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Thursday, 14 March 2013

The Utter Silence

Nothing from me since the end of January - appalling.  Why, I ask myself, have I been so uncharacteristically reticent?  Well obviously, sheer idleness explains much of it.  Why blog, or indeed do anything else, if you can stay in bed?  It defies all reason....

But there have been other issues too.  The light has been awful - useless for painting.  I've been cold - well, all right, so have you, but unclenching those little fingers and handling chilly art materials - paint, water, oil - in this freezing little hovel I call home just hasn't appealed.

After a while, though, said fingers begin to itch.  Stray towards brush or pen or pencil .... and even laziness is put to flight.

Just to add to my litany of excuses, though, I've had one or two health problems - principally around the teeth; infected sinuses; lots of antibiotic; and I've got to have a full blood test - phials of the stuff - just over a year after I had my haemorrhage: to see all the blood they put into me has mixed happily with the sludge that was already there, I suppose.

Well go and do it, you say.  Get it all seen to.  Ha!  Easy for you, I reply - but I've got to get to the hospital, and fast - ie, not eat for 12 hours (how ghastly!), and then the dentist is miles away as well, and I don't drive......  I mean, I do prevaricate: I admit it.  I even put off putting things off.  But it's not easy, you know; when one's rich in years but nothing else; has no transport; services miles away....

Granted, this is 95% self-pity.  Say 97%.....  but it does strike me that when people speak so blithely about the efficiencies of centralization of health services, "centres of excellence", and so on, they do overlook the desire of your average patient to be treated near to home.  If you have cancer, you're going to be very likely to be treated at centralized locations, and given that's where the best treatment is that's probably where you're going to want to go.  But we hear on the Patients Council at St Mary's Hospital of people who are given ridiculously early appointments in the morning which, given our inadequate transport links, they've no hope of getting to.

I have many reasons to be grateful to the NHS, but now and then you get the impression that some of those who manage it have cottage-cheese for brains - and fail to take into account the sheer physical difficulty of moving object A, the patient, to location B, the clinic.  Strange how none of the reforms introduced by Lansley and the little Hunt who's taken over from him seem to make the slightest difference to the convenience of the patient, though.


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