take good care.

LoobyLou said...

As the owner of Agatha, I'm extremely proud of her! My dear neighbour looks after her when I go away, comes round for coffee and has never had such a bad reaction before so I can only agree with MM's commment - Agatha truly is a Guardian Angel!

Zhoen said...

Yes, cats tend to attach themselves to the person they most need to win over, in their view. Can't resist a reserved, partly hidden, quiet anything. Go after them like an excited toddler "kittykittykitty!" and they'll avoid you.

Good, that you are getting the care you need. If you feel like that fox, you could use some help.

Leslee said...

You are so lucky to have the NHS there. As you probably know, in the US we have the most ridiculous healthcare system and people think it's abhorrent that they should be forced to actually all have healthcare. Anyway, I'm glad you're getting good care and hope you're feeling more vixenish soon!

I'm allergic to cats, too. They do love people who avoid them. If you want to get them to stay away, just lunge for them immediately - it'll be the last you'll see of them. Alas, when visiting people with cats you can't much avoid the dander they leave around around except to choose the least comfortable chair to sit on.

Relatively Retiring said...

mm: Agatha is not even heavily disguised. She is angelic-looking (and knows it).
Thank you for the good wishes, and I send mine to you.

LoobyLou: on my next trip over the road I'll be asking for a photo of Angelic Agatha so that she can be appreciated even more widely.

Zhoen: yes, I think cats can't resist a challenge. We need a photo of Agatha to counterbalance that unfortunate fox. It's interesting that I haven't had a severe reaction again, not even when cuddled by two cats at son's house.

Leslee: I have really, really appreciated the NHS in recent months and I wanted to post this in gratitude. There's a lot of moaning about poor food, waiting times, unsatisfactory care but, as mm says, when it works well the NHS cannot be beaten. We need to remember how fortunate we are here.

Jenny Woolf said...

I'm very glad that you have got the help you need. I continue to be amazed at the efficiency and courtesy of the NHS, generally speaking, too, and knowing some people who work in it, I do wonder sometimes how they manage to do it! I hope that whatever you turn out to have, is easily treatable and you will soon be fit and well again.

Jenny Woolf said...

And... WHERE did you find that bit of taxidermy??? Oh, my goodness. I would have a sort of curiosity about the collection that came from.... :)

Relatively Retiring said...

Jenny; many thanks for your comment and kind wishes.
There are a few Bad Taxidermy sites via Google, and the fox came from one of them. I remember seeing some school-room scenes made up of very small stuffed kittens and baby rabbits, sitting at little wooden desks with a stuffed owl 'teacher'. As a child I found them enchanting and wanted to take them home. They were in a museum, but I can't remember where.
I agree with you that there is a grisly entertainment to be had from bad anything. What about The Stuffed Owl - an Anthology of Bad Verse?

pohanginapete said...

Zhoen's spot on about the attitude of cats. It's part of the perversity that makes them so loveable.

So relieved that things seem to have worked out as well as could be expected. Hoping the good news continues.

marigold jam said...

The NHS is much better most of the time than we are led to believe and when one's back is against the wall they are marvelous. I do hope that whatever you have can be easily dealt with and that you will soon be on top of the world. I hope you don't feel quite as bad as that poor fox?

LoobyLou said...

Agatha thanks you from the bottom of her heart for sharing her on your blog and she'll continue to be your Guardian Angel!

Frances said...

I'm so pleased to see you back again, and that you seem to be receiving good care not only from Agatha and the NHS, but from yourself.

Jee said...

I used to have a book about those schoolroom scenes - there was the death of cock robin as well I seem to remember. The museum was somewhere on the south coast - if it's t the same one. I think it was split up in the 1980's after public outcry.

Zhoen said...

Walter Potter. For the stuffed cats.

Relatively Retiring said...

P.Pete: not only do I have a cat Guardian Angel, I also have cat stand-offs in my garden night and day. My place seems to have been selected by the local cat community as the perfect hanging-out place. Loveable isn't always the right word.

Marigold: thank you for the good wishes. No, it's not as bad as the poor fox!

LoobyLou: my thanks to Agatha for sending me one of her many glamour shots!

Frances: thank you. I'm sorry I've been out of action for a while.

Jee: oh yes! I remember Cock Robin now, and it was grim, with a rook as a clergy man. I didn't want to take that one home!

Zhoen: many thanks - it all makes sense now. Worthy of a separate mention for the wonderful eccentricity of it all.

Gillie said...

Cats just can't believe that sometimes people don't actually like them or dislike them near for reasons such as you mention. So glad you were treated swiftly, or reasonably so, there seems to be an awful lot of waiting for appointments in NHS land from what I am hearing from other UK friends. So glad you are feel ing better and that you spoke up!

Relatively Retiring said...

Gillie: thank you for reading and commenting. The NHS takes a lot of flack a lot of the time, so it's important to express gratitude when it's due. My son, daughter-in-law, infant grand-daughter and I have all received wonderful support during the last year or so.

Isabelle said...

Oh dear, sorry you've been feeling awful and thank you for your kind words about the NHS. My very kind and dutiful son and daughter-in-law, both doctors, get fed up with people forever bashing the NHS. There are lots of things wrong with it but there are also lots of people working well over their paid hours to do their best for the patients.

I do hope you get sorted out soon and not too nastily and are soon back to normal.

Relatively Retiring said...

Isabelle: as I wrote to Gillie (above) so many of us in this family have had care that goes beyond the call of duty in recent weeks.
Please pass my gratitude on to your hard-working son and daughter-in-law, even though I haven't met them.
As an act of gratitude for family care in the past I have donated my body for medical purposes - mainly that of teaching new doctors. (But I don't plan to donate just yet!)