Toward the end of last month, I had to go back to the hospital to review where I was after my stay back in February. I was scheduled to go in the middle of June, but with one illness and another, it got cancelled and rescheduled. We had been watching the news programs which showed patients waiting in corridors for long periods, waiting to be admitted to a ward. This was not our experience at all. More on this in a while.
I was to have an Electrocardiogram which shows a graph of my heartbeat followed by an Echocardiogram, to get a look at how my replacement Mitral valve was working. The Electrocardiogram showed that I still had what the medical people call Atrial Flutter/Fibrillation. This is where the heart is beating irregularly. The image shows this quite well. The large peaks show that the blood leaving the heart is going at the correct pace, whereas the small peaks show the problem with the irregular heartbeat. TheEchocardiogram however showed that the valve was behaving itself.
The next step is I will need to wear a portable ECG monitor for 24 hours. this will give the Cardiologist a more accurate picture of the problem. The stage after that is the more worrying one. Once the data from the portable monitor has been analysed, the Cardiologist will decide If I need to undergo Cardioversion. Cardioversion is a medical procedure that uses quick, low-energy shocks to restore a regular heart rhythm. It’s a treatment for certain types of irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias), including atrial fibrillation.
As mentioned above, there had been TV news videos showing patients on trolleys, and in corridors for hours on end. My appointment was at 14:30. I arrived at 14:25. after both procedures and a good talk with the Cardiologist, I was out at 15:20. A total of 50 minutes. I was amazed as I was expecting to be there until 18:00ish.
I had to go to Leeds today. Mrs H was having some treatment for her bad foot. She would have normally gone on her own, but she wasn’t allowed to drive for four hours after the treatment, so I was the chauffeur. Since taking early retirement (or voluntary redundancy to give its proper title) in 2016, I have only been to the City centre once. We went to see a film and a meal and I hated it. There were people of all ages sitting in doorways of shops that had closed. Sat in sleeping bags with bottles of cheap wine at their side. All seemed to have some kind of dog with them, which I assume was for security, but it may have been to expose the compassionate nature of the gullible passer-by. I said then that I would only go back to Leeds if I had no choice.
When you work in a place, you do not tend to see the actual area. You move from place to place to fulfil your tasks, without stopping to ‘take in the view’ so to speak. On this occasion and the previous visit, I was able to take in what was happening in the City. It was not pleasant. Today we parked up near the Leeds General Infirmary. Mrs H was having some treatment at the Nu****ld hospital on Leighton Street.
Next to where I was parked, is a homeless shelter, which has been there for over 50 years. It has always been the same. Frequented by alcohol and drug dependents, it is not a particularly salubrious area, but it serves a purpose. When I worked at the hospital, the place catered for around 7 or 8 people. Now, as I understand it there are in excess of 30 people that use the shelter, and a lot of them spill out onto the streets outside. I saw at least 4 young people today, at 09:30 drinking beer. Not cheap supermarket beer, but quality stuff. Although I don’t know or appreciate their circumstances, it does make one feel more than a little uneasy.
Just when I thought I could put the week and it’s problems to bed, the issue with the dishwasher raised it’s ugly head again. Mrs H. had gone out for a walk and I thought I would sort the dishwashing out as there was quite a bit. It was all loaded and I set it off on the usual short programme.
I was upstairs and when I came down I saw that the wash was over. I began to unload, when I spotted the tell-tale sign that something was amiss. The machine had not fully drained again, and there was a pool of water in the bottom. You would not believe the language that was flying about. All I could think at the time was that it was going to cost me another £50.00 to get it fixed!
After a short time of deep breathing, I thought I would have a go at fixing it myself. I remembered what the plumber had done last time. So I began to try and get the water out so I could have a better look. It is surprising how much water lay in the bottom of the machine. At best I would say that there was about 2/3 of an average washing up bowl and there’s me trying to drain it out with a small plastic cup. It took about 15 minutes before enough water had been removed to enable me to have a poke around, to find what was causing the jam. Nothing!
More of the bad language ensued before I remembered that there was a small plate that covered the pump, where something get caught. I tried to remove the plate with a small Philips screwdriver and then a similar size Pozi Drive screwdriver. Neither worked and the screw would not budge. Out came the head-torch and magnifying glass which revealed that I needed a star screwdriver or “Torx” driver.
Once I found the correct size it was an easy task to remove the plate. Almost at once I saw the offending matter. It was again, a small piece of plastic that had caught in the flow pipe. I removed it and fished around to see if there was anything else in there. There didn’t appear to be, so with bated breath I set the machine off on a cold rinse. It seemed to have worked. All the parts were put back, and I programmed the machine for a hot wash as before and everything was working as expected. At the end of the wash I trepidly opened the machine to find that everything was all normal again and much to my embarrassment I exclaimed out loud “Who’s the Daddy!”