Friday, 17 June 2011


I have been trying to fix basic things which is increasingly difficult these days, now money seems so scarce. I have heard that many quite respectable people are getting by with out proper gas, electricity or regular hot water as if their boiler goes they’ve had it – it’s too expensive to replace them.
I had a letter saying that my Neasden excursion on May 17th had been in vain. They have decided not to give me any money; my small disability allowance has stopped. No more Montmorency cherry juice and monk fish for me.
This might easily be followed by a letter from the same people awarding me a certain amount, as that happened a lot months back when the whole rigmarole began. I have never seen evidence of any money from them on my bank statements. I don’t think I ever received any. It was a kind of virtual money that drifted in cyber space somewhere between us.
The next bit of bad luck was visiting my local vet, C.J. Hall in Acton. This was just to have old Maisie’s teeth cleaned. They asked if I wanted her to have a blood test, at a mere £60. I said no, as she looks quite healthy to me.
In the afternoon they rang to say there seemed to be some sign of thyroid trouble as she had “lost a lot of weight.” I naturally agreed to the blood test. Later I got another call to say there was no thyroid problem. She had lost weight over two years – and she is an old cat. I got a bill for £300 – and not even an extraction.
I cannot afford vets anymore. I lump them in with estate agents, loan sharks and nurses as people with a smart appearance and criminal tendencies.
Rang up the Blue Cross, I am just outside their income range, and tried the RSPCA who were not open. The Mayhew Clinic where Rolf Harris made his programmes are supposed to be more reasonable and it would be cheaper to take a cab there and back to see them than pay my local vets who obviously have an obsessional need to buy themselves yachts.
Off to the dentists in South Ealing, the nearest NHS dentist who seems competent. I had a really bad experience with one just up the road in Acton Vale. Complete check up clean and polish for just £17.00. That is a bargain these days, if only he would see cats, but for how long? He tells me the government are advising dentists to only see clients once a year. He’s worried that NHS dentists are being slowly marginalised and has considered branching out into botox.
For most of us the twice yearly appointment has been the rule of a life-time starting at about the age of three. Seeing this sacred ritual discarded, I know this country has really changed.
Back to Queen Charlotte’s to see Mr McKindo, who operated on me in May 2010, to see about a repair to a hernia made at that time.
He seems so nice and charming, just like Prof Gabra last time I met him. On the day of the diagnosis they both seemed cold and forbidding, if not exhausted and tetchy.
Mr Mckindo seemed keen to do the op, and it’s surprising that he has so many dates free to do it. If I was in agony, needed a hip replacement, or my carpal tunnel fixed no doubt there would be a long delay – that’s NHS logic.
After we’d made the appointment he looked in my notes. Seeing him lift the file gave me a queasy feeling. I didn’t want him to, as if I’d got a bad school report or a criminal record. I was suddenly afraid that he would see all that ominous stuff, and say something that would throw me off balance. Later I wondered if he had given me a prompt appointment because he felt sorry for me. Going back to hospital is difficult. It seems I will have to stay in the dreaded Victor Bonney Ward where I had such a bad time. I made a formal complaint about the nursing on that ward, which was dismissed. It will be interesting to go there again – I will be more on my metal this time and taking notes.
I have insomnia again probably because I am about to go travelling, so I have been listening to the Mausoleum Club on Radio 4 Extra. This is pronounced, “Mouse-o-leum,” but none of the presenters seem to grasp this, not even Arthur Smith, who was in one episode himself.
They are parodies of Victorian tales, written by Ian Brown and James Hendrie with a wonderful cast. The last one was a sharp send-up of Sherlock Holmes. I can’t wait for The Twist of the Knob and Trevor Island.
Marriage has many pains but celibacy has Radio 4.

1 comment:

  1. Glad to hear you are now having your hernia repaired. Its now nearly 9 weeks since I had mine repaired with the whole of the midline incision re-opened. However its not at all like the hysterectomy, not as painful or physically restricting - but its all quite delicate for quite a long time. I certainly found it all hit and miss after the op even down to a 6 week follow-up not being scheduled and very little or contradictory advice. The main thing seems to be absolutely no heavy lifting for 6 weeks they say but actually much more like 3-4 months - as I was told by a.n.other consultant who saw me last week. He also said the tissue grows for the rest of your life but takes 1-2 years to finish its coverage of the mesh and be strong.

    Anyway I had a large piece of mesh and a large incision you may not need that. If you do the most useful piece of info I gleaned this week was that twinges continue for a while and you start to feel really better after 3-4 months. So don't let other people minimalise it - for some reason I've suffered a lot from other peoples' perceptions of what both these types of surgery mean and how long recovery is for.
    The very best of luck to you.