Today I present another short bulletin from my current medical issues, following my return to a hospital clinic to see a consultant about my osteoarthritis-affected hip.
There’s a media story doing the rounds at the moment about the ‘scandal’ of NHS hospitals making over £1 million per annum from car parking charges.
I’m not sure quite where on the ‘scandal scale’ the west London hospital I visited sits. It has a massive car park right in front of its general admission building which was so completely full yesterday that, along with five other prospective patients, I spent over 15 minutes in a fruitless and frustrating search for a free space before eventually ‘bailing out’ and (in my case) driving a quarter of a mile away to park in a local back street. If the car-parking charges are considered excessive at this place, then people don’t seem to care.
After a 45-minute wait beyond my appointment time, I was admitted to see my man.
My blood test had fortunately revealed that every bodily organ – including some I wasn’t aware that I possessed – was working well.
Since our last meet, he had sent me for a spinal x-ray as a precautionary move (eliminatory, if you like) to check that my thigh discomfort wasn’t – in whole or in part – caused by referred nerve pain originating in the spine, i.e. rather than the hip.
It wasn’t, but the x-ray had revealed that three vertebrae at the bottom of my spine were compacted, which could cause me later problems. My hunch is that this may have resulted from years, if not decades, of sitting at a desk or table and working upon my computer. However, just in case, I asked whether my similar periods of couch-potatoing in front of the television might have been a factor. The doctor replied bluntly “No”.
I’m now being sent upon a course of physiotherapy to improve the flexibility in my back and thigh further. Visits to the gym are now allowed, only for light exercise and no weights to begin with, plus swimming and saunas – both of which will be good for me.
This is a huge advance.
If I can keep this up, my quest to represent Great Britain in the 2016 Rio Olympics may be back on!