Friday Group Therapy: Hospitals And Testing

January 18th, 2003 by Richy B. Leave a reply »

[Leather Couch]It’s time again for my treatment in the Friday Group Therapy clinic. Due to personal reasons, Brian (who sets the questions for FGT) was unable to post last weeks questions on time, but he posted them on Monday – but by then I was too busy to check the site 🙁 So, technically a week late (so expect another Friday Group Therapy entry soon), is FGT: Hospitals and Testing.

  1. Have you ever had a medical procedure performed that you were too embarrassed to discuss at first?
    Nope. I came close to having one that might have embarrassed the hospital though. I was having my ingrowing toenail (yuck!) removed when I was in my early teens and they put me in the children’s ward. I was the only one there over the age of around 3. The nurse came around and started putting patches on the back of everybody’s hands – I enquired what this was for and she explained that it was to numb the hand and arm for the general anaesthetic which we would have.

    I thought that it was mighty odd to have a general for something as “minor” as a toenail removal and I checked with my Dad who agreed with me. We then glanced round the ward, and there seemed to be an extraordinary number of “Jewish looking” families. Now, think for a moment what little Jewish boys normally have done to them which will cause quite a lot of pain and hence necessitate a general anaesthetic?

    Yep – I went in to have a toe nail removed and the hospital was planning on removing some skin from another extremity. I pointed, with some urgency, this out to the nurse who didn’t believe me and said she’d check with the Doctor. Around 10 minutes later she came back and said, yep, there had been a slight mistake as she had been informed everyone on the ward was in for a circumcision(!). She removed the numbing thing from the back of my hand (it took around 20 minutes for me to get full feeling back) and I then had my toe nail (and nothing else) removed.

  1. Have you ever been admitted to a hospital?
    Yes – several times. The first time I can remember is just after school had finished when I was a primary school. I must have been around 7 years old at the time. I had to go into hospital for a couple of stitches on the back of my head after colliding with a teacher, bouncing off them, and then colliding into a wooden revolving bookcase.

    A few years later when I was 11 or 12, just two days before my birthday, I had an accident on my bike. I had a BMX bike until then, but I knew I was going to get a brand new mountain bike for my birthday so I was just taking the old one out for “one last time” around the block. I did a wheelie and something went wrong. Next thing I knew I was face down on the pavement, bleeding from that bit between your upper lip and your lose and from the top of my head. I got home, my Mum looked at my lip and told me I had some dirt and stones in there. She applied a “butterfly plaster” to my forehead to close that cut (which helped me avoid having stitches there), but then my Dad drove me to the hospital.

    Around 6 hours later, after an X-ray (that was around an hour waiting alone) and lying down on a hospital bed whilst around 6 people gathered around me removing stones, pebbles and grit and then disinfecting my upper lip (I swear it was with bleach!) I was allowed home.

    I’ve also been in hospital twice for a removal of an in-growing toe nail. I had the same nail removed in the intervening time by my local GP (Doctor). Yep – three times for the same toe: the last time, I asked them to destroy the nail bed to ensure it doesn’t reoccur and so I’ve only got 9 toe nails now.

  2. Have you ever had a “too much information” moment with someone discussing a visit to the doctor/hospital?
    I was just about to write “No, I come from a medical background and I’m extremely interested in all things medical, hospital and doctor related” but I remembered something… I’ve watched operations (on video only) of brain and heart operations, I’ve read in depth detail about all sorts, I’ve seen horrific injuries that people have sustained (from flesh eating bugs to poles through the head to even some ones ear lobe being stretched so big you could fit your fist through it – caused by big earrings) – but there’s one part of the body I have “difficulty” with.

    The eye. I can’t even bear the thought of contact lenses (having something that close to my eye makes me shiver), so when a friend told me of when they were younger and their eyeball literally popped out its socket and dangled part way down their cheek – uurggh! That WAS too much information!

  3. Have you or anyone you know ever gone to the doctor for a minor problem only to discover that it was more serious than you expected or vice versa?
    When I had a recent vaccination for the “brain bug” Meningitis C, I had some sort of reaction to it which caused me to come out in red spots all over my body. These spots did not fade or disappear under pressure (the “tumbler test” or “glass test”) which is a sign of Meningitis Septicaemia. I called my Mum, she said don’t worry about it – but 4 hours later I decided to call the NHS Direct help line for advice. A Nurse called me back and told me not to worry. 30 minutes later she called me back and instructed me to call out the emergency GP/doctor or go straight to the local hospital.

    I fell asleep instead. In the morning, I managed to see my GP (after a little bit of hassle with the receptionist) who told me if it got any worse, if I got a headache, or if the medication he then prescribed me did not have any affect then he would have to send me straight to hospital.

    To answer the actual question though – yes, I do know a couple of people that have gone to a doctor for a “minor” problem only for it to be a lot more severe (in one case nearly life threatening). But as they aren’t “my” medical problems, I’m not going to go into detail.

  4. What was the worst medical experience of your life?
    Much as this is my “personal” web log (as much as anything on the internet can be termed ‘personal’), this is one subject I am not going to go into. Sorry.
  5. What was the best medical experience of your life?
    When I got rid of that damn in-growing toe nail for good! (saying that, the ‘killed’ nail bed got slightly infected so I was off work for around 1 month or so until it cleared up: my job at the time involved a lot of standing up).
  6. What are the most memorable illnesses in your medical history?
    Mumps. I was at Primary School at the time and had just been “elected” the editor of the class’s newspaper on the Monday. By Tuesday morning, I had come down with some of the largest lumps seen – I’ve been told my glands forced my face to swell up to around double its normal size!

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This means that, despite my best intentions, it may no longer be accurate.

This blog holds over 12 years of archived content - during that time, I may have changed my opinion of something, technology will have advanced (and old "best standards" may no longer be the case), my technology "know how" has improved etc etc - it would probably take me a considerable amount of time to update all the archival entries: and defeat the point of keeping them anyway.

Please take these posts for what they are: a brief look into my past, my history, my journey and "caveat emptor".

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