I Spoke Too Soon
Did I really give my last blog entry the title Unscathed? Tempting fate and living dangerously might spice up retirement but aren't necessarily to be recommended.
Of course the portent of doom was obviously already floating in the stars on Tuesday night when at 6pm and on the coldest day of the winter so far, there was a power outage across the village. Now you may not recall, but Tuesday evening, 7pm was, of course, the kick-off time for the England v Wales World Cup match. I can't imagine how awful it must have been for the poor souls on the other end of the customer helpline that evening, who would inevitably have been inundated with angry would-be TV viewers. After all I felt aggrieved and am hardly a die-hard follower.
Electricity was restored by 7.30pm but not after the customer care personnel had presumably received short shrift from disappointed football supporters. Even if the fans were spared the agony of a first half that by all acounts was made up of back passing and a lack of action, the celestial bodies were already forecasting destiny.
The heavenly alignment might have produced a win for England but not only did it cut our power supply, it also clearly decided to interefere with my own aura of contentment still further. So it was that yesterday, retirement was interrupted to make yet another visit to the local hospital's Urgent Treatment Centre. Now it may have been all of 4 months this time since our last visit but I assure you it hadn't changed one bit. Chalking up what I believe was now our 5th visit of the year was not only overkill but also an irritating inconvenience with a 3 hour wait. We were referred there by our local doctor, however, on the basis that attending A&E at the main hospital could necessitate a 13 hour wait!
And the misfortune that had befallen us this time? I thought it was a trapped sciatic nerve, another new experience but certainly an agonising one with pain shooting down the back of my leg. My GP was not wholly convinced when I had seemingly lost all power in that leg too and wanted various tests to be carried out to ensure it wasn't anything more serious. So I guess we sat in that waiting room, and sat and sat, just to make sure all the serious boxes could have No entered against them.
The great thing about sitting still for a long period (excepting my wander around the rows of seats from time to time to avoid total rigidity) is that the body has an opportunity to relax and recover. So, without any treatment, there was a perceived improvement in my condition long before I was seen or X-rayed, leaving the doctor on duty scratching his head and offering an explanation based on the muscle spasms that can accompany sciatic symptoms causing weakness. I’m not sure that our succession of visits has yet earned us the VIP pass we surely crave, but I have been told to return immediately should there be any repetition over the weekend.
On a serious note, it is of concern that at a time when we’ve clearly joined the demographic most in need of NHS services, it is very evidently operating at and beyond capacity. Political nous can fix it but whilst we have a government with priorities that lie elsewhere, will it ever happen?