James Miller - Coeliac Diary


Friday, July 25, 2003

First Appointment


The appointment was very far from the stereotype of a typical visit to the NHS!

I had prepared for it though, taking an unread copy of New Scientist (Always take intelligent reading when you visit a doctor, so they don't think you're a moron!) and the day's Guardian, which headlined how if you go to Guinea on business, you can end up in Guantanamo Bay, with little chance of release!

I walked in to the hospital and the first surprise was that I was approached by an elderly man was a happy face and a badge, who asked where I was going and could he help. He then showed me to the clinic. 'Meeters and Greeters' - What Next?

Next turned out to be an appointment with the consultant (A professor actually!) that was only fifteen minutes late and took a full half hour. The questioning and examination was very thorough and except for no electro-cardiogram, was as extensive of many that I've had for a pilot's licence.

The consultant prescribed a few blood tests and a chest X-ray for now and a stomach ultrasound for later. He said that he'd write when he had the details of the tests.

The consultant had said that if I booked in at X-ray, I could then go and have the blood tests.

What? Parallel processing in the NHS? Never! But it certainly looks like it!

Now in common with most people (And especially men!), I don't like blood tests. I was to provide six samples! I'd waited about a minute for the blood tests, when I was called by a nurse. Oh! dear, that was a bit quick! Couldn't I have composed myself better?

I tried the usual routine of chatting about all and nothing, whilst reading the Fire Instructions on the wall. I felt a prick and before I'd got to the first real paragraph after the introduction, the nurse had said I could go.

Where was the pain? Nowhere! But there were six full syringes on the side, with what looked like blood in them. Perhaps it was mine!

The chest X-ray was routine and quick, too!

A point here, is that the radiographer said that the lungs of the average couch-potato are a third the size of someone who is fit! A good reason if ever one is needed to exercise!

So I left Addenbrooke's about an hour after I first walked in. Not very stereotypical!

Tip - Parking at Addenbrooke's Hospital

This is virtually non-existent. If like me you don't have a problem with walking and exercise, then park at the Babraham Road Park and Ride and the hospital is a ten minute walk.


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