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.
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.