Saturday, 1 October 2016

The NHS and my Granddaughter

My life continues to be blessed as the following two stories will show.

My Granddaughter

On Tuesday 28th September 2016, our three year old granddaughter, Mabel, came to visit us with her father, Alex. They and our daughter had recently moved away from Brighton so that they will be nearer the centre of London where our daughter will be working for the next twelve months. If Southern Rail had been a bit more reliable recently, they might never had thought to go. We were a little concerned how Mabel would deal with a trip back to Brighton having just got used to London. However, she seemed to take it all in her stride and there were no tears when she had to leave even though she had not had her usual nap after lunch. Now, there is a small recess in a wall inside our house in which we have kept for quite a few years a flat grey pebble, a keyring with keys attached and a little woollen donkey which was originally the fob to the keyring. As Mabel passed this recess as she had done so many times before, she paused and picked up each of these objects one by one, kissed them and then put them back and walked on.   


The National Hospital of Neurology and Neurosurgery
On Wednesday 28th September 2016, I went up to London for a Re-Assessment of the Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) surgery. I had been experiencing little problems over the last year or so since the surgery in May 2014 and, at my last regular meeting with the delightful Patricia Limousin, the Neurologist in overall charge of that section at the National Hospital of Neurology and Neurosurgery (NHNN) at Queen Square, she suggested that I return for this re-assessment. 

Well, as before, the treatment I received was exemplary. Joseph Candelario, one of the specialist Parkinson's Nurses at the hospital, oversaw my stay. I wasn't an In-Patient but they did arrange for me and Jane to stay at the Holiday Inn around the corner, the cost of which is apparently much, much less than the cost of putting me up in the hospital itself. I won't bore you with all the details of what happened but I must tell you that again I was overwhelmed by the dedication, kindness and professionalism shown by all the staff there including Joseph himself (who with patience, clarity and good humour explained carefully everything he was doing), Tim Grover (the speech therapist with a beautiful smile and kind eyes), Catherine Milabo (the specialist Parkinson's Nurse and only recently returned to work after maternity leave), Dr Limousin and all the other nurses, doctors and secretarial staff who work there and most of whom I saw at different times over the three days I was being 'fine-tuned' as Joseph put it.  And also the other patients with whom we chatted whilst we were there and whose names we never swapped with our own but who also were full of praise for the hospital and the people who work there.

This is the NHS at its best, staffed by wonderful caring and well-trained human beings from all parts of the globe - in fact, apart from the patients, we only met one person who was English in the NHNN and the Hotel combined. If, after Brexit, the non-English workers are repatriated (and I am not saying that will happen but there are apparently some weirdos out there hoping it will), the whole country, let alone the NHS, will grind to a halt. Taxes should be raised to ensure the future of the NHS but the politicians are scared to death that that they will lose votes if they do this and yet, everyone I speak to would gladly pay more to preserve it.

So, thank you all at NHNN for what you did in 2014 and for what you continue to do.


He filmed her with a camcorder
As she walked daintily along the corridor
This was all the space they had in which to work,
She could not have been more than, 23 or 24?

He said that he had had DBS a fortnight ago
And, since, some sort of relapse but now felt fine,
He'd played with Greaves, came from Norfolk and smiled;
I guess he was about, what, 49?

They had both travelled up from Wales
Her head hung at an angle of 45 degrees
Yet, this was far better than before her operation;
Her age? I guess 53?

I found some loose change in my bag,
I gave it all to the guys sleeping by the road,
They were Julio and Simona from Bulgaria
Both in their thirties I suppose.

How lucky am I to live in England!
With an NHS - how lucky to be alive!
I have had one life and now I have another 
And I am only 65........

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