Just after finished my earlier blog today, the post arrived, and in it was a letter from my doctor's surgery about my blood pressure. If you recall, last week I did a 5-day blood pressure monitoring session and the results were a bit higher than they should be. Not massively high but enough for it to be registered.
Anyway, the letter says that she wants me to do some fasting blood tests and book an ECG (electrocardiogram - heart rate trace) as I might have to start treatment. Enclosed with the letter was a form for the blood tests, for which I just have to ring the surgery and book a time, and another form for the ECG for which I have to go to the local hospital.
I immediately phoned TLH at work and told him. I would normally wait until he got home but the easiest way for me to get to the hospital is by car, and I wanted to warn him that I would need it and he'd have to book a day working at home once I knew when it was which could be, for all I knew, 3 months away. He said he was going oop north again tomorrow for a meeting so I would have the car then anyway but how likely would it be they could get me an appointment tomorrow?!? Of course I could use public transport to get there but that would involve a train and a bus and would take hours longer overall than just jumping in the car and driving 15 minutes down the road. He was quite happy to have a day at home so I rang the number.
God love the NHS. No, really. I rang the number which was for the Cardiology Dept. The receptionist very chirpily told me there was no appointment system, you just turned up and the test would take about 5 minutes! Blimey, I thought. 'In that case', I told her, 'I'll come along tomorrow'.
Take note, America. This is what socialised medicine is all about. And it's free.
The fasting blood test has been booked at the doctors' surgery for 13 April, which was the soonest they could do it and will, according to the sheet, be used to screen several things - renal, fasting glucose, liver, thyroid and fasting lipid. It's at 11.05am and I can't have anything to eat after midnight the night before but that's okay, there are many mornings when I don't have breakfast until 10.30am or even later so 11.05 shouldn't prove to be a hardship.
All this is a bit of a pain in the arse, frankly, but at least I'll have a pretty good idea of how my body is shaping up as I'm getting closer to the age my dad was when he died suddenly, and if there's anything I need to do in order to prevent the same fate. I'll keep you posted.
PS. My blog seems to have turned into more of a diary of late. When I started doing it, coupla years ago now, the general plan was that I would only post when something interesting happened rather than my dull, everyday 'doings', but it does seem that, at least in the last few months, stuff has been happening. And I know for a fact that there's more stuff to come so this blog could get more frequent!
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