Sunday, 24 February 2013

A Fair Assessment Of The Week That Was.

Tuesday, February 12, MRI scan.  Wednesday, February 13, ultrasound.  Thursday, February 14, prostate biopsy.  Yes, three straight days visiting the hospital.  Three days of mixed emotions, worry, stress and laughter to cover my fear.

Now it was Friday morning, February 15 and I was driving to attend to a medical assessment done on behalf of the government by a private healthcare company named "ATOS".  A very quick turnaround from the day before.  I was sore, uncomfortable, nervous, exhausted.

I'd read the stories, watched the news.  The reports coming back from the medical assessments of people too ill to work, were outrageous, horrifying.  The agenda set by the government is to get as many people of incapacity benefits as possible.  This has meant that there have been numerous cases of people deemed fit for work who could not possibly work.  Their disability benefits stopped and their lives thrown into turmoil.

I parked up and headed for the building, preparing for the worst but maintaining my composure.  The building is located between a well known ghastly food restaurant and a franchised computer company.  So, with an "Unhappy Meal" in one hand and a new laptop under my arm, I bravely entered the healthcare building.  "Would you like a fry?"  I asked the receptionist.  Ignore all that.  I had a stressful week.  I actually went straight into the building.  Well, using the door to get into the building.  Enough already.

That would be after a brief conversation with a very irate guy outside totally aggravated by his treatment and how he'd had several heart attacks and was deemed fit for work.

Deep breath.  The receptionist was polite and directed me to the waiting area.  I looked around and sadness, rage, a growing resentment towards this evil British government surged through me.  Yes, there was the lady barely able to walk, being comforted by the lady with her.  There was the scared young man sitting on his own until his support worker came and sat beside him.  And there was the frail old man, aided by two crutches, his partner and the healthcare professional, as they slowly guided him from the waiting area to an office down the hallway.

And there was me, alone and worried.  I shuffled around the waiting room and thought about how inspired I was knowing so many thoughts from you on the other side of my computer screen, had come my way.  A gentleman escorted me to his office for my medical assessment.  You might note the photo at the top of the posting.  Such was the quick turnaround from being at the hospital the previous day, I still had my hospital wrist tag on.  I also had my paperwork tucked inside my hospital patients bag.

This gentleman, was kind, courteous and he came across as compassionate.  Upon looking at my series of tests on my clearly instructed appointment letters, he immediately went and photocopied them.  He didn't even want to see my other overwhelming evidence that I'm not well.  He told me that I had given him more than enough proof and he would forward it onto the Department of Works and Pensions.  The DWP make the ultimate decision.   I'm not naive.  I know that all sorts of hassles might transpire.  I shall remain positive that justice will be served from the outset.

With that, realising I was in discomfort from my prostate biopsy, he ended the assessment very quickly.  "Please go and get some rest and have a pleasant weekend", he stated.  So now we wait for the results of an assessment I shouldn't of had and so many vulnerable, sick, disabled and scared people, should neither of had to go through.

That was the week that was.  I have witnessed mankind at its finest.  The NHS gets full marks for kindness, caring and efficiency. As I mentioned before, the NHS contacted me via a comment regarding a concern I had.  This is the comment :

"Dear Klahanie,

We've read with interest your experience of using our services from your blog, and enjoyed the humour with which you write. We are particularly interested to hear how we could improve the information and the services we provide. If you would like to meet with us to discuss this, or any other hospital related subjects, please contact Hannah Gibson, patient experience lead, at Hannah.gibson@uhns.nhs.uk.

Kind regards

Andrew Ashcroft
Senior Communications Manager
University Hospital of North Staffordshire"  

And bless the NHS.  Yes, they acted swiftly on my concern in regards to the vagueness of an appointment letter.  I'm very proud of this.  An example that we can make things happen.

Now, David Cameron, so called Prime Minister of Britain, shall you be making note of my concerns about the way your inhumane, immoral government is treating, the vulnerable, the sick, the poor, the disabled?  Yes, you call it austerity measures.  That would be where the unfortunate pay for the mistakes of the incompetent fortunate.  I await your comment, Dave.  After all, you say, "We are all in this together."

Through the week that was, I saw the good, the kind, the caring.  Through that week I sensed a solidarity, a unity against the adversity so many of us here are experiencing.  That inspires.  Through that week, this virtual recluse, challenged his fears, did it with dignity, humour and by the weekend had become a better man.

Now, this better man, a reflective man who has gone through emotions of such extreme, awaits for the results of all the tests.  Monday, February 25, the day I should finally know.  I thank you profoundly for your thoughts, wishes and prayers.

52 comments:

  1. Fingers and toes are crossed here for the outcome of ALL your tests. I love that the NHS took note of your blog, and appreciated it as well, and really would love for your Government to do the same. That might be hoping for too much, but optimism costs no more than pessimism.

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  2. Hi The Elephant's Child,

    I am most heartened by you and your kind thoughts. The NHS have shown a lot of class. And they are also experiencing the wrath of this ruthless government. They are an example the government could learn from. Optimism is priceless. And pessimism will never get the better of us. Thank you kindly. My dear friend.

    In peace and good wishes,

    Gary

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  3. Someone noticed you!!
    Yes, prayers that everything turns out for the best with your tests.
    Maintain the hope. Sometimes it's all we have.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Alex,

      Oh yes, it's good to note that a blog posting can cause a positive chain of events. Now I wait for David Cameron to comment. Yeah right.
      Thank you for the prayers in regards to a positive result with the tests.
      Together, in hope, we cope. Thank you, Alex.

      In kindness,

      Gary

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  4. Hoping for a good report. Keep us informed. I, too, have to go to a cancer center to get checked for what my family doctor thinks may be a sign of it. My mistake was going to the doctor in the first place. I felt great until I did.

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    1. Hi Dizzy-Dick,

      Delighted to meet you, good sir. I shall pass on the news of the results when I have them. There's an irony in you going to the doctor and feeling great until you were told of a possibility of something to cause you, I hope, needless worry. Be well and thank you.

      In kindness,

      Gary

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  5. My thoughts and hopes are with you. I pray for the best.

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    1. Hi Arleen,

      I'm grateful for your thoughts, hopes and prayers for the best. Wishing you a peaceful day. Thank you, Arleen.

      In kindness,

      Gary

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  6. I agree with you AND Dizzy Dick. I have a saying that might put my viewpoint of life into perspective:

    There's nothing worse than waiting or hoping. But waiting won't kill you: Hope will.

    Whenever I make the mistake of hoping, I always end up crashing and burning from the outcome.

    So, keep your hopes quiet within yourself "they" are listening.

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    Replies
    1. Hi lotta joy,

      The honest truth is that I have not even been thinking about the outcome. I have been trying to keep active, between wrenching my back, and focusing on having a bit of fun. I live in the now. Whatever happens, happens. I make no mention of my hopes. I can handle any outcome. I do, however, try to live my life with realistic positive anticipation, rather than, negative speculation. Thank you, dear friend.

      In kindness,

      Gary

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  7. I have everything crossable crossed for you Gary. I'm so glad that you met with kind and compassionate people last week. It was the week from Hell and you got through it. Here's to all positive outcomes (or do I mean all negative outcomes) okay..here's to outcomes being good.

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    1. Hi Delores,

      Thanks for having everything possible crossed :) It was a week of wonder. A lot of goodness out there braving the evil element that has darkened these shores. A good outcome would be real neat. Thank you, Delores.

      In kindness,

      Gary

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  8. Thoughts and prayers go with you, my friend. I'm glad to see your system over there is, at least, giving you their best effort from the sounds of it.

    I look forward to hearing -good- news regarding your tests and such....take it easy!

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    1. Hi Mark,

      I appreciate your thoughts and prayers, kind sir. Despite funding cuts by the government, our NHS, our universal healthcare system has treated me with kindness and caring under a time of great adversity for them.

      Ah yes, the tests and what news they shall bring. I'm taking it easy. You take it easy and keep smiling. Thank you, Mark.

      In kindness,

      Gary

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  9. Dear Miss Penny, WE want to thank you for always being there for Gary especially during this time of waiting. As a dog, I know we are the best thing for our humans... So go and cuddle up to him and help him find peace through the rest of the weekend.

    We will keep our paws and fingers crossed for news on Monday

    Bert and My Vickie

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    Replies
    1. Hi Bert and Vickie,

      My human, Gary, has asked me to paw a reply. I know that I'm of much comfort to him as he stares at the screen with tears in his eyes. Like you, I show my humans such unconditional love and we sense when they are sad. As Sunday draws to a close, I shall snuggle up to him and let him know that all is okay because he is loved.

      I shall have Gary write about the test results in the next couple of days. Thank you Bert and Vickie.

      Pawsitive wishes and doggy kisses,

      Penny xx

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  10. You'll let us know the minute you hear anything, eh? Thanks. I'll take a deep breath then and let it out fast. Meanwhile, shallow breathes. Bated breath.

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    1. Hi Joylene,

      I shall post up the outcome within the next couple of days. Breath gently and relax, dear friend. Thank you, Joylene.

      In kindness,

      Gary

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  11. It seems your nightmare week ended on something of an unexpectedly pleasant note. Wishing for the best for you with all my might. No one should be cast out simgtply for the reasons your government seems to have for doing so.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Kim,

      The nightmare week ended on a positive note. There were many moments of inspiration during that week. I'm most grateful for your best wishes. This government is targeting the most vulnerable in society. That cannot be right. Thank you, Kim.

      In kindness,

      Gary

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  12. Hi Gary .. well done is all I can say ...

    "Through that week, this virtual recluse, challenged his fears, did it with dignity, humour and by the weekend had become a better man."

    I'm so pleased they paid some attention to this blog and addressed your issues - that's a great result (as long as it continues) - I hope that you have been resting up ... and as Lotta Joy says ... peaceful waiting is less stressful, than just hoping ... brooding and pondering does no one any favours .... I'm sure all will be well - and til we know - many compassionate thoughts wing northwards ...

    Cheers Hilary

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    Replies
    1. Hi Hilary,

      Thank you and I'm proud and relieved I challenged myself.

      The response from the NHS was swift and I have received further, clearly detailed appointment letters. It was in their best interest and mine, that the letters should be clearer. As I stated to Lotta Joy, I live in the now and have been trying to maintain positive distractions. Whatever happens on Monday is what it is. I can handle any outcome. Your southerly compassion thoughts are warmly welcomed. Thank you, Hilary and stay warm!

      In kindness,

      Gary

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  13. It's great you've had such a positive experience at the NHS and that someone noticed your blog. I'm wishing you only the best for the 25th and sending you positive and peaceful thoughts. Take care Gary and Penny and keep us posted when you can. (:

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    1. Hi Elise,

      A most caring and considerate time during my hospital visits. I was stunned and at first, a little freaked out, that they had noticed my blog posting. Your positive and peaceful thoughts for Monday are treasured, Elise. Thank you, kind lady.

      In peace and good wishes,

      Gary

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  14. It is good to see that the English world is not without some compassion. Best wishes my friend.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Ray,

      I was inspired by those truly touching moments of compassion. Thank you for your best wishes, Ray.

      In peace and kind wishes,

      Gary

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  15. I remember Claire Rayner's last words to Mr Cameron "if he screws up my beloved NHS, I'll haunt him" or something! Well I hope she's giving him nightmares!

    You have a good rest now, Gary. I know it's cold and grey and threatening another winter storm outside but try and keep warm and safe with Penny and your son and the little people in your garden! Take care
    x

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    1. Hi Old Kitty,

      Oh yeah, I hope Claire is making him have a "Scrooge" moment, he wakes up and realises the evil of his ways.

      I'm resting up before tomorrow. It started to snow a little bit again! Just hope it isn't snowing on Monday morning. Yikes! I shall soon switch off my computer and have a chat with Penny, my son and the wee folks in my garden :) Thank you, Old Kitty.

      Warm wishes, your way,

      Gary
      x

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  16. Hopefully the reports back are grand and idiot governments are hard to stand, sick what they do to screw with you.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Pat,

      Do you try to rhyme all the time? Test reports are soon in hand. Government makes its last stand.

      Take care, it's only fair.

      Gare....

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  17. Hi Gary. I suppose what this teaches us is that, on the one hand, you the government and it's policies (and frankly I don't envy the task they have) and on the other hand we have the NHS, Europe's largest employer, and the people who work in it. Thankfully there are plenty of people who work in the NHS who are very compassionate and I am happy to hear that you met some of them! They are under tremendous pressure at work and have a difficult job 'at the coal-face' as it were.
    Any experience that makes you stronger is beneficial and, as a positive, person there are lots of affirmative things to take home this week. Keep smiling.
    Click here for Bazza’s Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

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    1. Hi bazza,

      I don't understand the task of this government to target the genuine vulnerable, the sick, the poor, the disabled. What I saw at the healthcare centre was an outrage. The NHS staff I encountered are continuing to do their jobs under much pressure and scrutiny. Quite remarkable the quality of care I received. And yes, I have also met some in the past who should not of been in the profession.

      I found a lot of positive aspects to what could of been seen as a negative and stressful week. I hope that my challenging my fears of going out, may help ease the burden of somebody else. I'm smiling, bazza. You take care, my good friend.

      With respect and kind wishes,

      Gary

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  18. Gary I hope that all your tests come back A-OK!!!!

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    1. Hi Keith,

      Thank you, kind sir. Being one who lives life with realistic positive anticipation, I shall be just fine, no matter what. Peace be with you, Keith.

      Positive wishes, your way,

      Gary

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  19. My husband's and my prayers are with you. Hope the results are fine.

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    1. Hi Munir,

      I'm deeply grateful for both of your prayers. And now I await the outcome of the tests. Thank you, Munir.

      In peace and kind wishes,

      Gary

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  20. I'm so glad the week went as smoothly as could be expected. Best wishes for the results :-)

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    1. Hi Annalisa,

      Thank you and now I type from the 'future'. A green light has happened :) Thank you, Annalisa,

      In peace and kindness,

      Gary

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  21. The power of the blogwhen used and read by nice compassionate people
    Way to go k

    Way to go!

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    Replies
    1. Hi John,

      How very true, my friend. We have the proof and I know you share this ethos. The blogging community, a force for the good and increasing awareness of such diversity. Thank you, John.

      Peaceful wishes,

      Gary

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  22. Hi Y'all!

    Just wanted to stop and thank you for visitin'. My paws are crossed and my Humans continue to remember you in their prayers.

    I'm sure sweet Penny, the modest Internet Star, is holding your paw...ah sorry, hand, through all this turbulence. There is nothing more stressful than the waiting.

    Y'all come back now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

    P.S...so you don't have to wait until Friday for the answer to your question about my geese...yes, they are Canadian.

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    Replies
    1. Howdy Hawk,

      Always love to come visit, y'all :) Your prayers were embraced and the posting from the 'future' shall reveal the hopes and prayers.

      Penny held my lil' ol' human hand and her comfort has got me through some times while I sit here in my home. I went with the attitude of living in the now and keeping distracted.

      Aha, but did the geese honk 'eh'....

      Thank you Hawk and all your humans.

      In peace,

      Gary

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  23. I am so sorry for all that you have had to go through. It just tears me up. I wish I lived there, I would have driven you to all of your appointments. You shouldn't have to go through all of this alone.
    I am so happy to see that they wrote you a letter, you totally rock!
    Praying and praying and praying that all is well on the 25th---just dawned on me. It is probably the 25th there right now

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    1. Hi Caren,

      It was okay. I didn't feel alone knowing that the caring ambience from so many, came along with me. That would of been nice if you could of driven me to the appointments. "Yikes! Other side of the road, Caren! " Oops..:)

      I was incredibly flattered and heartened that such a busy place as our beloved healthcare service would take note of my concerns and rectify the situation. Bless the NHS!

      It is almost the 26th and the future has a green light :)

      Bless you for your concern and caring.

      In peace and good wishes,

      Gary

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  24. Gary Dear,
    You've come thru it and you're still cracking wise. Don't worry, it's a waste of energy. Just appreciate yourself for a minute, eh? You walked it thru with dignity and it was much less a horror than you'd expected. I'd say that's taking lemons and making lemonade.So go giveyourself a good smiling in the mirror. And be careful how you sit.
    Laura
    x

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    Replies
    1. Dear Laura,

      Oh yes, I'm still cracking and what a way to um spend Valentine's Day :) I didn't worry. I have been living in the right now and the right now is just fine. My dignity was surely intact. The government assessment is an outrage and I did keep a calm demeanour. Yes, I was treated very well at the medical assessment. I had a week where I received, kindness, caring and compassion. Then we have a government that is going too far in its immoral practice. I have stared at myself in the full-length mirror. Have sat down to recover from staring at myself. Ouch! :)

      Peace be with you, Laura.

      Gary
      x

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  25. You're in my prayers. My hubby starts his chemo on MArch 4th.

    Hugs and chocolate,
    Shelly

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    1. Hi Shelly,

      Your prayers have been gratefully received. Thank you. This is no longer about me. Actually, it has been about all of us being here for each other. Trying to comfort somebody who may also be going through such trauma.

      Now, with your love for your husband as you will be there for him, I wish and I know all who know you, wish that March 4 is the beginning of better times for him, for you.

      In kindness and sincerity,

      Gary

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  26. Hey Gary! So good to see your blog. You have been and will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. Meeting a compassionate human being after all this was a miracle you truly needed.
    Will await word of results.

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    1. Hi Susan,

      Thank you and once things settle down, prepare yourself for a visit on your blog from shy and humble me. All your thoughts and prayers have been warmly received. To end that week on an optimistic note was all I could of asked for.

      The result has happened and I really seem to be replying from the future....

      Thank you, Susan.

      Kind wishes and goodwill,

      Gary

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  27. Hi Gary, well done in getting through such a challenging week. I'm glad you were met with compassion at your Atos assessment and really hope that the final outcome is as positive.

    I'll be thinking of you,

    God bless

    Kimmie x

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    Replies
    1. Hi Kimmie,

      Very kind of you to comment on this back posting. Thank you. It was a week that challenged my fears and being a virtual recluse, it was difficult to cope.

      The evil irony as you will know, is that this horrible, inhumane government is making those who are sick, sicker. Yes, the gentleman at ATOS was very kind. I shall try not to be cynical and wait for the positive outcome I rightfully deserve.

      Your thoughts are embraced, Kimmie. And may all be okay for you in this ongoing challenge against this outrageous government. My friend, I'm here for you.

      In peace and hope,

      Gary x

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I do try to comment back to each commenter individually. However, I might have to shorten my replies or give a group thank you. That way, I can spend more time commenting on your blogs. Thank you and peace, my friend.