Sunday, 24 November 2013

On the Mole Front

Things move at NHS speed as noted elsewhere. I’ve seen a consultant and to be entirely fair to him, he’s gone the extra mile and booked me in next week for a biopsy. I am however intensely irritated by the fact that they didn’t take a chunk on the day of the initial visit.
Here’s why: they (Basildon Dermatology) knew what I was coming in for, potential skin cancer (big word let’s not get too excited this is all precautionary).
Consultant looks at it says `mmmmm looks benign ... best make sure, we’ll need a sample’. I’m mentally prepared for a local anaesthetic I thinks it’s logical and efficient to do it `now’. Then he says without pause `we’ll have to get you booked in for a biopsy appointment’. I ask why, and can’t they do it now? And he explains that they need to administer a local anaesthetic and take a piece off for testing. I already knew that from my visit to the GP Surgery, and the experience of others.  If I was in A&E and needed stitches, or a bone reset, I’d be given analgesics and a local quicker than you could say `ouch’.
At what point was that not going to be a potential outcome? Fair enough, you turn up the guy says `it’s just a freckle and some blocked pores, scrubb it until it bleeds, you’ll be fine, goodbye ... or `it’s a wart with a freckle, use some Bazooka you’ll be fine, goodbye’. Job done you leave.
This is where I get cross. The referring  letter uses the C word (not the one I’m not allowed to use on the blog by the way). Why doesn’t that appointment, accommodate the few minutes it will take to poke a needle in my forehead to numb the area, scrape some cells, wipe clean and dress? Job done. If scenario Freckle/wart/blocked pores, you’ll be fine plays out in the first five minutes in the consulting room then the surgery claims back the biopsy time and moves to the next patient. If not, time has been allowed to take a sample. After all if they wanted blood, they would fill in a form and send you off to phlebotomy, this I know, my mother was Phlebotomist for seventeen years or more.
What happens next is that we explain we are supposed to be elsewhere, the consultant then spends fifteen minutes shooting off upstairs to where they make the appointments and take the samples, pushes me into the queue for next week (Saturday) and then we have to leave. Good man the doctor for doing this. However I’m still left thinking how can the system be so bloody inefficient?
I come back to point three. The letter indicates strongly that there may be a bigger issue than just a funny shaped itchy mole. The consultant, couldn’t rule out its potential to be more than a `wart with a freckle, or blocked pores’ (using the consultants high powered magnifying glass ... through which if I’m not mistaken you could reasonably expect to see the future).
All the facilities are in one building. The consultant went to the sample taking people to book us in ... he doesn’t even have to do it himself.
I appreciate the NHS, I really do. However so many times through their doors I see this kind of ridiculous inefficiency that costs you and I a fortune. I’ve also been private for a back issue ... done and dusted in two weeks, Initial consultation, MRI, and X-ray guided Nerve root injection, with private room, and tea and cake afterwards.
Now we are doing more hanging around an ever colder UK almost on top of Christmas.
Next week, we are going to head up towards Cambridgeshire then maybe a further north to Lincoln, and have a nose around. We’ve bought a robust but very low wattage fan heater to use at nights while on Hook-up (rather than running our diesel fan to heat the wagon at night). We’ve also been back to the lockup and retrieved a fluffy micro-fleece blanket ... we are in the land of proper winter motorhoming, it is an adventure in and of itself, I’d just prefer to be somewhere, where cold and wet isn’t.
I’d hoped we’d be booking a ferry to Santander for Sunday 1st December at the latest, at best we can now look at the 8th of December, or at worst the 15th of December.
On the up side, we did see `Gravity’ with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney in 3D which is a spectacular watch, and we followed it a few days later with the `Day of The Doctor’ 3D at the Odeon. We are very much on the road to fully recovered and if the truth be told I’ve enjoyed our time at the Harrisons, doing odd jobs where I can. We have both confirmed to each other that we feel like fish out of water with our freedom ... that will be the best part of forty years (maybe more) of nine to fiving in one way or another, and we have both decided we would be rubbish lottery winners.

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