Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The 'Eyes' Have It!

Yesterday was one of those days when things go wrong, but everything works out in the end! One of my ailments is that I have glaucoma -- it's an hereditary condition that my sister and my mother also have. If caught in time medication arrests further development of the disease. However, it is important to have regular checkups and since my diagnosis I have had annual checkups at the local eye clinic. Or I did have ...

A few years ago, I missed an appointment because I was in the States and forgot to cancel it. In fact I didn't remember until some months later and then when I remembered, I was unable after several attempts to reach the clinic on the phone. In addition to glaucoma, I also have type 2 diabetes and so this to means that I need to attend the eye clinic regularly. It was through my regular twice yearly appointments with the local diabetic clinic at our doctors' surgery that I was able to be again referred to the eye clinic.

In June upon my return to the UK from my last visit to my mother, I found waiting for me an appointment to the eye clinic for the day of my return. Needless to say, I rescheduled the appointment for another day. Subsequently the day of the new appointment came and went and even though it was written in my diary, which lies open on my desk to my right as I type now -- I missed it -- again!

Embarrassed and ashamed -- and also worried about my vision as I have been having some difficulty focusing lately and my glasses aren't that old -- with trepidation I called the National Health Service number provided and with many apologies on my part, obtained another appointment -- a cancellation, which meant I could be seen before going away to France. Greatly relieved, I again wrote the appointment in big letters in my diary and put it on my cell phone, with an alarm, and vowed with steel determination not to forget. I even noted it down on Sunday, to remind myself to take the phone upstairs with me so I would hear it when the alarm went off. The appointment was for 9.00 a.m.

You all know what happened don't you? At 11.30 a.m. yesterday, my phone alarm went off as I sat here having a 'this and that chat' with The Man. Mildly curious, I looked at it -- in total disbelief and very loud intake of breath! Had I looked at my calendar? Had I taken my phone upstairs with me to hear the alarm go off? With deeper trepidation than ever before I called the NHS number I had and then very sheepishly apologized again and explained that the following day (today) I would be leaving for three months. I said I would call again for another appointment when I got back -- they don't make appointments that far in advance -- but was there by any chance a cancellation for later on that day. And there WAS at 1.30 -- 90 minutes later and I remembered to go and my eyes are fine. So you see, it all worked out in the end. And I must commend the staff for their unfailing patience with me when I called with my saga of apologies.

I also found out that that trouble focusing I've had from time to time, is a result of a sugar count that is too high -- a result of too much dessert temptation while in the U.S.A.! Oh and one more thing -- I love the National Health Service ... AND, I am abashedly a DIMWIT!!!

It was later in the day, but I did manage to make my blueberry muffins in time for tea!


  1. Hello Katherine:
    Oh dear, what a chain of events. We do know from our own experience with Type 2 Diabetes the importance of the annual eye check and the difficulty of ensuring that one is in the right country at the right time for NHS appointments. However, we are delighted to know that all is now well.

    We were much amused at the title of this post with its play on words!

  2. So glad it was all sorted out in the end and your eyes are fine, Broad. I read this with a sympathetic smile, as my memory is definitely not what it was and I have t be very careful not to miss appointments.

    Have a wonderful time in France and hope your journey isn't hampered by the rather nasty weather forecast for the next two days.

  3. So glad to hear that everything turned out right in the end. Allez bien en France.

  4. Happy to hear that you have the all clear. It's also good to hear positives about the NHS. We're all quick to complain about it (myself included) but they do offer a surprisingly good and full service for the grand sum of £0. Have a good and safe trip. Oh and those muffins look yummy!

  5. Jane and Lance: I just LOVE amusing people! Thanks. I was really a bit more than worried about my eyes so my spirits were truly lifted...

  6. Perpetua: sometimes I think my memory is a bit like a black hole -- however, at least I remember that I forgot! Thanks for the good wishes -- I'll send you a wave as we drive through Normandy!

  7. Brighton Pensioner: Merci -- and will you get back again before long?

  8. Craig: I think most Americans given half a chance would appreciate the NHS. The medical profession in the States does its best to malign the British NHS -- Since I've been here now over 30 years I have had nothing but excellent experiences. I suppose, like everything else, familiarity breeds contempt!

  9. and will you get back again before long?


  10. So glad you have NHS! You're right: most Americans would give anything for NHS. What we have here is total insanity! Hope all will be well with you.

  11. I was drawn in by your name, I will never have the confidence to be called a broad - I salute you!

  12. Great fan of the looked after me well and is now looking after my mother in exemplary fashion.
    Enjoy France.

  13. Loved this story because I so can relate.

    I have to pay attention more than ever and I write a lot of notes. Constantly look at the kitchen calendar and then write a large note to myself the night before an event or appt.

    Could it be the age??? Or are we such social butterflies that we can't keep up?

    Have a great trip.
    Blessings, Barb

  14. G'day Broad. The important thing is that you remembered in the end. Good to hear that all is well.I can remember appointments ok, now I just wish I could remember where I put things.Hope you enjoy your time in France. Take care. Liz...


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