How lucky we are to have such amazing healthcare!

So today the little altercation i had with my angle grinder last week took a turn for the worse. My finger was swollen when i got up this morning but i had a busy day planned so wasn’t going to let it get in the way. Sadly it got worse and by 2pm my hand was starting to look like a football. I knew Denise had an appointment for a skin check so asked her to ask at the surgery reception if there was any chance of me seeing a doctor as it was obviously infected. The answer was a definite yes, tell her to come in so i quickly tidied up at the painting job I’m currently doing and made my way to the surgery. I had hardly got through the door when i was greeted by name by one of the receptionists and asked to go down to the treatment room at the end of the corridor. Once there i was seen almost straight away by a lovely nurse called Kate who carefully took off the dressing and inspected the wound, gave it a clean up then went to get a doctor to look at it. Within a couple of minutes she returned with a doctor who was equally lovely. He had a good look and after some discussion came up with a strategy. He wanted me to have an X-ray to make sure there is nothing sinister going on in the bone and gave me a prescription for some antibiotics. By this time Denise had finished her appointment and came in to join us so we left together and made our way to the hospital for the x-ray.

Once again we were seen almost straight away, booked in and asked to take a seat. A few minutes later a young lady opened the door opposite where we were sitting and called my name. The X-ray took only a few minutes and we were done, back into the car and to the pharmacy to get the prescription filled. It was all so instant, you could not have asked for better service in any way and it left me realising how lucky we are in our part of the world to have such amazing healthcare. Yes, i know we pay for it (my only cost today was the prescription!)  but it’s a small price to pay for such a wonderful service. As one of my best friends in the UK works in a doctors surgery i know how different a story it is there, it might be free but it is so overstretched that just getting to see a GP is much more difficult than here so i know which system i prefer. A huge thank you to all at Broadwater Medical Centre, you look after me in such a kind and compassionate way!


Regular readers of my blog will not be strangers to how much I appreciate the amazing care I receive from a growing number of people involved in my healthcare and wellbeing. Today was a perfect example of how lucky i am in the way I’m cared for. Today i had a visit to the lady whole set the ball rolling back in 2012 which eventually resulted in my transition through introductions to various people but even before that had given me a level of care which blew me away. I am of course talking about my wonderful osteopath Annette (I’m sure she won’t mind me mentioning her by name!) who in reality is much more than an osteopath and is the person who has opened my mind to so many things but most importantly, Holistic care.

My back has been a little out of sorts for a week or so and with the events of earlier this week i felt an appointment would help. In all the years i have been seeing Annette i have never once left her treatment room feeling anything but better than when i walked in and today was no different. She always amazes me by identifying the issues before i tell her. Today, after a brief outline as to the events of Monday and Tuesday she gently put her hands under the back of my neck and shoulders and told me what and where the problems were. She even identified the exact place i had the tetanus jab despite me having long sleeves and not even telling her I’d had one! True talent indeed! She then went on to tell me where the breast pain was coming from and what she was going to do about it while i just laid there with my eyes closed and thanked my lucky stars that i was recommended to see her back in 2011.

While i am on the subject of recommendations, i need to mention that it’s now over six weeks since meditation was recommended to me as a way of dealing with the pain in my mons area. I am absolutely thrilled to say that I’ve not felt the need to take an opiate painkiller since my first class! I don’t even come close to understanding why it works but Annette made a point today which maybe explains it a little and that was that I was open minded enough to give it a go even though i was a little sceptical and because i felt so at ease with the lady who takes the class i was a very willing student. I have not missed a single day meditating even though sometimes it’s only for 15 minutes. Both Denise and i are feeling the benefit and regularly fall asleep listening to the “smiling minds” app which we have also found useful. I think the key is exactly that, having an open mind! All i can say is long may it continue and thank you to the person who suggested it!


I have been experiencing an increasing amount of breast pain recently which came to a head on Sunday. The natural thing to do when something hurts is to touch it an feel where the pain is, unfortunately when i did this i could feel a definite lump which set alarm bells ringing. It was extremely sore and the more i touched it the more pronounced it seemed to be. Mindful of the fact that I’ve been told on a number of occasions that sinister lumps in breasts are very rarely painful i thought about it for a while then decided it was better to be safe than sorry and made an online booking to see one of my wonderful GPs first thing Monday morning.

I haven’t seen this one for sometime and she seemed very surprised to see me but she was lovely as usual. We talked for a while about my other ongoing issues which she was very happy to hear that i seem to have them under control at the moment at least. She then moved on to the breast pain and performed a very thorough examination. She got to the area where the pain was the most intense and proceeded to give it a good old press, I yelped with pain and she apologised. After giving it some thought she decided i should have an ultrasound and printed a referral for me, she then wrote on it +/- FNA. I’ve seen this before and there was immediate horror running through me, the mere thought of someone sticking a needle, however fine, into my very painful breast made me feel almost sick! She explained why she thought it necessary, gave me a hug and i left.

Now here’s the thing, I’ve spent forty plus years hiding my breasts and staying covered up at all times but now that i can be proud of them the thought of having to have surgery on them brought real fear. Accordingly, i went straight to West Coast Radiology and made an appointment with the lady i have seen numerous times for one thing or another. I didn’t have long to wait as they could fit me in today. When I arrived the receptionist did all the usual checks of name, address and date of birth and asked me to take a seat. I had only just sat down when the sonographer called me in. She asked how I’d been and we talked about the issue with the breast while i took off my top and laid on the bed. She was extremely thorough and explained the visuals on the screen. She asked me about my HRT program and my diet and lifestyle then announced that the lump was almost certainly asymmetrical gynecomastia and while it was painful it wasn’t sinister. She also went to great lengths to tell me I’d done the correct thing in getting it checked out but no FNA was needed. Talk about a sigh of relief, i thanked her very much, gave her a hug and left.

I had work organised for this afternoon so went home, changed my clothes, had some lunch and headed to the job. The work was for a lovely lady whom I’d been recommended to by one of my longest standing customers which is always appreciated. I had done some of the jobs last week but the weather had prevented me from doing a couple of outdoor jobs. One of them was to re-affix an outdoor light to a tree. The brackets had rusted away and it had fallen off, it shouldn’t have been a difficult job but i needed to remove the remains of the old bracket. As the screws were well and truely rusted I decided to cut it off with the angle grinder. Sadly this was where it all went wrong! With the bracket in one hand and the grinder in the other, somehow my right hand came into contact with the wheel. At first it didn’t look more than a scratch but on closer examination i could see the bone of my index finger and the blood was now flowing! I got down off the ladder and went into the house, explained what had happened and was immediately taken to the garage where she produced a first aid kit from her car. She took one look at the wound and announced i would need to go to hospital. She put me in her car after wrapping some sort of dressing around it and we were off.

The triage nurse was lovely, took my details and sent me to the next stage. They went through the details again and sent us back to the waiting area. By this time Denise had arrived after a call by the house owner and we were soon taken through into the treatment area. The doctor examined it and announced that he would need to give me a nerve blocker in order to clean up the wound. I thought it sounded bad news but by this stage i was in considerable pain so didn’t argue. There followed 4 injections in the finger followed by a tetanus in my arm for good measure!

So sadly, instead of one needle in my breast i ended up with 5 in various places and 4 stitches but it could have been much worse. It could easily have cost me a finger so i am at least thankful for that and also that I wasn’t working on my own as it could have been a serious problem! My finger will heal although it could take a while so it will mean taking things easy for some time but at lease i still have all my digits.