Archive for March 28th, 2009

A boring, boring day

At some point in the last week, I got what I thought was a thorn under my fingernail, but as the days went by, it showed no sign of coming out. Instead, my finger went rather manky and was quite painful, especially if I touched something right on “the spot”. So, I did what I rarely do and yesterday morning went to see my GP. Well, I registered at the surgery first, something I’ve been meaning to do since we moved here in the summer! When B rang the surgery to see if they were taking in patients, she was told that we’d need to bring proof of our address and either our NHS cards or passports. This came as a surprise to me: over the years, I’ve registered with many doctors’ surgeries and have never needed photo ID! Neither of us have any ideas where our NHS cards are, but I dug out my passport and water bill and got there early enough to be third in the queue at 8am.

The receptionist was extremely rude but did not ask for any proof of my identification or address: even when I told her I didn’t have my NHS number! Huh.

Still, after an hour’s wait, I got in to see a GP who told me that they didn’t have the right equipment to remove a splinter and that I’d have to go to A+E. What about a tetanus jab? No, they’ll do that at A+E…

What really annoyed me was that the receptionist had told me an hour earlier that I’d have to go to A+E but that she’d get me in with a doctor as I’d probably need antibiotics. Well, it turns out that I did indeed need them, but guess where I got them…!!

So after that waste of an hour and a half, I was very late getting to the farm and quickly fed the rather desperate pigs and topped up the chickens’ feed. The dogs were not at all impressed when I abandoned them for the second time that day and went to the local A+E. Parking was predictably impossible and it took me three circuits of the car park to find a space. Things started to look up after that as a guy saw me about to push my money into the pay and display machine and gave me his ticket! It’s only a pound for the whole day but as the money goes to a private company and not the hospital, I’m fine with that.

The receptionist nearly had a fit when I told her why I was there and murmured something about my doctor presumably failing to understand the meaning off the letters “D” and “r” in front of her name…

Not having a watch, I lost all track of time as I was a good citizen who turned off my phone when I entered the hospital, so all I know is that I left the farm at half past eleven and returned at half past two. In that time, I waited in reception, saw a doctor, waited for an x-ray, waited for the results, waited for the nurse to give me a tetanus jab and then waited in the hospital pharmacy for my antibiotics.

It turns out that there is no thorn and what looks like the site of a nasty and deep-bedded splinter is in fact an infection, probably as a result of dirt getting in a cut and being sealed in before I had a chance to wash my hands. Or something. The more I think about it, the more sceptical I am of this diagnosis as the “infection” is localised and hasn’t spread all week. It looks like a black or very dark red blob at the end of my finger and really doesn’t look like anything I’ve seen before: other than the site of a splinter. Ho hum, the x-rays didn’t show anything so I guess it’s a case of wait and see. I’m under strict instructions to give the antibiotics a chance to work but if nothing changes (or gets worse) over the weekend, I’m to return so they can do something else. I’m not sure I want someone digging around in my finger with a scalpel (not to mention anther wasted day) so keep your fingers crossed!

I gave myself the day off on Thursday and other than the usual chores, did very little else. In retrospect, I should have dealt with my finger then and there because I ended up doing even less on Friday! Luckily, the weather’s looking a bit better for the weekend, so I should be able to crack on with the veggie garden.

Still, on the good side, the day might have been a wash out, but the evening was excellent as Jennie invited me round for tea (again!) and cooked up a free range toad-in-the-hole, made from my sausages and eggs. Truly delicious, especially with the added ingredients in the batter. Pudding was most unexpected: I’ve never eaten Christmas pudding in March before, but equally yummy!

Now, where are my gardening gloves…?

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