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A hernia

Some weeks ago, whilst doing nothing in particular (I think I was just simply making a cup of tea), I suddenly felt pain in my groin area. I thought, “Ow. Is that a hernia?” The pain eased and I carried on.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, the pain returned, with a vengeance. As the day wore on, the pain became worse. I felt a lump in the groin area. I could move it. Not wanting to go to the hospital, especially with everything that’s going on, I telephoned one of the good St. John’s Ambulance ladies who had helped before for some advice. She said that I should call the Urgent Treatment Service to arrange an appointment. I did so. After answering a number of pointless questions, the operator told me that I could see a GP at the hospital that evening by 10pm.

Michael gave me a lift. He thought that the Urgent Treatment Centre was adjacent to A&E, so dropped me outside there and went off to park and wait. I hobbled inside and joined the short queue booking in. I overheard a little of the conversation between the receptionist and the person ahead of me. It sounded like they had also been told to go there for an urgent GP appointment. As they left, I introduced myself to the receptionist, saying that I had overheard some of the previous conversation, so already knew that it was a wasted journey. The receptionist explained that a number of people had been told to go there for urgent appointments. There was no GP in attendance so I would have to wait in the queue. I asked how long the waiting time was. An estimated four hours was the response. It was getting on for 10pm and the reception would soon be a war zone with cops and drunks as is always the case up and down the country come the weekend. I said that I would go home and dose myself up with pain killers and come back in the morning when peace would have returned.

The next morning, Michael again gave me a lift to the hospital. I got an appointment to see a GP straight away. I only had to wait around 40 minutes. I was thoroughly examined and had it confirmed that I had a hernia. The trouble was, it was no longer painful. I guess what had happened was that all the time I had been prostrate overnight, things had settled back into position. I explained all to the doctor who was somewhat concerned that I had decided to go home the evening before. He explained the danger and made it clear that if I found myself in a similar situation, I was not to give up and go home as I would likely need an emergency operation!

By the evening, I was again in much pain. Eventually, the next afternoon as the pain gained intensity, along with the pressure of those around me, I went back to the hospital and waited to be seen.

Eventually, I was examined. I was asked a number of questions relating to the hernia. In the end, I was released with some strong pain killers. I was told that as I could shit and was not vomiting, I was in no danger - yet. I was told to find a GP to refer me to the relevant department of the hospital for scans, etc. I asked why the hospital GP could not have done that. Apparently, the hospital GPs are not allowed to do so as they are not independent of the hospital.

The next day, I telephoned the same surgery that had taken my blood samples previously. The ‘phone had been ringing for an estimated four hours when I stepped outside to do something. I was gone a moment. When I returned, the call had gone dead!

Yet another day later, I tried again. The number was engaged for about 20 minutes. Then suddenly, I got through - to a queue! I was number 20 in the queue. An hour and a half later, I eventually spoke to the receptionist. I explained all that I needed to and was told that a doctor would be in touch, either by telephone or text.

Three more days went by, by which time I had given up, researched a little and kicked myself for not doing so in the first place, before I received a telephone call from the receptionist at the surgery I had contacted. I was prescribed strong pain killers and told that they would refer me to the hospital, etc. I still haven’t spoken to or seen a doctor, though. I am now massaging the area regularly with hot caster oil and have just received a delivery from Greece of a herb called Rupturewort, which will do as it clearly says. I also expect to be healed before any likelihood of actually getting an appointment at the hospital.

I have had a letter in the last few days. It merely states that I have been referred to the hospital!

In the meantime, working has become challenging as I am holding onto the hernia most of the time! Fortunately, I have great kids who help, if only with lifting, etc.

I had a surprise the other day. I received a ‘birthday’ gift. A little brass horse from a man who stopped by. The label reads, ‘There is a tradition that swears on giving gifts on one’s day of birth.’

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