And life goes on – with more problems in store, by Sheila

sheila-150x150Well the eye tests continue and now it’s more laser surgery. Had the first lot already but more to come as I have now just had a three session course of ‘panretinal laser photocoagulation’ – what a mouthful! I know it is for my own good and it will stop any further seepage at the back of the eye and prevent losing my eyesight completely but life does seem to throw stuff at you on a more than regular basis sometimes doesn’t it? On the bright side it does not seem to have affected my ability to drive as I have just got through the three yearly tests and got my new licence, yay!

Sharps box collection ends

More changes afoot, the local council who up until now have been collecting the yellow sharps box when it is full and replacing it with a nice shiny new one, have told us they will stop collecting on 1st October and that from then on we should deal with our local GP surgery.
I guess as a very cash-strapped rural ‘shire’ it is another thing they are cutting back on to save their precious money. I suppose it makes sense really, just two stops to pick up from in one area rather than two or three dozen individual households. I really have no idea how many households there are around where I live that do put sharps boxes out for collection. It might be quite a lot so would no doubt save quite a bit in the long run. It’s fine by me, the surgery have said they will be sorting it for us but I just worry that maybe some surgeries won’t be so helpful and we might be finding full sharps boxes littering the hedgerows along with all the other fly-tipped household waste dotted around the countryside. I do hope not, but it is a worry all the same.

Switch to cheaper needles

My latest concern is that we are now going to be bullied into using cheap and nasty needles for our insulin rather than the ones made for the pens our practitioners have chosen to dispense for us. One size fits all, doesn’t! I had them before for a while but as there was a lot of soreness and bruising caused by these nasty needles we were put back on the proper ones, made for the type of insulin pens that I use. The problem is that these nasty needles imported from America I believe, are screw on rather than the clip on that fit properly onto the pen, stay on whilst being used and actually come off safely with the needle at the end of use.
The cheap ones we used before – and I am guessing these new ones will probably be the same – have straight cut ends which cause bruising on entry to the skin, rather than the sharp chamfered ones which are slightly more expensive I admit. They don’t fit properly so when taking the needle off the pen after use they don’t always come away first time leaving you with a dangerous, sharp and now dirty needle to dispose of. They are also more fiddly to use meaning that you end up with blood all over your clothes from the injection, bruising and lumps on your injection points (despite changing sites every time you inject) sore fingers from pricking yourself getting the needle off the pen and because they don’t fit the pen properly wasting several per day at times before you get a proper safe injection. If the people who tell us we have to save money by using these cheap needles had to use them themselves they might understand the difficulties, but of course they don’t!

What’s the needle situation in your area?

It would be interesting to get feedback on this. Are other areas having the same problems? Do we sit back and let them get away with it? After all it is our NHS and why should we be bullied into changing to cheap and nasty needles when in the long run they will cost more by damaging our bodies and being wasted more often. The alternative I was told was to go private and pay for my own – if that is not downright bullying I don’t know what is!

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