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Wednesday 17 August 2022

Unexpected Health Check

Encouraged by surviving Sunday’s Burton 10k I try to book into this Friday’s Castle Rock 10k which goes around the University only to discover that the closing date was Sunday night and there doesn’t seem to be entries available on the day. The whole world appears to be against my fitness regime. 

On Monday it rains! Yes that wet stuff that has been AWOL for some time.

Having had a few flutters (for want of a better word) in my chest, after cycling last week and after warming down with L post-Burton 10k on Sunday, I do the recommended thing and mention it to my GP’s surgery.

I immediately find out that indicating you could be having a heart attack is an effective way of queue jumping to see your GP.

Having been told someone would ring me back and as last time with my knee this was at about 2pm I take the Lad out for his morning walk only to get called back almost instantly as I walk through the park gates. I am fast tracked into an immediate face to face appointment.  

That appointment turns out just to be a staging post on my way to the hospital where the GP sends me without really doing anything other than check I’m still alive.

They take me to something called AMRA (Acute Medicine Receiving Unit) where they lock the door behind me and tell me to settle in for a long stretch. They do an ECG and a blood test before telling me I need to sit and wait for the results which will be a minimum of three hours. I am given short shrift when I enquire whether I could nip home, do a few hours work and then come back later for the results. I naively thought in this day and age they might give you a number and you could pick them up later. Like at Argos.

The three hours pass and then they keep saying half an hour more over and over again because apparently they are waiting for the results of one last blood until which they won’t let me leave. Having not been offered any food I begin to suspect that they are trying to starve me ahead of some surgery they haven’t told me about but then I eventually get a packed lunch out of them.

Those three hours eventually turn into six before the final test result comes through it and indicates the slight possibility of a blood clot. So they give me a blood thinning injection in my stomach before sending me home and telling me to come back tomorrow for a chest scan.

I have met some real characters in the unit and I’m slightly alarmed to find many of them still there when I dutifully return in the morning. They pump some dye into me and scan me. Then after a more modest two hour wait they send me home having found nothing wrong with me while clearly being suspicious that I’ve been wasting their time. 

I explain that ‘they’ say you should report any ailments as soon as possible before they escalate and that us men are supposedly world class at ignoring stuff we shouldn't ignore. Problem is, as I found out, when you do this they do their best to discourage you from doing it again. Well at least I got a full health check out of it.

I am out in time to get over to see my Dad again where we got to the New Inn in Shardlow for tea. The Lad joins us and enjoys his chips.

(Wednesday 17th August)

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