Category: hospital

Morris The Mole Goes On A Trip.


The REAL Mole

The REAL Mole

After the excitement of ‘meeting’ Morris the Mole (aka Freddie the Freckle/Neville the Nevus) last week, it fell to your beloved Lifestyle Support Guru to take him on a visit to Sheffield Eye Clinic at the request of Derby Eye Clinic. Sheffield wanted to see him at 8.45 IN THE MORNING! Morris hadn’t even learned that such a time existed, so it was decided to travel to Sheffield the night before. Actually, the idea was to set off during the day and possibly fit in a little shopping, but this excellent plan was foiled from the start because it seemed a good idea to set up a new wireless printer before setting off… (it’s still not working)

Train accident

Train accident

Upon arrival at the station, we found that the train was delayed because, as it was clearly announced over the sound system, ‘someone has been hit by a train in Bedford’. Now, I know we can all get cross when delays aren’t explained, but the LSG felt that this was perhaps a little bit TOO much information!
Upon arrival in Sheffield, it was rather nice to be greeted by a chap playing a piano in the station foyer (Lara’s Theme from Dr Zhivago) while a drunk sat in a corner watching him with a silly grin on his face and a can of super-strength lager in his hand. Such a welcoming and homely picture!



The hotel was pleasant enough, although Morris and I were rather glad not to have been placed in Room 101, which was tucked away by itself in a corner of the corridor. I could swear I heard cries for help coming from there as we walked past…
Since the sun was now well over the yardarm, we decided to venture out to a local nearby hostelry which looked rather cosy and quaint from the outside. Upon entering said hostelry, Morris and I found ourselves in the company of one of the strangest group of people ever seen (outside one or two dodgy pubs in Derby where they have their own alien subculture). Most (if not all) of the clientele AND the bar staff had clearly exceeded the government guidelines on alcohol consumption and the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ ‘Californication’ was playing on the jukebox, even though the average age was about 60; this was immediately followed by ‘Coward of the County’, with everyone joining in the chorus. Such fun!
The next morning, we got a taxi to the Eye Clinic, being regaled on the way by the taxi driver’s tales of his own continuing eye problems (not really what you want to hear from a driver!) and telling us how Sheffield is ‘a lovely city’, apart from one area where the local youths enjoy throwing bricks at taxis. He seemed to think that leaving Europe was the only solution to this problem…

Morris The Mole

Morris The Mole

The return train journey was fairly uneventful, with no announcements of people being hit by trains or other large objects.
A friend texted me to ask if Morris was going be evicted or would we be cohabiting, to which I replied that we would be cohabiting since Morris is a friendly mole (i.e. benign). My only hope is that Derby City Council doesn’t find out and take away my single person’s council tax rebate!

And that was the end of Morris’s ‘awfully big adventure’!

Hospital visiting

diagram of personality


A good evening to you all from the Lifestyle Support Guru and I hope today’s post finds you well! I am currently wondering if I need a new title – I picked up a leaflet at a charming little café in Derby the other day which had been placed there (the leaflet, not the café) by an ‘integrative counsellor/psychotherapist’. Does the LSG need to move with the times and be ‘integrative’ and would I then become an iLSG? If so, do you think Apple might be interested in my services?
Moving on: today I wish to discuss hospital visits. I have described a previous visit – if you remember, my left kidney was described as ‘very photogenic’ and it still hasn’t let me forget that. However, this particular most recent visit was to the Eye Department where they found that I have a ‘nevus’ on my eye. ‘What is a nevus?’ you ask. Well, it was described as a little mole or freckle, which sounds quite cute, really, so I

nevus on retina

Nevus on Retina

have decided to call this mole Morris, which seems a very good name for a mole, I think (I had considered Malcolm the Mole, but I already own Malcolm-the-strangely-named-cat-from-Australia, and I didn’t want to confuse him). I may also refer to it as Neville the Nevus or Freddie the Freckle. Somehow, I feel that a mole needs a masculine name. The consultant said they would just have to keep an eye on it, at which I smiled broadly but the consultant didn’t – I wonder how soon eye specialists get fed up of everyone coming up with that joke!
The visit was quite interesting in a number of ways – I have never seen so many women without eye makeup in one place, for a start! Whilst waiting, I read a thriller in which the police became suspicious about a character because ‘there wasn’t a fresh vegetable anywhere’ in the character’s kitchen. I hadn’t realised that fresh vegetables were a sign of guilt or innocence, so I had better rush out and buy some before I go straight to the top of their ‘Wanted’ list.

Garden vegetables

Fresh Vegetables

The appointment was for late afternoon and by the time it was finished, it was almost dark. Not having had lunch, and feeling rather hungry but not keen on going home to cook (which won’t surprise many of you), I decided to treat myself to a meal at a pub/restaurant opposite the hospital. I asked the very nice waitress for a table for one, thinking she’d show me to some dark, little corner out of the way, as often happens, but she sat me down right in the path of everyone coming into the restaurant section, which didn’t bother me at all – I just smiled at all the other customers as they walked past and carried on reading my thriller, wondering what other insights into the criminal mind I might learn. A full washing basket is a sign of a serial killer, perhaps? Or a lack of hoovering indicates psychopathic tendencies? What surprised me most of all, however, was that

Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc

the restaurant menu prices practically doubled after 7 pm, for exactly the same food, so I was pretty pleased that I’d made it in time to order the cheapskate version! I had a very nice steak, then the waitress asked if I would like some pudding; when I said no, she smiled and said, ‘Ah, the wine’s obviously enough.’ She hadn’t looked like the sarcastic sort…

And so I wended my way home with Morris/Nevus/Freddie to introduce him (them?) to Charlie, Molly and Malcolm. I hope they can all be good friends. Enjoy your evening, dear devotees. I look forward to hearing if you think I should become integrative. In the meantime, I’m off to the ‘Fresh veg’ section of Sainsbury’s.

NHS Cost To Patient

A very good afternoon to all my beloved followers! I had intended to write a reply to Peter’s query about EDUCATION but I feel I have something of greater importance to pass on to you, my dearest devotees. What is this? I hear you cry (I hear you crying quite a lot when you read my posts). Today’s lesson to guide you through the pitfalls you may encounter on your journey through life is THE TRUE COST OF THE NHS. However, this is not about the plight of junior doctors and nurses, dreadful though this may be. NO – this is about THE TRUE COST OF THE NHS TO THE PATIENT!


Kidney shaped willow

Although you may think of the Lifestyle Support Guru as immortal and immune to pain and illness, I am sorry to say that I can, at times, be almost as human as you, my adoring acolytes.
As always, I shall set the scene: a member of the medical profession decided, in his wisdom, that I should have two scans – one to see if I had kidney stones and one to see if I had any bones. I can only assume that he decided on the latter because he had seen me wobbling home after a night out and wondered if, in fact, I was really made of jelly.
The relevant appointments came through and I read the instructions carefully. For the kidney scan, it said that I should not eat for 6 hours before it, so, with great sadness, I put aside my plans for cooking myself a gourmet 3-course meal. It also said I should arrive with a full bladder

gourmet meal

and suggested that the best way to do this was to drink 1-2 pints of fluid an hour before the appointment. Since the appointment was mid-afternoon, I considered going for a liquid lunch at my local but thought that might not be a good idea, so contented myself with water. It also said that I may need to get undressed and to bring a dressing gown with me – and this is where THE COST TO THE PATIENT starts!
1. Cost of new dressing gown (because the current one is rather tatty)
2. Cost of spray tan (because of a bad summer) £20
3. Cost of several bottles of water £5
4. Cost of new, matching underwear (you never know!) £30
5. Cost of M&S sandwich because you’re starving after the scan £3
6. Cost of car parking £3

Cost of a kidney scan PRICELESS!

However, there are some positive aspects to be drawn from this experience:
1. There was no sign of kidney stones.
2. My left kidney was described as ‘very photogenic’, which is pleasing, since the rest of me isn’t.


jelly bones

Now, as for the jelly bones scan – which took place this morning – the hardest part of that was putting on the hospital gown provided (they didn’t tell me to bring a dressing gown). I was a little upset that the attendant gave me two gowns ‘in case one isn’t enough’ and wondered what she was trying to say, but I soon forgot about this as I spent a jolly few minutes putting on the gown. There was a set of instructions on the cubicle wall, with pictures of a very dodgy-looking man with a superior little smile on his face demonstrating how to put on the gown. Somehow, my gown didn’t look quite as neat as his when I had finished (but at least I didn’t need the second one!).
The scan was rather boring and I wasn’t told that I had photogenic bones, so I left this appointment feeling rather deflated, although the radiologist didn’t seem to think I was lacking any bones, so that is a good sign, and I spent a lot less money:

1. Cost of car parking £2.20

Positive aspects of this scan:

1. I didn’t need two hospital gowns.
2. I still have bones.
3. I was back home in time for Pop Master on Radio 2.

Well, there you have it – the NHS may be FREE, but it can still eat into your life savings at a rate of knots because of all the ‘extras’!
Enjoy the rest of your day, fabulous followers!