The saga starts about a month ago. Phone call from doctor's surgery - time for my 3 monthly blood check for kidney function. Earliest appointment to get it done at the local surgery, three weeks away. I duly turn up at the appointed time. Blood pressure checks OK. Attempt to draw blood from right arm - fail, nothing. Attempt on left arm - fail, just one drop. Apparently there is some rule or recommendation that only two attempts are allowed.
I'm given the choice of trying to make a new appointment with a different nurse or have it done at the local hospital. I chose the hospital. I turned up bright and early as the queue is always short at that time of day. Within 30 seconds of my turn being called all is done successfully and I am back on my way home.
Doctor receives the results next day and is not happy as they are 'borderline' so I have to go back to the hospital the next day to give more samples. Again all runs smoothly. This time the doctor receives the results by the afternoon and thinks they show abnormalities and insists I attend the hospital Urgent Care Centre straight away. (The UCC replaced the A&E unit)
More blood samples taken. Those had to be sent to another, fairly local, hospital for testing. I had to hang around until the results are sent through. Estimate about an hour and a half. Meanwhile I get a BP and ECG check. BP a bit high. Usually is when I go anywhere near a medical unit of any sort. ECG turned out to be normal. Doctor listens to heart. All OK.
After another two hours the blood test results came through. Most within normal levels. Just Potassium is slightly raised. Referred back to my local doctor for continuous checking. Given some advice on what to watch out for with my diet as raised Potassium in the blood increases the chance of a heart attack.
My doctor wanting an immediate hospital check didn't do a lot for my panic level but the thorough check up showing I'm still in decent shape for my age made it worth it in the long run. One thing I can say from my experiences of local NHS services over the past 20 - 25 years, in spite of all its staffing and money problems, if they perceive a need for swift action they don't hold back.
9 hours ago