Heading for the draft Board - again.
Hi there. Sorry to be a party pooper but I'm beginning to wonder whether I might not be safer enlisting for Afghanistan, than staying here watching the mounting death toll in Wales under the 'care' of NHS Wales. Of course, I'm being ridiculous - what use would a 67 year old, chronically ill short, bald man be in a war zone, except maybe for bayonet practice ?
First I read of the death of a 20 year old man ( 20 years of age ? - a child yet ) who 'Fell to his Death' from the roof of the Cardiff Business School, That really upset me, I mean to ask, what happened to the promised counsellors that were to be placed in every University ? Do we really care anymore ? All I know is that Mental Health Services have been slashed to below adequacy and children should NOT be committing suicide. ( Do remember the 36 adolescant suicides in Bridgend, that nobody thought significant or even important ).
Next day, on the 1st June, I read of the death of a 74 year old lady, Mrs Bright, who died after a head injury. The woman was taken to the Royal Glamorgan Hospital where doctors decided that, in spite of the fact that the poor lady had no recollection of what had happened, she could be sent home. At 5.00am, her poor husband called an ambulance because of her worsening pain, she was taken by 'Blue Light' to hospital where - this time - a scan showed that she had suffered a subdural haematoma ( bleeding between her brain and her skull ). Neurosurgeons at Cardiff UHW and Bristol Royal, considered operating ( to relieve the pressure ), but refused because of 'her age and condition'. Unsurprisingly, she died, the next day for want of proper care at Royal Glamorgan ( Perhaps the Neurosurgeons were on a lunch break, or decided to play God because she was old ). Well, maybe it was a good thing - after all the doctors and neurosurgeons saved their Health Boards an expsensive operation, and maybe she wouldn't have lasted long anyway, when post-op care might have added greatly to the cost ? Why don't we just agree a policy, that if your over, say, 70, you should be denied any medical treatment to cut costs - especially facing a growing population amongst the elderly.
Next, I'm treated to a tale of of 66year old woman, who was given Keyhole surgery - to remove a growth the size of a grapefruit - only to come out of surgery with a perforated bowel that, unsurprisingly, vented the contents of her bowel, causing her untimely death. [ Ok, let's reduce that no care age to 60 then ? - RW]. The coroner ruled that death was due to the hole in the bowel caused by the first operation ( that would have been symptomatic and sould have shown up on an x-ray ). A doctor friend of mine recently asked if I knew the difference between God and a Consultant. I held up my hands and she said that "God doesn't walk around with a stethoscope around his neck pretending to be a consultant". 2.1/2 staggeringly long years after this cock-up and cop-out, the coroner chickened out and recorded a narrative verdict, thereby denying the family an enquiry that the circumstances demanded.
A day later ( all in the same week ) I read that Mr Mahmood Hassan died after an epileptic seizure, after ambulance staff failed to revive him. Good old Mary Hassell, coroner, recorded yet another narrative verdict, preventing further investigation of the 43 year old's death. [ Nah - lowering the 'no care' age limit to 40 is too low - isn't it ? ].
Lastly - and near tears - I read of the death of a three year old girl who died in UHW of a 'sudden death' that neither her doctor mother, nor a patholgist, could explain. An inquest heard that poor little Megan Parsons was 'off her food, coughing and always tired'. When discovered later, her face was blue and she had vomit on her clothing. Call me, a mule, but I will not believe that an early diagnosis was not possible, which means that the child need not have died.
What a lovely ( expletive deleted ) week ! But fret not, the weekend brings us the joy of the Jubilee celebrations, and news that the Olympics is ( are ? ) only 54 days away - Whoopee piggin' do ! Maybe I could get to the relative safety of Afghanistan by lying about my age ??? Have a nice Bank Holiday ! R.W.