Tuesday, 11th October, 2016

This was my least favourite day of the holiday so far. My leg was still giving me trouble so, heeding advice from several of you back in Australia, I decided to again brave the British NHS (National Health System)

You can choose the short version or the longer version of what happened:

Short Version:

No conclusive results - but they decided the problem is not an infection (probably), but inflammation. Given another round of antibiotics anyway as well as anti-inflammatories. An ultrasound could not preclude the presence of a blood clot so..., I get to inject myself every night with blood thinning medication for a week. Then back to NHS for another ultrasound.

Long (and probably boring) Version:

Unlike Australia where we are lucky enough to be able to access a doctor the same day or, worst case, the next day, in England they have to wait as much as three weeks. The NHS provides "Walk In Centres" where anyone can go who needs medical attention. These are run in a similar fashion to our hospital emergency departments.

I arrived about 10:00am and had to wait two hours before I could be seen. The triage nurse agreed with me that the antibiotics had had little success in controlling the infection and I was sent of to the nearby hospital to be checked by a doctor and to have an ultrasound to make sure that the problem was not being caused by deep vein thrombosis (blood clot).

I arrived a little before 1:00pm (the Walk In Centre having already contacted them about my case). I was immediately offered a cup of tea and a sandwich (free and most welcome).

After another hour, blood was taken for testing. They left something in the vein as they thought a drip would be required later.

After another while, the doctor had a look. He didn't think it was an infection but rather inflammation. An ultrasound was ordered. At 3:00pm was taken to another ward and this was duly done. The operator called in someone else for a second opinion. They decided that the possibility of a blood clot could not be ruled out in the lower calf (an area not affected by pain or redness).

About 5:00pm the doctor reviewed the report of the ultrasound and the blood tests. My blood did not show an abnormal level of infection (but maybe that's because of the antibiotics I thought?).

The doctor sent me off to another department to learn about injections that I have to give myself (!!!) every day for a week. This is to thin my blood in case there is a clot. Then I had to go back to the walk in centre to go to the Pharmacy to get more antibiotics (not sure why when doctor said the problem was not an infection), some anti-infammatory pills and the dreaded needles!

Finally got back to our accommodation about 6:00pm, absolutely exhausted!

I'm not at all convinced that they have "nailed" the problem - I suppose we will know a bit more after the next installment of this saga! I must say, though, that everyone I dealt with through the day was absolutely great. Very kind, caring, understanding and friendly. The other thing I was amazed about was the time taxis take to arrive after being ordered. Literally one minute! The one at the end of the day arrived in less than a minute. Unbelievable! Furthermore, the taxis are clean and the drivers pleasant and courteous.


Meanwhile, Satoshi had been at the Pleasure Beach, enjoying rides on roller coasters! I was disappointed not to have been able to go because some of the rides are older amusements such as wooden roller coasters and River Caves which I really enjoy. Bother!

So... no photos today!

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