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Thursday, 12 August 2010

It Started With A Snore - Part 3

One thing that I have become aware of, through bitter experience, is that the medical profession are pathologically incapable of resisting the urge to test people for something. Doesn’t matter what – just something! I’ll bet you’ve had this conversation many times before:
A: My GP has referred me to see a Consultant
B: Oh that’s good, hopefully they’ll get you sorted out at last. When are you seeing him/her?
A: Well, I don’t know yet. They want me to have some tests done first...
It doesn’t matter if it is something that your GP has been testing you for, ever since God was a lad (or lass, dependent on your viewpoint), the Consultant will want his/her own tests done. For thy Consultant is a jealous Consultant and ye shall have no other Consultant/Medical Practitioner other than him/her (unless, of course, whatever you think you’re suffering from relates to another specialism, in which case you can clear off and stop bothering him/her).
You may recall, if you have nothing better to remember in your life, that at the end of the last article I had not only been referred to an ENT specialist for my snoring/sleep apnoea but also, in the space of a few weeks, to an Opthalmologist for possible deterioration of the retina (not that I wanted him to provide that, if you see what I mean, but to find out if I had got it and, if so, why?).
Up until then, I had felt fine. Now I was beginning to feel like the subject of that old Stanley Holloway song “My Word, You Do Look Queer!” (which used to be a regular on Children’s Choice but which I imagine has died a very un-PC death in recent years). I wondered if others were shaking their heads pityingly as I shambled past, wondering at my ability to stay upright and breathe at the same time. I took to giving people brave little smiles, and somehow managed to avoid being arrested.
So, within the space of a few days, I received a letter from the local Health Centre inviting me to join them for a jolly session of ‘Test the Blood Pressure’ with the Practice Nurse, so that the GP could rule out any obvious causes for my alleged retinal deterioration before giving in and sending me to the Consultant. Additionally, I received a letter from the ENT clinic at our local hospital, inviting me to be fitted for a sleep monitor, prior to my visit to the ENT specialist. Of these two appointments, the one with the Practice Nurse proved to be the most unexpectedly difficult.