Thursday, September 27, 2007

(What A) Carry On Nurse

Continuing with the medical theme of the last couple of posts, I need to vent about my trip to the doc's this morning. If I don't, my BP will rise and we can't have that. Well I can't anyway.

Today I had my annual appointment at the Chronic Illness Clinic (or something like that) which is my surgery's attempt to be proactive about patient care. Now I know I shouldn't belittle any proactive measures, as heaven knows, our ailing NHS service cannot afford to do much in the way of stopping illness and has it's hands full treating it once it has struck us down.

But for high risk people like me, they run this Clinic and I've never been much of a fan. I applaud the idea but in practice it usually involves taking my BP, weight and height and then having a short chat about my blood test results, my exercise and dietry issues and a review of my medication. That's it.

I take my own BP at home, I weigh myself every Monday morning and unless the problems of global warming and worrying if Hailey will leave Roy have caused my shoulders to sag alarmingly, I'm still the 5' 8" I was last year. I got my blood results 2 days ago, I know all about exercise and the best diet for my condition so what do I actually get from going to this Clinic ?

Nothing much. Today I went as I'd nothing better to do and I did have a couple of questions to ask. My appointment was at 11am and I was out before 11:15am. I did learn something new though. That the nurse had as much knowledge about cholesterol as my doctor had 15 years ago when my reading of 9.6 (371 for US readers) didn't cause him any concern at all. His lack of concern and advice was followed 6 months later by my having my first heart attack, followed closely by an emergency quintuple bypass. Even then, my doctor had diagnosed my heart problems as 'muscle strains' until I insisted on 'going private' and seeing a specialist. Since then I've changed doctors and taken it upon myself to look after my own health and not be fobbed off by any doctor or nurse.

So imagine my surprise when the nurse today told me my HDL reading was 0.9 and said that was very good. "No it's not" I said "it should be over 1.2 and the higher the better"

Nurse : "No the HDL needs to be low and as yours is under 5, that's good."

Me : "NO, the HDL relates to the amount of cholesterol that returns to your liver and so needs to be high. It's the HDL that is the 'good cholesterol' and can be raised by exercise. That's how I remember it......H for Needing To Be High and L (in LDL) for Needing To Be Low."

I won't go on but lets say I was getting nowhere with this nurse and I found myself beginning to doubt my facts and I even said "ok you're the expert" while keeping my fingers tightly crossed.

I came straight home and checked the information pack I'd been given from the hospital from the British Heart Foundation and of course I'd been right.

Now maybe nursey had been having a bad morning and was somehow living in a backwards world but this hasn't stopped me getting steamed up. She also advised me to switch from using olive oil to rapeseed oil which was bizarre at best.

So all in all I think I'll pass on this Clinic in future and when they ask me why, I'll tell them. Maybe I need to ring them now in case that nurse isn't a nurse at all - you hear stories about people with medical aspirations, but no training whatsoever, just walking into jobs and practically performing surgery when the cleaner would know more than they do.

It's all a worry, I tells ya. I feel my BP rising and I'm sure I'm heading towards 5' 7" now. Everything seems so much bigger around me and the remote is getting heavy.

I think I'll have a drink of rapeseed oil and go for a lie down.


Daphne said...

Grrr! Complain to the Practice Manager and kick up a Big Fuss. I don't think you need that clinic, agreed, it's for people who don't take enough of an interest in their own health. But that nurse needs to be Put Straight before she inadvertently kills someone by giving them the wrong advice. We will toast you in gratitude, (but probably not in rapeseed oil).

krip said...

I agree with Daphne. This nurse is obviously not up to speed as regards your condition. Become a grumpy old man and complain to her boss.

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