LemtradaNHS

Hospital Double Header

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Posted By Scott

It’s 2021 and the new year in my MS journey got underway with a double header of two hospital visits in two days. 

It’s Oh So Quiet

Monday 4th January was the annual-ish MRI of my head.  My appointment was just before 7pm.  The evening slot combined with the 4th being the last day of the festive holiday in Scotland and the newest COVID-19 lockdown meant the roads were almost empty.  It can take me anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour to get to the QEUH, depending on traffic.  This might have set a new record.

My phone rang when I was maybe five minutes away.  The number showed up on my car dashboard as NHS.  Uh-oh.  Are they going to cancel my appointment at this late stage?

Meet the Magnets

No.  Phew.  It was actually to say they were running ahead of schedule, could I come in earlier.  Given the quiet roads I was going to be early so this was handy.  Much like the roads, the hospital was also noticeably quiet, with very few people wandering around the grounds.  It brought home how little visiting can happen right now.

My appointment was in a mobile MRI unit, to be accessed via the children’s hospital.  I was surprised to learn that you get mobile MRI units.  I always assumed the machines were so heavy that buildings were constructed around them.

The scan passed uneventfully.  I’ve had a few of these now and they don’t really bother me.  I’m not claustrophobic.  I can tune out the various clunking and pulsing noises to the point I almost fall asleep.  I’m not sure this counts as ASMR but maybe I need to recreate the sounds of an MRI machine to help me get to sleep at night.

I kept my mask on throughout the scan.  That was probably the least pleasant bit, as things got a bit warm with it on.  Fortunately, the scan was all done in about 20 minutes and I was on my way.  My symptoms have seemed very stable and low intensity over the last year so hopefully the scan will show a corresponding lack of MS activity.  Last year it was about three months before I got the results so until then, fingers crossed. 

Heading back to me car, I passed this happy chap.  It’s good to see even Oor Wullie was wearing a mask.

Jings, Crivvens, Help Ma Boab

The Next Day

Tuesday afternoon and I was back for the routine blood and urine checks post Lemtrada.  The hospital, or at least the car park, was a lot busier than 24 hours earlier.  The Neurology building still seemed quiet, with only myself and a couple of others in the waiting room.  All waiting for blood to be taken.   Yes, it’s the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Great January Blood Event!

No issues with the blood being taken (yay) and as of a few days later there’s been no news.  Which is good news.   It’s hard to believe that next month will mark the start of my third year of post Lemtrada checks.  The time has flown by.  It’s amazing how these monthly hospital visits have just become part of the routine.

I’ve said this many times, but the NHS is amazing.  The process of the arranging these hospital visits and tests, the follow up and the care whilst there is incredible.  Would I rather not have to experience it?  Of course.  Could the service be improved?  Sure.  But is the NHS comforting, caring and something that we should all be proud of?  Absolutely. 

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