In praise of the NHS-the Staff, that is!

Thursday 28th July and the War was going well, or so I thought. There might be some future incursions on my right flank but a barrage of chemical agents ought take care of them!

So far I’d managed to clear out some deep rooted pockets of resistance; only another five metres of border to go and I’d be rid of the bloody bindweed for at least a couple of years...

Ow! I thought, that hurt!

Hmmm... Nasty feeling I know what this is- well I haven’t fallen over yet, so if I take it easy and don’t flap, I should be okay.Bit of pain in the chest- nothing to speak of- breathe deep for few moments and it’ll pass...

FMOB! It ain’t going and it’s all down my arm too!

That was it, OldAdam’s No.1 heart attack. Bu**er!

I tottered up the garden, shoved the tools into the shed, sat down for a bit and gave the local surgery a call- surgery was closed so I got a medical call centre in Dumfries or some such place who zoned me onto an advice-line. A very pleasant Pakistani doctor told me what I already knew and advised me to call an ambulance.

The wife was on her way back from a visit to Suffolk and so I thought,

She’ll be back before an ambulance could get here. Things seem stable and her driving isn’t bad enough to accelerate it so I’ll wait until she gets home; why tie up an ambulance?

In the interim it rained and the wife got caught at a level crossing; she phoned:-
‘Have you got the washing in?’
‘No dear, I’m having a heart attack!’
‘Oh, really!’
I have to admit that I got a certain pleasure in seeing her expression when she found out I wasn’t kidding!

The local A&E was brilliant although I found that a shot of morphine made me feel shittier than the h.a. and glyceryl trinitrate (a blood thinning agent) gives you a whisky-bottle sized headache without the pleasure of tasting the malt!

The Coronary Care Unit I can only describe as being one of the best and most professional outfits I’ve ever experienced; even the domestics are part of the team. One old boy quietly popped off during lunch and the first one to reach him and start CPR was the dinner lady! Outstanding performance!

By Saturday evening I was taken down to the London Chest Hospital – blues and twos all the way; eight speed cameras later and the driver racked-up his twentieth set of twenty-four points this year,
‘I just need another five runs to beat the record!’ he said. Cabby b*stard!

London Chest is situated near Bethnal Green. The building is Victorian and ought to have been pulled down years ago but, as a Centre of Excellence, it can’t be beaten!

Sunday and the Doc came to see me; very switched on and decisive character. He did a scan of my ticker and pointed out all the interesting bits, all pulsing away! He said,

‘We’ll do an angiogram and probably an angioplasty, back to back, assuming there’s nothing worse than what I’ve already seen on the scan. What that means is that we pass a tube up your femoral artery, to the site of the constriction, blow up a balloon to open up the artery and then insert a ‘stent’ (a cylindrical geodesic mesh made of titanium), deflate the balloon and that’s it! I’m a bit reluctant to do you today because it means calling people in but, if we get an emergency in, they’ll get called out anyway so I’ll add you on behind!’

And that’s what happened. Quick shave round the dangly bits- shame it was Ron and not Samantha with the razor. A swift trolley down to the lab- on to the table and a jab of local anaesthetic, then it was a grand-stand view of live action X-ray all the way; the radiologist was very cute lass from SA, called Karen. Likes braais and beer - Cuts, you’d love her,

The consultant, Doc Robinson, said,

‘You may feel a bit of constriction in your chest when I inflate the balloon, but don’t worry...’
I waited and then he said, ‘Okay, coming out!’
‘Is that it?’
‘Yes, all done!’

I was out of the ward for an hour and on the table for twenty minutes; no pain, fascinating telly and a lot of wisecracks- always the sign of a good team, in my estimation.

By Monday evening I was home again!

I’ll be on pills for life but you can look at that two ways; ‘for life’ isn’t a sentence, ‘for life’ is exactly that, helping me to stay alive. The way I look at this, it isn’t going to be a problem, it’s going to be a project! I was pretty fit to start but, being diabetic, I was genetically predisposed to heart disease and was just stupid enough to overdo things. Well I’m going to follow the plan and I’ll get myself fitter than I was before.

Knock the NHS hierarchy, management and funding all you like but the troops on the ground are absolute essence; the very best!
So thanks, folks! I’m on my way back.

thanks for that i showed my mum and it made her day (shes a nurse in manchester)
Great story, glad to hear you're going to be OK.

Let's all get a warm fuzzy on about our NHS staff. Little Veg was born a bit too early last year and spent a month in hospital with some complications. The staff there were utterly brilliant, and he's now in rude health. Got my money's worth out of the system last year, and then some!



Great post, and glad to hear that you are making a good recovery, with a positive outlook.

Just a pity that such stories about our professional frontline staff don't fill the newspapers.
A similar thing happened to my old man 5 years ago - there was a significant improvement to his health after the angioplasty was carried out. Prior to the op, he was out of breath walking and now he cycles like a lunatic! This simple operation has restored a decent quality of life to hundreds and thousands of people.

The NHS staff demonstrate their dedication to their vocation on a daily basis and control of hospitals should be returned to them rather than left in the hands of "management".

Best wishes for a good recovery.
I think there can be no doubt that if you are an emergency of some sort, the NHS cannot be beaten. It is the more common, run of the mill stuff that gets messed up. I had company insurance when I had byepass so I know what the best of private can be. Since then I have had another lights and music trip and was deemed an emergency but the NHS service was in every way equal to what I got as paying patient.
My only concern was that on duty doctor was a girl who looked to be 15. She said she would like to involve her senior - she looked every bit of 18. Just like policemen - they get younger all the time.
Fantastic to see you alive and well OA, would LOVED to have seen Mrs OA's face when she walked in...... This is a ticket to get away with murder for at least the next 3 months..... USE IT! ;)

Beebs x
Nice to hear that people actually appreciate the NHS, it is hard to believe sometimes given the amount of bad press that is slung its way. I see that commitment and professionalism all the time but it is very rarely recognised.
I too had the first hospital experience of my life last week. I am 58 this month. I didn't really know what to expect having read nothing but bad news over the years. I saw a specialist on the wednesday - very little waiting. Had a lot of tests, probings etc - sent fm one room to another. All very polite and friendly AND all very quick. Had to go back on Friday for a bronchostomy, which I was dreading. Again, although the procedure was quite uncomfortable, I was treated with care, gentleness and good humour. Luckily all was clear. I am sure that there are some bad practices in the NHS but I can only praise my treatment.
Thanks for all the good wishes!

Beebs, I'm playing it up to the hilt with Mrs OA but I think she's beginning to cotton on!

Nice to hear other stories about the troops in the NHS; a shame there aren't more being aired.

All you journos out there: just try focusing on the good bits for a change and we might be a bit more inclined to listen to you!

Right, now where's me racing zimmer-frame....?
Old Adam glad to hear your good news,milk it for all it's worth!
personal view on NHS, about 18 months ago put my hand through a glass door as one does,wrist gashed to feck and it sobers you up like feck when you see your tendons twitching, lots of quick claret, towelled it up and strapped it one handed plus a hanging tourniquet, kept it tight loose for a bit then tighten yeah you know the score...
Down to AE, cracking nurse needsa few stitches which she did so competently that the scars are now barely visible except on a cold day when they go purple. As she was sewing me up, a couple of off duty paramedics came in and asked if it was ok that they watched the procedure,no probs fellas fill your boots. When she'd finished (and to my eternal shame i can't remember her name), paramedics told me she'd worked for a top plastic surgeon postGW1 and her techniques were second to none,hence the audience.
To that fantastic lady at the Mayday-Thanks Pet !X

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