Crisis, alert, no beds!

Many are unaware of the pain and sometimes indignity facing the patients (as Old Adam waits on that stretcher, in hospital gown, bottom or testicle peeking-out, he needs the toilet, ‘Just go in your pad,’ he is told.)

Thirty years ago and counting. 90’s reminiscence.

He has a glass that is so half-full that the Kool-Aid is spilling over the rim.

Anxious Jew Redux, Professor Ian Robertson & Blindboy

Doctors are great at diagnosing or assigning diagnoses. It is something that makes many of them very happy. It provides the doctor with certainty, a finite box in which to insert their patient and to focus treatment – antibiotics, pain killers or anti-depressants. (I am sure there is a dopamine release every time a doctor signs a prescription).

Cognitive dissonance, the NHS, Virtual Wards, and the rest of the shit that is going down

I even recently read in a patient’s notes the following:

‘Called patient for telephone appointment. There was no answer. Patient has not attended the appointment. See again in six months.’

When your batteries are running low, turn down the lights. Permanent pacemakers and other medical follies.

Recently, I received a message that my patient’s battery was running low.

Elephants, walruses, and forlorn carpenters

Freya probably spent her days swimming between Shetland, Norway, and Holland because of Global Warming; another shitstorm caused by us, people.

Weight loss junkie (the pitfalls of too much safety)

Family-doctor-dietician and still losing weight; you must be failing the person, not meeting their needs, not creating innovative or adequately tasty food, not supporting mealtimes, not doing your job.

I was taken aback yesterday (Human Factors, Elaine Bromiley & your local medical school)

Yesterday, Friday, I was out and about visiting some of our patients. We have an odd or you might say unusual model of healthcare provision in the surgery, I, as a geriatrician, not a GP don’t see a significant number of the ‘regular’ patients, instead I focus on those who are older or living withContinue reading “I was taken aback yesterday (Human Factors, Elaine Bromiley & your local medical school)”

Photographic evidence. A long, convoluted road.

Sorry, you are inadequately tenacious to change the world. Go to prison. Do not stop at Go. Do not collect…

A dying breed. Knock, knock, It’s the doctor.

What makes a GP special is their knowledge of a patient, their insight over months, years, even decades into a person’s life. The bond that continues after the acute illness has passed, the person recovered, perhaps passed through school, left for college and returned, married then divorced, raised children.

Long distance relationships

It was a toughie. It took me an hour to unravel what was what, which medicines were which, what had been stopped, started, changed, what he could and couldn’t do, what he understood, what the family understood, the plans for further tests and follow-up.

Hospital at home, virtual wards and turning care in the community on its head

The doctor calling the ambulance rationalises their actions, ‘I don’t know what will happen to their chest (NB not ‘Albert’, but his chest – a lapse into pathology and medical-speak

The cost of loneliness (Roubles, dollars or robots?)

One patient recently attempted to resuscitate her (toy) baby when the batteries ran-out.

Safety netting – to net or not?

Sure, some readers will think, ‘Honestly, this isn’t nannyworld, people have some responsibility, they should use their common sense.’

The week that was and was not!

Still recovering from IDLES my daughter tested positive for Covid.

Should I or he or she or they stay at home or go into care?

Locked in a room, when you are 90 and if you have dementia and significant physical and cognitive impairment is horrible. It is cruel and harmful. It is what our older folk have to do, whilst we, the rest are out and about, living it up.

Bob Ross, Happy and Unhappy accidents (healthcare and filler-TV)

I brought-up Bob when explaining to my colleagues the meaning of ‘happy accident’ – I was being flippant although the context was not.

Three days, 15 points and just starting to recover from the British Geriatric Society Autumn Conference

For the most, this was people showing-off their successes, how many older people they had saved from peril (mostly keeping them out of hospital), how many standard deviations from the mean their intervention had generated and so on.

Broken hearts, or why telephone consultations are less than 35% effective (homage to Heathcote)

Although doctors are being battered over the head for not enough F2F appointments, in reality, telephone reviews are much harder than seeing a person in the surgery.

Take away, facial expression, eye contact and body-language and it is far more difficult to know or understand what is going-on.

Thinking mindful – geriatrician asks his followers to ‘get high’

My mind has been in a Japanese meta-reality rather than on Wong Lane

It’s worse than it’s ever been. Just kidding… Not.

‘When will I receive my Covid booster?’ Asks patient Annie, 98, unable to leave her house for the past three years.

‘We are working-our way round,’ Says the doctor.

Caveat emptor – learner beware.

That doctors and nurses aren’t working hard enough, that the poor are poor from choice, and, that good things come to those who deserve it or who were born lucky.

Manor Field Surgery Blog 10 Dizziness (three-part series) 

The most significant, particularly for older people (the definition of older is anyone who is older than you) when the effects of ageing can impair balance, coordination, and reflexes. 

Shady Towers, Social Care, Nora and Whitey on the Moon.

The PM announced a rise in NI tax this week. I understand this is to offset some of the damage they have done to the NHS over the past decade. Fantastic. (And yes, Whitey is still on the moon).

To stop or not? (Jerzy Kosinski, Oliver Sacks & other ideas)

If you watch the Robin Williams / Oliver Sacks movie/book Awakenings you will see what dopamine can and cannot do to the brain.

You get what you pay for. (this is not a happy one)

No, not the climate, not the uncollected bins, the zero hours, no, not the Shitty White Men travelling on purpose-built spaceships that fly over the filth and poverty of a world falling apart, all of it together.

If I told you I’m good, you would probably say I’m boasting & Teamworking

We want to be associated with the best – the best team, country, organisation.

Others don’t really care.

Some see the whole of the moon.

Others Brigadoon.

Function versus behaviour

Nothing works with Florence, distraction, diversion, joking, cajoling, all the old tropes fail. You have to accept that Florence isn’t eating and leave her alone.

Pressure ulcers (bedsores) & PCHC

I was recently involved in the care of a patient who developed a pressure ulcer. Behind this seemingly innocuous sentence lurks a whole raft of issues, concerns and aspects of modern healthcare. More surprisingly perhaps, I have spoken with several doctors who believe that pressure ulcers, their care, treatment and avoidance are not a medicalContinue reading “Pressure ulcers (bedsores) & PCHC”

How long until I die? (Locked down and out in 2020)

Often old men and women will seek human contact, particularly when feeling isolated – and when I reciprocate with my gloved hand (that they don’t appear to notice as being anomalously purple or blue) we are able to make contact, to connect.

Covid, pants and barriers to communication

I met an old man last week, his pants were poking out of his pyjama bottoms.   They were the same as mine M&S blue stars;   I was going to tell him and everyone else in the room about our shared underwear but, the facemask and the goggles, gown and gloves Got in theContinue reading “Covid, pants and barriers to communication”

this is me, again, and what you and i want or do not want when the ambulance is on the way.

I have become victim to the system bias of considering diagnoses and discharge destinations to be of more importance than the person I am discharging.

Thursday morning. Not another blog about advance care planning!

If this narrative has held together, my point is, we can offer just as good, if not better care, treatment and support for particularly older people in their own homes than is available through high-tech medical interventions.

Covid, my brain and the computer interface

Thanks Jane for allowing me to continue today’s blog; that was about the ways in which Covid has forced a change in my behaviour (likely, yours too) which in turn has led to changes in my brain. It is along the lines of the blog I wrote ages ago after reading a Stephen King bookContinue reading “Covid, my brain and the computer interface”

Charles-Bonnet Syndrome and other thoughts about physical and mental illness

Out optic blind-spots continuously adapt to provide us with a seamless sense of reality, only becoming real when we reverse into a wall that we didn’t see.

Self-organisation, the current state of the world and what has worked

Our growth, our evolution has happened unconsciously, at an intuitive, human level – we have been feeling not thinking, reacting not planning, doing what feels right rather than what we are told is right.

Lockdown, solitary confinement and loneliness

Imagine the harm done to those people previously ‘living well’ with dementia who for six weeks have had a dramatic reduction in visitors and day-centre attendances; even the bitter-sweet routine trips to GP surgeries or hospitals have been done away with.

Infection then and now, the Great Influenza and Covid… lessons from the past, reflections on the present.

You wouldn’t send someone into the centre of Fukushima wearing a plastic flimsy? Well, the UK has allowed that to happen.

Do Not Attempt (Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation) and Advance Care Plans in the time of Covid

Well, if nothing (but everything) has changed, what is the big deal about DNACPR and ACP; what is new?