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!
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
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.
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!