HAVING just turned 73, I was invited by my GP practice for annual blood tests and blood pressure review.
I attended for the blood tests, which are taken in an annexe with one treatment room. Two receptionists sat chatting behind a screen. No other patients left or arrived while I was there.
A week later, on Tuesday, I went for the blood test results at the main medical centre which serves two practices. Notices outside forbade entry without a mask, which of course I ignored. There is a large waiting room, probably 50 seats, usually at least half full, with appointments coming up on a screen one after another. This time there were a couple of other patients, in masks, while there were six or eight staff in the open office without masks, and without obvious employment. No appointments came up on the screen before mine, ten minutes after it was due.
The nurse (masked) asked how I was. ‘Fine but fat,’ I said. ‘Oh, you’re not fat,’ she replied. Since, I regret to say, my BMI is in the ‘morbidly obese’ sector of the chart, this was an obvious lie, the sort a well-meaning friend might tell, but surprising from a medical professional.
My blood tests were all fine, said the nurse, mentioning my GP’s name in passing. ‘Who?’ I asked. ‘Oh, your last doctor has left. This is your doctor now. She’s new and very lovely.’ ‘And no one bothered to inform me?’ ‘No, they don’t seem to tell patients.’
Not surprisingly after that, my blood pressure was on the high side. No comment was forthcoming.
‘You don’t smoke, do you?’
‘Far too much.’
‘Far too much . . . ok.’ And moved on.
Where was the customary lecture about drinking? Where was the usual homily about being overweight? I presume it is loud and clear on my notes that I am not ‘vaccinated’ ‘against’ Covid, so are people like me being in effect excluded from medical advice? Is it that as an old person (I am still working and contributing taxes but the nurse may not know that) I am a drain on resources and they would prefer me to die soon? Is there a conscious or subconscious desire to punish those of us who have openly defied the medical establishment (salespersons for Big Pharma) on Covid and failed to laud Our NHS?
The final word was an offer of a vaccine against shingles. I have had shingles, which came on days after my one and only flu jab, and it was thoroughly unpleasant, but not so bad that I would let anyone near me with a syringe knowing what I do now.
The episode was vaguely unsettling and I do wonder if some subtle discrimination is taking place. Literally nothing would surprise me.