This has been another month made worse by long time lockdown.
I had three communications two from Department of Health and another from local Director of Public Health advising me to shield until 31 March 2021.and to contact local GP if I had queries.
It is 2 years since I last consulted a GP. I had sought to come off capsules (Zoton),which I had taken for 30 year to reduce some excess gastric acid, which still causes me some distress. I sought a sustitute as the literature advises having the medication for no longer than 3-4 years!!, hence the appointment. A practice GP arranged for an unneccessary Gastroscopy (which I had had only 2 years before and still indicated a patch of some redness there ). I had in a blood test for the usual things taken at the request of another GP by practice nurse – Hb, WBC etc. and blood sugar. Because of a creeping skin sensations, I had wondered whether this was a side effect of the medication. The GP then prescribed anti-histamine, which affected the temporal lobe and hence my spatial awareness while driving and I stopped taking it after 36 hours.
Generally I am healthy for my age and cope with mild arthritis as best I can. I have not been back to any GP practice since, except for ‘Flu vaccination in 2020 and for both covid- injections over Xmas period 2020
The reasons given in the letters and e-mail for shielding was my age – 84 years; my being then overweight ( I’m a little not grossly so and am on a reducing diet, despite not helped by covid restrictions) and a borderline raised blood sugar level. The test was taken after lunch so it seemed to be then acceptable., especially as there was no follow-up to see whether indeed I was Diabetic I or more likely II. There was no fasting blood sugar taken, nor was I consulted whether I had any symptoms of diabetes, e.g. thirst, genital rash e.g. caused by Thrush, etc.etc – no contact since this 2-year old information.
Having worked for many years as a senior nurse before retirement , I am away of what I need to do to give my general physical and mental health. I have found the shielding, the lack of communication about a serious possible condition rather perplexing. I phoned the main office for the group surgery and the receptionist thought because I had a melanoma removed about 8 years ago. On phoning my usual surgery, i was then told about the raised blood sugar. A comment was made that there should have been follows-up of this, but had not been done. Information was given over the phone about my personal medical details.
I later phoned another Gp, not in the pracice I use who took time to explain the reasons for the shielding decision.
Apart from irritating NHS stuff , there was good news in that my book of 2006 on Sir Vincent Raven is going for reprint. I Have sent off a list of amendments to History press. I will follow up this with the MS book on Charles Hesterman Merz as a companion book – to see if they will publish it.
I do miss going to M ass as frequently as it it is celebrated i.e hearing the bible readings and receiving Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. Seeing it on Zoom, each week from St Mary’s Cathedral in Newcastle is not the same. I wonder how the crowded altar with 4 servers and sometimes the bishop 1 or 2 priests and 4 servers get away with the covid restrictions!!
There has been little in the way of instruction abut what to do during covid as a living church, the sermons on the Telecast are often dismal recrudescences of the earlier readings. There has been little or no contact from any parish clergy to many people who are ill, elderly, isolated, angry, depressed and bereaved from what I hear. The main cleric who has sought to reach out to people is the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The best thing as a practising Christian I can do is phoning those who are psychologically needy, listening to people who have llife or no one to let off steam to, and pray daily ( I use the Divine Office morning and evening prayers). This allows me to keep calm, be industrious throughout the day and do my best to be focussed on others.