Sheerness is in sight!
Well, perhaps. When I saw my GP for the results of the blood tests he very kindly confirmed that I have a dose of rheumatoid arthritis, something I already knew. He went on to tell me that there are newer drugs than the anti-inflammatories I am taking now and that these are more effective in controlling the stiffness and the pain. But there are side effects. Of course. And he wanted a specialist to talk me through those side effects before prescribing so he would refer me to the rheumatological department at the hospital.
A few days later, after nagging from the Old Bat, I asked the doctor to short circuit the system by referring me to a specialist as a private patient. Yesterday I received a telephone call and I now have an appointment for next Thursday. Could it be that within a couple of weeks or so I will be back to normal, able to walk the dog, dry myself properly after a shower, put on a pair of socks?
I have to admit to a certain ambivalence about "going private". Yes, I can afford to pay for a consultation and if anything else is found to be necessary I can always switch back to treatment under the NHS. And it's not my socialist leanings (which I don't think I have) that cause me to hesitate. But it does bother me slightly that other people have to wait weeks and weeks for a consultation whereas I, who have a little money, can jump the queue. I suppose, though, by going private I am leaving consultation slots for others.
My main reason for doing this, however, is the Old Bat. She is partially disabled and I am her carer. She is unable to walk more than a few paces without assistance so you can imagine the sight we have been with both of us hobbling along arm in arm. But I hope that will soon be a thing of the past.
Hey - I managed to avoid all those cliches like light at the end of the tunnel!
I had hoped to bring you another picture of the South Downs today. When I got out of bed the sun was bright and the sky was blue with a few puffy clouds - perfect. After my shower the scene was the same with the Portland stone of the Chattri gleaming. My camera was downstair. By the time I had dressed the sun had gone a grey clouds covered the sky. By the time I was downstairs it was raining. So it's another bridge. Today we are travelling to Colmar, Alsace, in the north-eastern corner of France. The architecture here is different from anywhere else in the country with something of a Bavarian influence.