A first for me – The first of March 2021.

Is the patient breathing?

How very strange it is to dial 999 for the very first time ever, to be greeted with “Emergency, which service do you require?” and to be asked that question, followed by “Is the patient conscious?” when the patient is actually the one making the call and that patient is ME!

I then went through an obviously very well scripted and professional series of questions to ascertain, in the fastest possible time, just what the problem was,  what was required in the way of immediate assistance, and in the longer term.

I had to give my history of Hypertension since 2002, Angina since 2005, Angiograms in 2005 and 2012 and, meanwhile, I was reassured that an ambulance was on its way.

When I last spoke to my doctor she asked “How often do you have to use your GTN spray?” (an under the tongue spray, that I have carried since 2005, to alleviate angina pain by opening up the arteries)   I replied “Oh, I haven’t used it for years.  I carry it around all the time and replace it when the lid starts to fall off!”.

Silly me!  Not that I’m superstitious, but you do have to wonder.

I already had a telephone appointment booked with the doctor in a couple of weeks’ time, a follow up from my tummy troubles that haven’t really cleared since before Christmas.  For a few days I “presented with a general feeling of unwell.” and just felt distinctly yuk.  I also had to use my spray several times!  On Saturday I felt really off and even, secretly, considered whether I needed to go to hospital.  Being a (stubborn old) man I didn’t!   On Sunday I suggested to my wife that I may have to phone the doctor on Monday to get an emergency appointment sooner.

Monday morning I spoke to the doctor and was told to phone 999 immediately, which I did!

Ambulance arrived, blue lights flashing, and I had 2 ECG’s, blood pressure taken several times, history and medication recorded.  All very efficient and reassuring. The ECG’s showed abnormalities, namely First degree heart block, (which I knew I had – and it sounds far worse than it actually is) and ectopic atrial rhythm.  I was allowed to walk out to the ambulance – a very reassuring sign – and was then whisked off to QMC (Queens Medical Centre) Nottingham, to A & E. I was assessed in reception, then moved to the Urgent Treatment Unit where I was given Paracetamol, pink tummy medicine, and liquid morphine.  

A very slick operation followed where I had 3 ECG’s, had my temperature and blood pressure taken about 10 times, had 2 lots of blood taken, a chest X-Ray, a scan of my tummy and bladder, saw 2 surgeons and 3 doctors, countless nurses and assistants, had a bite to eat and a cup of tea, and was eventually allowed to go home with new medication,  2 outpatient appointments booked,  and a collection of labels, gauze, sticky tape, and 10 sticky pads for ECG’s still attached to me. Souvenirs of an unexpected day out that didn’t cost me a penny.

Thank goodness for the NHS.

52 thoughts on “A first for me – The first of March 2021.

    1. Thanks Margaret. I just read all about Malcolm and his affair of the heart! One of the “new” tablets I’ve had twice before and it causes all sorts of side effects unfortunately. Last time Erica had to pick me out of a rose bush!
      Thank goodness for the NHS and for humour!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Oh Peter…I hope you get to the bottom of the problem and feel better very soon. It sounds terribly alarming but as you say, thank God for the NHS. For some bizarre reason, Americans resist such things! Now do as the doctor says!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Goodness, getting out didn’t used to be so dramatic! I’m glad you had a good checkup and hope they get you sorted out promptly. It’s nice to know the system works. I hope you don’t have to use it again any time soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Was the stomach problem really a heart problem or were there two things going on. Your wife and I would get along as we each seem to live with stubborn men. After my husband fell on ice two weeks ago and banged his head he said “I’ll see if I need to have it checked out.” I made him go. He was fine, but they did do a CAT scan to be sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, gosh, Peter! 😦 I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been through all of this! 😦

    After reading the first sentence I got worried and scared…then I thought, but Peter typed this so he must be home and okay. Whew!

    I’m so glad you got the good care you needed when you needed it. Glad you are home and on the mend. Hope each day gets better and you don’t go through anything like this EVER again.
    I had been thinking of you and praying for you, so I will continue to do so.

    PLEASE listen to your wife…and the doctor. (After my hubby had a surgery…6 weeks out…the doc said he could drive again. I said, “No, I will keep driving you around for a couple more weeks.” He laughed loudly. He still tells the story of the operation and says, “The doc cleared me to drive in 6 weeks. Carolyn didn’t clear me to drive for two more weeks.” And he laughs. 🙂 )

    Please take good care of yourself! We need you around here for at least 30 more years!
    (((HUGS))) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Supportive as ever Carolyn. Thank you so much. I am definitely doing as I’m told and today I resigned from the Chair and trusteeship of a charity to take away a bit of stress. 30 years sounds good. I shall aim for that!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Peter, I am so glad you’ve had good care. Don’t ignore any signs. It’s no time to be stoic. Even though I don’t “know” you, I feel I know you, and you’re someone I really like and admire which is why I follow your blog. Were you to stop posting, I know I would feel a genuine sense of loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow, I’m glad you’re okay! It sounds like you were well taken care of.

    I’ve recently “entered the scene” myself with very high BP after barely ever going to the doctor at all ever, and I admit if it weren’t for free health care on the NHS I would either never have known until something bad happened, or would have known but largely ignored it in an attempt to save money…

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I was shocked and sorry to read of your heart problems.
    You did the right thing dialing 999 and getting yourself to hospital. Realising and admitting that you need medical help is scary.

    I’m delighted that your experience at A&E was such a good one and I agree with you, we are so fortunate to have our wonderful NHS.

    Get well soon Peter. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I know exactly what you mean Peter.
        I’m glad you’re stepping down from some of your responsibilities. You need to put your own health first.
        Please stay well. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I am sorry to read about your recent troubles, Peter. Is it any good saying that you need to take care of yourself? Actually, I have personally experienced A&E and blue flashing lights twice in the last 5 months, the first occasion necessitating a stay in for a few days, followed by what is euphemistically called ‘a procedure’. I am reasonably familiar with GTN spray too (or ‘GTX’ as I call it) – don’t over-do that (and I speak from bitter experience). I think the NHS is amazing in principle, and mostly amazing in practice – it lets itself down sometimes, but where would we be without it? The paramedics, nurses and doctors who treated me in hospital were astonishing. I know Queens’ too – I was at University in Nottingham, so many of my friends were medics; terrifying! Anyway, do as you’re told, rest when you need, exercise as much as you’re allowed – and, as Bruce might have said, keeeep blogging!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Peter! I have a (bad?) habit of saving my blog friends posts until a day off when I have better time to reply. I am so sorry I waited so long. I only ‘like’ this post because you were so well cared for and are back home. Here’s to your health and well being.

    I have to share a bit of odd humor with you. I have a friend who is younger than I. Every time I mention a pain or I get sick she yells DON’T DIE and laughs. Because it makes me laugh. And I know she means it. So in our odd humor I am including you. DON’T DIE. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Peter, my dear friend, thank you for letting us know about your trip to hospital and your fun time there. Please take special care of yourself. You have many friends who want you to stay healthy and corresponding with us. I’m always delighted when I find a response from you…just makes my day. So, stay well, stay safe, and stay in touch.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Wow, Peter! Yes, thank goodness for the NHS! Isn’t it nice to live in countries like ours where we know we can be taken care of and not go into debt for the rest of our lives?
    Glad you got all sorted!

    Liked by 1 person

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