I received a letter from my GP's practice during the week. It read, "In view of recent changes in clinical guidelines your Doctor would like to discuss your condition.
"Please can you make an appointment with Dr X or Dr Y."
It so happens that neither Dr X nor Dr Y are "my" doctor. I am registered with Dr C, although it matters not which doctor I actually see when I need one. All the same, I have been seeing Dr C reasonably frequently - and exclusively - over the last couple of years and have come to both like him and, far more importantly, trust him. On phoning the surgery, it was explained that Drs X and Y are dealing with the reviews of all patients with rheumatoid arthritis - I expect they have been on a course or attended a seminar at the very least - and I was offered (and accepted) an appointment with Dr X the following afternoon.
"Oh no!" exclaimed the Old Bat when I told her. "Not Dr X! He's useless. You saw him when you had that cough." (The old duck is a little prone to hyperbole.)
I tried to calm her fears. "Perhaps he knows more about RA than he does about coughs."
When I saw him the following day, Dr X explained that it has become apparent that people with RA are more likely than others to suffer heart conditions or osteoporosis so all patients should be examined once a year. "Have you had your cholesterol checked?" I was asked.
I was astounded. I didn't think anybody at this practice had even heard of cholesterol as It has never been mentioned before. Anyway, I have to have it checked next time I have a blood test and I am to be sent for a bone scan.
My doctor's (or doctors') surgery is opposite Preston Park so as it was a sunny afternoon I took the opportunity to wander through the park and the gardens of Preston Manor. This is the 13th or 14th century church of St Peter, Preston Park. (One source says it dates from the 13th century, another says the 14th. Either way, it's pretty old.)