I’ve been confined in hospital just five times in the last fifty years. Firstly in Hackney’s German hospital, then Hackney General followed by Romford’s Oldchurch. My final hospitalisation was in the new Queen’s Hospital, Romford. As a consequence, I’ve made it a general rule to avoid my GP unless at deaths door. Unfortunately, after my last imposed incarceration, in the Queen’s Hospital, I had a minor stroke. However, as with all stroke issues, I had to get my GP’s agreement that I was still fit enough to drive.
That wasn’t too difficult, but was subsequently put on a regime of daily pills – another enforced imposition, that I’ve endured since 2014. Some two years later, I received a letter from my GP, saying he wanted me to make an appointment to see him at his surgery. I did no more than put the letter straight in our bin, but a few days later, the Doctor rang me at home. He was very resolute, that I must make an appointment. I started to refuse when he gently, but firmly, told me that as I had been on repeat prescription for some considerable time, I either saw him or: no more medication. I’d have been happy to do without the tablets but my wife was scathing about my selfish attitude.
So like the good little underdog that I am, I went to the Doctors. The consultation wasn’t as bad as I had expected and we both agreed that I would go to see him at least twice a year. That was eighteen months ago but today, I think I must have upset him, when he asked if I had had the flu jab.
“No!” I emphatically replied.
He then asked if “I would like a one off injection against ‘shingles’.”
“No, thank you,” I replied.
He said, “Very well. Your blood pressure readings are fine.” And he handed me back my blood pressure readings which I’d printed out at home.
As I got up to leave, I said, “See you again in July then, Doctor”.
He then dropped the bombshell, “No, I want you to have a blood sample taken and return here in April or early May”.
What is it with Doctors? The last thing I want is a needle shoved into me and my blood tested. I quickly weighed up my chances to either refuse or convince him that a blood test was really not necessary. His resolute look though, made me keep silent. He typed out the blood application on his computer and handed the form to me. “Nothing but a little water on the morning when you take the test” he said. I then left to go home.
On reflection, I suppose I am being a bit of a baby in my attitude towards the National Health Service and would feel very affronted if all health care was held from me unless I had private health insurance or something like that. So, I will attend the local clinic, where Dracula will extract my precious blood.