COMMENT: Our health service is wonderful

Gay Bolton with plastered wrist.
Gay Bolton with plastered wrist.

The gnarled hand of old age is beckoning its arthritic finger at me and all I want to do is run in the opposite direction - if only my fragile bones would let me.

Having been diagnosed with osteoporosis, I’ve started the downward spiral into taking tablets every day from now on. It’s currently two twice a day and a particularly potent one once a week.

If I hadn’t gone for a night out with my much younger workmates, I’d have been none the wiser nor would I have realised just how wonderful our National Health Service is.

A slip while dancing crocked me good and proper when I landed on my wrist which swelled up like a balloon.

After a sleepless night because of the pain, I was driven tohospital where x-rays showed two broken bones and the injured limb was put in plaster.

Three days later, I was back at fracture clinic and into the operating theatre that afternoon to have a metal plate inserted, giving little time for any pre-op nerves. My only cause for concern was the surgeon’s prognosis of, hopefully, seeing an improvement within two years.

But out of the darkness came a small ray of light. My first night back at home was sleepless and uncomfortable as the heavy-duty painkillers wore off. Our cat, who normally has little time for me, lay on my plastered arm, her purring was like ultrasound sending healing vibes. She spent the next week perched on the back of the sofa guarding me.

Having an arm in a cast presented multiple challenges, not least getting dressed. So many clothes have tight sleeves which make them impossible to pull over a bulky arm.

Trying to iron was impossible and have you ever tried chopping an onion with one hand?

Rehabilitation was painful and tedious, stretching and massaging exercises four times a day, but the encouragement from my occupational therapist helped enormously.

Five months down the line, my wrist is mobile enough for me to drive again.

But I haven’t finished my journey to better health.

I was recalled to hospital for a bone density scan which highlighted osteoporosis. It’s a shock but, hopefully, by taking the tablets, I’ll be strong enough to face old age with a spring in my step - although tea dances may be out of the question!

Do you have reason to praise or berate the National Health Service? Share your story by emailing me on: 
gay.bolton@jpress.co.uk