Hospitals, packing and flight…


Have you ever met a squeamish nurse? I went for my MRI this week (an annual treat) and it was at a new centre – the NHS are obviously outsourcing some of their patients. Went to a very nice surgery in a posh part of London and filled out the usual “I don’t have any metal parts” questionnaire prior to the scan. Except of course, I do, as they rebuilt my skull with a metal plate. So I was explaining this to the nurse, saying that whatever it is that causes MRI machines to explode is not in my head, as I’ve had MRIs since surgery, etc. She was clearly worried about this (I’m wondering if she was new) and she wanted to know how big it was. Well, I have no idea. I was asleep at the time of rebuilding. I told her I didn’t know, but it didn’t feel very big. She then put out a hand, felt the lumps and bumps and dips in my head, shuddered, gave a squeal and moved away quickly. Unexpected.

I’m guessing she was a nurse, because she wore a short blue tunic, and up until this point had behaved like a nurse. Perhaps she wasn’t. Perhaps she was a student or a technician, or someone who had come to mend the photocopier and was filling in because they were short staffed. Whoever she was, I’m sure she’s not meant to react like that with patients. It was actually rather funny, so I giggled and told her she wasn’t meant to do that. Certainly was a change from the normal experience in hospitals.

It has been a busy week because we’re going to India for a few days. Husband is involved with a charity which does lots of work there,  so we are going to New Delhi to look at their work in the slums. Probably you are not meant to call them ‘the slums’ – certainly in Brazil we were told to call them some other name which I now forget. Not sure of the Indian equivalent, but I’ll let you know. It will be interesting to see how the organisation works. I know they do lots of work encouraging people to claim their rights (their rights being things like not being abused, and having clean water to drink.)

First on the list was to put ‘outside cat’ who has been recovering from cut foot, back outside. I anticipated problems. She has loved being inside, sleeping with the dog, purring round our feet in the kitchen, scratching up the carpet…So, I unblocked the cat-flap and put her in the garden, and waited for her to bounce back inside. Nope. Not even a visit. She ran straight back to her family in the workshop, and has ignored me ever since. I rather miss her.

Next I visited the health food shop. I read online that if you take probiotics prior to travel, it helps to build up all the good bacteria in your gut, which improves resistance when the bad ones invade. Not sure if that’s bunk, but figured it was worth a try. I also bought charcoal tablets because also read that IF bad bacteria invade (and India is kinda known for bad bellies) then charcoal caries it out of your system. Again, might be myth, but am hoping I won’t need to test the theory.

It has been rather lovely to dig out my summer clothes again. Weather here has passed the ‘bright pretty autumn’ stage and is mainly cold and wet. Ahhh, for a little sunshine again. Quite hard to know what to take though (packing is never easy.) I need clothes for the slums – so shit proof (sorry mother, but I can’t think of a better word.) I also need smart clothes for the hotel. Plus, when walking around, I need to cover legs and shoulders if I’m not going to attract attention. I do actually have some trousers and a tunic that I bought when in Mumbai, so I’ll take those. And silk scarves rather than sun-hats. Am thinking suitcase is too small…

I will write some extra posts while I’m away, so you can read about what we see. (If they stop suddenly, we might have been kidnapped, so please send help. Or perhaps will be not managing to leave washroom, so perhaps sending more charcoal would be best…)

Take care,
Anne x

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