This time last week (Saturday March 24), I was waking up in hospital, having been rushed in as an emergency admission the afternoon before.
And I guess, strictly speaking, as writing is my work and I’m not supposed to work for a fortnight, I’m defying medical orders by writing this blog post. But, hey…what the hell? I wanted to praise our incredible NHS for the way they treated my life-threatening case.
It began on Monday March 5 when I visited my GP with what I thought then, were pains in my right kidney. I’d had a constricted ureter in my left kidney in 1983, and assumed history was repeating itself on the other flank. Within a couple of days an appointment came through for an ultra sound scan, on Saturday, March 24.
But the doc did say to ring him immediately if the pain became unbearable. Which it sure as hell did. Throughout the day and night on Thursday March 22 I was virtually doubled up…but thought: “Well, the scan’s on Saturday, I can wait until then.”
This wonderful young lady (I swear she was younger than my own daughter) wasn’t convinced it was a kidney problem. She was extremely concerned in case it was a blood clot in my lung, and explained that the base of the lung is very close to the kidney, so I may be mistaking the pain’s location.
Anyway…to cut a long story short, the two CT scans – one on the kidney and one on my lungs – did indeed prove that a blood clot in my lung was the culprit. The scan results were sent to the Haemostasis and Thrombosis Centre at the Leicester Royal, and the specialist there began advising the urology team how to proceed.
That night I was moved off the admissions ward, into a more general ward, but still in the urology unit.
As soon as the pain was under control they said I could go home. So thank goodness for the liquid morphine, and I was discharged on the Sunday evening.
It’s only afterwards that I discovered just how dangerous those pesky little clots can be, with the risk of causing a pulmonary embolism.
But doesn’t this just demonstrate how vital our NHS is? I have absolutely nothing but the highest praise for everyone I came across during my two days and nights in hospital. And, of course, my own GP, who interrupted his surgery to get me the urgent care I so desperately needed at that time.
My message to the Government, and to Jeremy Hunt in particular – “Hands off the NHS. No privatisation, just a high level of funding so they can continue to save lives. And, if we need to pay higher taxes to ensure that happens, then okay, bring it on.”
I’ve now seen at first hand, how absolutely vital they are, and what a sterling job they do under extremely difficult circumstances.
Long live the NHS. I owe you my life, and I’ll support you throughout the rest of it.