The NHS is 70 years old today. It is a wonderful institution and has been stitched into my life for as long as I can remember. My Mum was a paediatric nurse for decades. My wife is a nurse. My mother in law is a nurse. Some of our best friends fill the roles of doctors, dentists, midwives and yes, more nurses!
This year in particular the NHS has been amazing to me and my family. First of all, they brought my little girl happily and healthily into the world. The care we received I have spoken about before, but suffice it to say this time that that team will never be forgotten for all the efforts they made for all three of us.
I’ve also spoken about my IBD in previous posts – this is probably the most day-to-day interaction I have with the NHS. I see my consultant every 6 months at the moment as my condition appears to be deteriorating slightly and we’re working together to try and find a route through to managing the condition better through both medication and lifestyle.
The IBD specialist nurses are an entirely amazing bunch. Even with warnings of low staffing levels my phone calls are responded to on the same day. They take the time to listen and understand the problem, and then present to options for the ways forward. A lot of the time, just having a conversation to reassure you that something is not that unusual or is not something to be too concerned about is all you need to ease the uncertainty – which was probably what was making it worse. Simple conversations are so often overlooked, but just as often worth as much as any medication.
Now we arrive at my current predicament. I’m sat in a waiting room for the second day running. That stomach virus that Mrs Heatho & I had the other weekend? Yeh… seems that whilst my immune system was down I developed a liver infection! So that’s fun. Just as the weather is better than it’s been in my living memory, I’ve been back off work all week pretending to be a pin cushion whilst a significant number of people have taken a large number of blood samples! I’m not convinced they aren’t taking it out faster than I can replace it! Right now I’m waiting for an ultrasound – which is apparently precautionary, and after that I go back to see another set of doctors for further diagnosis and treatment plan. I wonder how much all this costs the NHS….? 🧐 Somewhere, someone is counting beans but at the point of delivery the focus is all on the best thing for the patient.
Is it frustrating being sat in waiting rooms all day? Sure. Is it stressful that test after test hasn’t yielded a final diagnosis yet? Of course. However, everyone is working as hard as they can to get to the bottom of it, alongside the thousands of other patients they have to worry about before they go home, probably late, probably tired, and probably very hungry. Right now also probably very annoyed that they’ve spent all day in a windowless hospital ward and haven’t seen this mysterious blue sky people keep referring to… so all you can do is put your positive pants on and try and be a slightly brighter part of their day! ☀️
So, Happy Birthday NHS – you’re amazing! (Although frankly I hope to see less of you in the second half of 2018…..🤒)