It must be my age. I seem to be spending more time in this last couple of year going to the hospital, than I had in the rest of my life.
This time I had to attend the Joint Ophthal Consultant’s Ophthalmology clinic, (try saying that after a couple of booze), to see the Reu Fluoresceins, (if someone had eye problems how would they be able to see?), at the Royal Eye Unit of Kingston Hospital.
I had been called to see the Practice Nurse at my local GP (General Practitioners) Surgery, “just to keep an eye on me”, but maybe, to attain the statistical figures set by the British Government and Local Heath Authorities of the NHS (National Heath Service).
Although it is said, the NHS or the British health service is the envy of the world, where all medical treatment is free at source, it is run on statistics, figures and targets. The length of the waiting list to see a doctor, the number of people seen, the number of patients given the flu injection over a certain age, the number of women patients having had the smear test (cervical cancer), all are figures that have to be met so that they will be paid.
I was offered the pneumonia jab or injection. Um, I wonder why? Figures again? Or had they purchased too many units? Waste not. Want not.
During my appointment I mentioned a problem with my sight, and was told to go straight to hospital as an emergency. That was two months ago (see Falling apart at the seams), waiting list is a big problem with the British NHS, but I have been seen by a couple of clinics in those two months.
Yesterdays visit to the Joint Ophthal Consultant’s Ophthalmology clinic, to see the Reu Fluoresceins, (I still cannot say it, nor could the other patients waiting to see the doctor), I had “stuff” put into my eyes, and as I sat waiting for the effect of the “stuff” to happen, my sight began to distort, get blurred.
I started thinking about how precious sight is.
It was walking home that my sight became even more strange, no wonder they had said, do not drive.
At home, my vision was bad, I could not focus to read, see my small screen of the computer, see a clear picture on the TV, or focus on the wonderful smelling lilies in the hallway.
Lilies giving a wonderful over-powering perfume
Yes, sight is very precious. Without it, how are we going to gain information of the world around us. See the smile of on a face, marvel at the colours of the countryside, the shapes of buildings and trees.
I began to appreciate what a get thing sight is.
But is sight the most precious?
A couple of years ago, I found I had a problem with my heart which had to be dealt with. Is the heart the most precious thing, as without it there would be no life. I know with a slightly ill functioning heart, I was not able to function well.
That incident and the drugs I had to take, led to problems with my ears or hearing, (see Today has so much going on for me.) when my one ear had a blood clot inside, stopping me hearing well. I could not hear the sounds of the birds early in the morning, the dawn chorus, the voice of someone talking to me, the sound of waves washing the sea shore.
Is sound the most precious?
How about touch? The feeling of cuddling up to, holding a loved one in your arms, holding hands, have a baby hold onto your little finger, feel the texture of silk, the warmth of wool.
Is touch the most precious?
What about taste? My last meal in Istanbul at the Barcelona Restaurant along Taxim Hill was a great tasting meal, one I have tasted many times and look forward to. And then, what about the taste of a chocolate cake?
Barcelona Restaurant along Taxim Hill, Istanbul
Is taste the most precious?
What about smell? The smell of perfume worn by a lady, the smell of those lilies, the chocolate cake being baked in the oven, the smell of burned aviation fuel or the passing steam locomotive (train). All smells I love.
Is smell the most precious?
To see actual aircraft in front of me, to hear a Sopwith Camel flying overhead, to smell the fuel, to touch the exhibit, to taste a wonderful bun to quell my hunger, to meet an ex Avro Lancaster bomber pilot, Philip Gray, to be able to read his book (Ghosts of Targets Past) about his experiences, to imagine his life as he lived through the Second World War, flying, death, love and fear.
A small video of a Sopwith Camel flying at RAF Duxford, July 2008
It is our brain that is the most precious, without it we would not be able to process all the information being fed into it.
Look after it. Do not abuse it.