lizziec: (toys - max at work)
Hello. I'm sure you all remember me. I used to update this. At risk of sounding like everyone else who has ever done this, including me in personal journals multiple times, I will try and get better at updating this and generally re-engaging with LiveJournal.

So, for the past few months I've been, you know, existing. There's not a lot to report really. I have a bunch of pictures from my holiday at home last September that I meant to document and never got around to. Assuming I continue the never getting round to it, they are here (Imperial War Museum), here (Howletts Wild Animal Park), here (Rochester Castle - terrifying experience going up [and down - I came down on my bum]) and here (Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Light Railway & Dungeness Lighthouse).

We have also bought and had delivered a new sofa, the installation of which was rather more of a saga and full of fail than it needed to be. I really hope I get around to writing that one up, because [livejournal.com profile] benc was awesome and manly ;)

I got some new woolies (here) because I shrank my old ones in the wash, and I got a shiny new mobile phone (here) which works much better than the old one.

I've also been growing my hair out. Had it trimmed last week so took a picture, and here it is:

IMG_0003

Before the trimming it was about an inch and a half longer than that and easily reached my waist.

So, yes, hello again. Hopefully my next update won't be so tardy. In fact, I know it won't, because I already have something prepared...
lizziec: (toys - max at work)
Hello. I'm sure you all remember me. I used to update this. At risk of sounding like everyone else who has ever done this, including me in personal journals multiple times, I will try and get better at updating this and generally re-engaging with LiveJournal.

So, for the past few months I've been, you know, existing. There's not a lot to report really. I have a bunch of pictures from my holiday at home last September that I meant to document and never got around to. Assuming I continue the never getting round to it, they are here (Imperial War Museum), here (Howletts Wild Animal Park), here (Rochester Castle - terrifying experience going up [and down - I came down on my bum]) and here (Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Light Railway & Dungeness Lighthouse).

We have also bought and had delivered a new sofa, the installation of which was rather more of a saga and full of fail than it needed to be. I really hope I get around to writing that one up, because [livejournal.com profile] benc was awesome and manly ;)

I got some new woolies (here) because I shrank my old ones in the wash, and I got a shiny new mobile phone (here) which works much better than the old one.

I've also been growing my hair out. Had it trimmed last week so took a picture, and here it is:

IMG_0003

Before the trimming it was about an inch and a half longer than that and easily reached my waist.

So, yes, hello again. Hopefully my next update won't be so tardy. In fact, I know it won't, because I already have something prepared...
lizziec: (toys - max at work)
Hello. I'm sure you all remember me. I used to update this. At risk of sounding like everyone else who has ever done this, including me in personal journals multiple times, I will try and get better at updating this and generally re-engaging with LiveJournal.

So, for the past few months I've been, you know, existing. There's not a lot to report really. I have a bunch of pictures from my holiday at home last September that I meant to document and never got around to. Assuming I continue the never getting round to it, they are here (Imperial War Museum), here (Howletts Wild Animal Park), here (Rochester Castle - terrifying experience going up [and down - I came down on my bum]) and here (Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Light Railway & Dungeness Lighthouse).

We have also bought and had delivered a new sofa, the installation of which was rather more of a saga and full of fail than it needed to be. I really hope I get around to writing that one up, because [livejournal.com profile] benc was awesome and manly ;)

I got some new woolies (here) because I shrank my old ones in the wash, and I got a shiny new mobile phone (here) which works much better than the old one.

I've also been growing my hair out. Had it trimmed last week so took a picture, and here it is:

IMG_0003

Before the trimming it was about an inch and a half longer than that and easily reached my waist.

So, yes, hello again. Hopefully my next update won't be so tardy. In fact, I know it won't, because I already have something prepared...
lizziec: (Wallace and Gromit - Gromit studying)
Jumping on the bandwagon. First sentence of first post of each month of the year. It was [livejournal.com profile] mrs_redboots who tipped me over the edge.

January: Ever since Portal came out in Mid October last year, my husband [livejournal.com profile] benc has been more or less obsessed with Moist Delicious Cake and The Weighted Companion Cube which are both "components" of the game.

February: Last night I saw the most recent Wulffmorgenthaler and it amused me.

March: In other news, I've been very busy this week, doing something every day (including seeing [livejournal.com profile] bethanthepurple twice! hello bethan!).

April: Niamh: Better than last week, pity that she seemed constantly struggling against the band for volume.

May: Jodie: Seemed lucky with the song choice - I seem to think of it as a musical theatre song more than a big band song.

June: I'm curious about my f-list's opinions on this because I don't really know where I stand.

July: Today the NHS turns 60, and I want to wish it a very happy birthday and wish it well for the next 60.

August: I went with [livejournal.com profile] no1typo today to Greenwich to have a wander around the market and we had a lovely time.

September: [livejournal.com profile] benc has just come to a startling conclusion that I feel must be shared with the world.

October: For those of you who are interested in going to the Tyler Hill bonfire and fireworks, they are on Saturday 1st November this year.

November: Firstly I feel I should mention the US election.

December: A link for those of you who are in to Battlestar Galactica (I think it's spoiler free).

Finally, a very happy New Year to you all! :D


Picture courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] benc
lizziec: (Wallace and Gromit - Gromit studying)
Jumping on the bandwagon. First sentence of first post of each month of the year. It was [livejournal.com profile] mrs_redboots who tipped me over the edge.

January: Ever since Portal came out in Mid October last year, my husband [livejournal.com profile] benc has been more or less obsessed with Moist Delicious Cake and The Weighted Companion Cube which are both "components" of the game.

February: Last night I saw the most recent Wulffmorgenthaler and it amused me.

March: In other news, I've been very busy this week, doing something every day (including seeing [livejournal.com profile] bethanthepurple twice! hello bethan!).

April: Niamh: Better than last week, pity that she seemed constantly struggling against the band for volume.

May: Jodie: Seemed lucky with the song choice - I seem to think of it as a musical theatre song more than a big band song.

June: I'm curious about my f-list's opinions on this because I don't really know where I stand.

July: Today the NHS turns 60, and I want to wish it a very happy birthday and wish it well for the next 60.

August: I went with [livejournal.com profile] no1typo today to Greenwich to have a wander around the market and we had a lovely time.

September: [livejournal.com profile] benc has just come to a startling conclusion that I feel must be shared with the world.

October: For those of you who are interested in going to the Tyler Hill bonfire and fireworks, they are on Saturday 1st November this year.

November: Firstly I feel I should mention the US election.

December: A link for those of you who are in to Battlestar Galactica (I think it's spoiler free).

Finally, a very happy New Year to you all! :D


Picture courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] benc
lizziec: (Wallace and Gromit - Gromit studying)
Jumping on the bandwagon. First sentence of first post of each month of the year. It was [livejournal.com profile] mrs_redboots who tipped me over the edge.

January: Ever since Portal came out in Mid October last year, my husband [livejournal.com profile] benc has been more or less obsessed with Moist Delicious Cake and The Weighted Companion Cube which are both "components" of the game.

February: Last night I saw the most recent Wulffmorgenthaler and it amused me.

March: In other news, I've been very busy this week, doing something every day (including seeing [livejournal.com profile] bethanthepurple twice! hello bethan!).

April: Niamh: Better than last week, pity that she seemed constantly struggling against the band for volume.

May: Jodie: Seemed lucky with the song choice - I seem to think of it as a musical theatre song more than a big band song.

June: I'm curious about my f-list's opinions on this because I don't really know where I stand.

July: Today the NHS turns 60, and I want to wish it a very happy birthday and wish it well for the next 60.

August: I went with [livejournal.com profile] no1typo today to Greenwich to have a wander around the market and we had a lovely time.

September: [livejournal.com profile] benc has just come to a startling conclusion that I feel must be shared with the world.

October: For those of you who are interested in going to the Tyler Hill bonfire and fireworks, they are on Saturday 1st November this year.

November: Firstly I feel I should mention the US election.

December: A link for those of you who are in to Battlestar Galactica (I think it's spoiler free).

Finally, a very happy New Year to you all! :D


Picture courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] benc
lizziec: (Stargate SG1 Daniel Jackson)
A bit of an update entry here, using crappy phone camera pictures to show a little of what I've been up to :)

Firstly, due to a deal between mum and Pete I was the agent delivering 43 beers to Pete (and buying said beer), leading to a rather odd looking collection of goods when I made the purchase - 43 beers and a packet of naan bread for our dinner that evening. I'm fairly sure that the collection would have looked a whole lot less odd if it hadn't been for the naan bread.



The clunking of that lot in the car sounded quite dreadful as I accelerated, braked, turned corners... Luckily nothing broke :)



In other news, the Christmas Market is now in town! There's a stall that sells cool keyrings and 3D wooden puzzels. I've got some pictures of the keyrings, but not the puzzels :( Also, not the full spectrum of keyrings - there are lizards and frogs, and elephants, and giraffes and all sorts, all made from natural rubber :)





There's a stall with mulled wine and hot chocolate (regular hot chocolate and hot chocolate with rum or amaretto).



There's also a stall selling all kinds of Wurst, cooked over a barbeque. This stall is ben's favourite! :D



Finally, I took this picture of a very funny card:

NSFW! )

Carols at the Cathedral tonight. I'm really looking forward to it :D It always feels like Christmas is really on its way when we have them. It also really enthralls the history part of me, as we stand in the Nave of the Cathedral with all the lights off, holding lit candles and singing carols, because I feel a real connection to the past - 100 years ago, 400 years ago, 1000 (or so) years ago there would have been people there doing much the same thing. It's hard to articulate, but it feels amazing.
lizziec: (Stargate SG1 Daniel Jackson)
A bit of an update entry here, using crappy phone camera pictures to show a little of what I've been up to :)

Firstly, due to a deal between mum and Pete I was the agent delivering 43 beers to Pete (and buying said beer), leading to a rather odd looking collection of goods when I made the purchase - 43 beers and a packet of naan bread for our dinner that evening. I'm fairly sure that the collection would have looked a whole lot less odd if it hadn't been for the naan bread.



The clunking of that lot in the car sounded quite dreadful as I accelerated, braked, turned corners... Luckily nothing broke :)



In other news, the Christmas Market is now in town! There's a stall that sells cool keyrings and 3D wooden puzzels. I've got some pictures of the keyrings, but not the puzzels :( Also, not the full spectrum of keyrings - there are lizards and frogs, and elephants, and giraffes and all sorts, all made from natural rubber :)





There's a stall with mulled wine and hot chocolate (regular hot chocolate and hot chocolate with rum or amaretto).



There's also a stall selling all kinds of Wurst, cooked over a barbeque. This stall is ben's favourite! :D



Finally, I took this picture of a very funny card:

NSFW! )

Carols at the Cathedral tonight. I'm really looking forward to it :D It always feels like Christmas is really on its way when we have them. It also really enthralls the history part of me, as we stand in the Nave of the Cathedral with all the lights off, holding lit candles and singing carols, because I feel a real connection to the past - 100 years ago, 400 years ago, 1000 (or so) years ago there would have been people there doing much the same thing. It's hard to articulate, but it feels amazing.
lizziec: (Stargate SG1 Daniel Jackson)
A bit of an update entry here, using crappy phone camera pictures to show a little of what I've been up to :)

Firstly, due to a deal between mum and Pete I was the agent delivering 43 beers to Pete (and buying said beer), leading to a rather odd looking collection of goods when I made the purchase - 43 beers and a packet of naan bread for our dinner that evening. I'm fairly sure that the collection would have looked a whole lot less odd if it hadn't been for the naan bread.



The clunking of that lot in the car sounded quite dreadful as I accelerated, braked, turned corners... Luckily nothing broke :)



In other news, the Christmas Market is now in town! There's a stall that sells cool keyrings and 3D wooden puzzels. I've got some pictures of the keyrings, but not the puzzels :( Also, not the full spectrum of keyrings - there are lizards and frogs, and elephants, and giraffes and all sorts, all made from natural rubber :)





There's a stall with mulled wine and hot chocolate (regular hot chocolate and hot chocolate with rum or amaretto).



There's also a stall selling all kinds of Wurst, cooked over a barbeque. This stall is ben's favourite! :D



Finally, I took this picture of a very funny card:

NSFW! )

Carols at the Cathedral tonight. I'm really looking forward to it :D It always feels like Christmas is really on its way when we have them. It also really enthralls the history part of me, as we stand in the Nave of the Cathedral with all the lights off, holding lit candles and singing carols, because I feel a real connection to the past - 100 years ago, 400 years ago, 1000 (or so) years ago there would have been people there doing much the same thing. It's hard to articulate, but it feels amazing.
lizziec: (acid)
Today the NHS turns 60, and I want to wish it a very happy birthday and wish it well for the next 60. I know there are plenty of problems with it, I am not blinkered enough to say that there could not be improvements, but I believe that it is one of the greatest achievements of this country, especially in the post-World War II period. Here's why.

In 1900 (that's only 108 years ago) in this country:
* Life expectancy was below 50 years
* 163 out of every 1000 babies born died before they reached the age of 1 (that's 16.3%)
* The majority of families could not afford to see a doctor

The government refused to interfere as the emphasis at this point in time was on a "laissez-faire" country, meaning that things should be left to take their own course. It was believed that interference by the Government would strangle the economy, so generally people were left to sink or swim as they could. During the latter years of the 19th Century, and the early years of the 20th Century many reports began to come out which drew attention to the plight of the poor, which was reinforced by something of a recruitment crisis for the army during the Boer War. Of those who volunteered 35% (over a third) were rejected as medically unfit, generally because of problems related to poverty.

This changed in 1906 when the Liberal Party was elected, with David Lloyd George as their Chancellor of the Exchequor, and what followed was a package of reforms that ultimately led to a constitutional crisis. The reforms included the setting up of Old Age Pensions, free school meals (which went quite some way to tackling malnutrition among the poor), slum clearance programmes and Labour Exchanges (see here for more information).

The most pertinent reform to what I'm discussing today was the 1911 National Health Insurance act, which brought in various safeguards for those in employment who could afford to contribute to a scheme, which would then pay for them to go see a doctor if ill, and pay a small sum every week if the contributor were unemployed or unable to work. The government paid a sum to the scheme, as did the employer. The limitations of this scheme were numerous. It only covered those able to work, which at this period were mostly men, and even then the only hospitalisation it payed for was sanitorium treatment for TB. It did not cover those earning too little to be able to afford to contribute, children, the elderly, women, and those who were chronically and mentally ill. As a result, many still relied on the quack remedies that they had done before the scheme came in to force. The sad truth was that despite the advances in Medicine that had taken place, most people could not access it. The major problems with NHI showed themselves in the 1930s during the Great Depression when so many were out of work, and so many accounts in arrears (upwards of 4 million) that the companies running the schemes made no profit, which was compounded when the government reduced its contribution.

The turning point came with the Second World War. The Government were in possession of some rather terrifying figures about expected casualty rates as a result of any enemy bombing action, which thankfully never came to pass, though the Government did not know this at the start of the war. Expected Casualties (because I found this during my dissertation research and I think it's really interesting) ) As a result the Government planned various strategies to deal with the expected casualties (including a stockpile of cardboard coffins). The one relevant to this "History of the NHS", is the Emergency Hospital Scheme, which was funded and run by the Government and was "designed to serve the purpose of a moment" - to look after those injured in the war, especially bombing victims. Under this scheme any treatment needed, including hospitalisation, was free. It was during this period, in 1942, the the Beveridge Report was published which proposed a "free national health service" as a way of combating the five 'Giant Evils' of Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor and Idleness. The Conservatives, who nominally had the majority in the Commons at this time (though there was actually a "Government of National Unity" in power) refused to commit to putting in place the reforms, which was one of the reasons why they were beaten so comprehensively by the Labour party in the 1945 General Election. One of their first acts when they got in to power was the 1946 National Health Service Act, which provided in law for a free and comprehensive health care system.

The first day of this National Health Service was to be 5th July 1948 but there was an enormous amount of work that had to take place before it could start, including the nationalisation of Hospitals, the creation of health centres, the better/fairer distribution of doctors around the country and the creation of a new salary structure. On top of all this work, there was a huge amount of opposition (as with any large and sudden change). Most Local Authorities and Charitable Organisations who had previously run hospitals were opposed, as were doctors, who did not want to be employed by the government, or told where to work. In fact, at the beginning of 1948 90% of doctors said that they would not co-operate with the NHS. There was also opposition from many who were scared by the huge costs involved, but Aneurin Bevan who was Minister for Health at this time argued that Britain could afford it, and had to afford it. Bevan worked extremely hard to ensure the creation of the NHS, and by hook or by crook (he allowed doctors to work for the NHS and keep private patients while getting the public to sign up with doctors for the NHS - if a doctor didn't sign the form, he risked losing the patient [and the funding that came with them] to a doctor who would), made sure that over 90% of doctors had signed up by the opening day.

The benefits of the NHS were visible very quickly, especially in those groups which had not been covered until its creation. Maternal and infant mortality levels fell very quickly and life expectancy rose, especially as the new techniques and drugs (such as Penicillin) became available at no cost to people who would have died for want of them.

In 2008 we're looking at:
* An average life expectancy of 77 years, with more and more living until 100.
* An average of 5.2 out of every 1000 babies dying before the age of 1 (0.52%) [figures from 2006]
* Everyone can see a doctor, irrespective of whether they can pay

What I'm trying to say in an incredibly long winded way is that the NHS may not be perfect, but in comparison to what we have had before it is amazing, and I sometimes think we lose sight of just how brilliant it is amongst all the complaining about the things that are wrong and the compromises that sometimes have to be made.

My dad was chronically ill with Type 1 Diabetes most of his life, and we did not have to pay towards his care. His final illness and the two weeks spent in intensive care did not bankrupt us. My sister was born 15 weeks prematurely and spent her 16 hours of life receiving the best care available in 1982, and my parents were not left with a crippling bill as well as a dead daughter. When my mum hurt her back and she was in bed for 6 weeks her care (a physio, home help twice a day, doctors visits, nurse visits) did not cost us. When my mum was pregnant with me and was kept in hospital for most of those 9 months my parents did not have to check her out because they were worried about the cost, nor did they have to worry about the bill they were getting at the end. When I was ill with depression I did not have to worry about the cost of my prescriptions or my counselling. The times Phil has injured himself we have not had to worry about the bill from the Hospital for getting him checked out. Ben and I have not had to worry that while I've been off work I've been without coverage for my health (or traded electricity/food/rent for insurance coverage).

I think there's a lot to be said for that. So Happy Birthday NHS, here's to many many more.

ETA: Pretty much 1500 words. I wrote as much as that in some of my degree essays. Sorry guys!

ETA2 (2011): Since I wrote this my mum died from a rare form of Cancer. Her care was second to none and nothing was denied her on grounds of cost. We were not left with crippling bills, and not having to worry about finding money for her care made her last weeks and days easier for everyone.

lizziec: (acid)
Today the NHS turns 60, and I want to wish it a very happy birthday and wish it well for the next 60. I know there are plenty of problems with it, I am not blinkered enough to say that there could not be improvements, but I believe that it is one of the greatest achievements of this country, especially in the post-World War II period. Here's why.

In 1900 (that's only 108 years ago) in this country:
* Life expectancy was below 50 years
* 163 out of every 1000 babies born died before they reached the age of 1 (that's 16.3%)
* The majority of families could not afford to see a doctor

The government refused to interfere as the emphasis at this point in time was on a "laissez-faire" country, meaning that things should be left to take their own course. It was believed that interference by the Government would strangle the economy, so generally people were left to sink or swim as they could. During the latter years of the 19th Century, and the early years of the 20th Century many reports began to come out which drew attention to the plight of the poor, which was reinforced by something of a recruitment crisis for the army during the Boer War. Of those who volunteered 35% (over a third) were rejected as medically unfit, generally because of problems related to poverty.

This changed in 1906 when the Liberal Party was elected, with David Lloyd George as their Chancellor of the Exchequor, and what followed was a package of reforms that ultimately led to a constitutional crisis. The reforms included the setting up of Old Age Pensions, free school meals (which went quite some way to tackling malnutrition among the poor), slum clearance programmes and Labour Exchanges (see here for more information).

The most pertinent reform to what I'm discussing today was the 1911 National Health Insurance act, which brought in various safeguards for those in employment who could afford to contribute to a scheme, which would then pay for them to go see a doctor if ill, and pay a small sum every week if the contributor were unemployed or unable to work. The government paid a sum to the scheme, as did the employer. The limitations of this scheme were numerous. It only covered those able to work, which at this period were mostly men, and even then the only hospitalisation it payed for was sanitorium treatment for TB. It did not cover those earning too little to be able to afford to contribute, children, the elderly, women, and those who were chronically and mentally ill. As a result, many still relied on the quack remedies that they had done before the scheme came in to force. The sad truth was that despite the advances in Medicine that had taken place, most people could not access it. The major problems with NHI showed themselves in the 1930s during the Great Depression when so many were out of work, and so many accounts in arrears (upwards of 4 million) that the companies running the schemes made no profit, which was compounded when the government reduced its contribution.

The turning point came with the Second World War. The Government were in possession of some rather terrifying figures about expected casualty rates as a result of any enemy bombing action, which thankfully never came to pass, though the Government did not know this at the start of the war. Expected Casualties (because I found this during my dissertation research and I think it's really interesting) ) As a result the Government planned various strategies to deal with the expected casualties (including a stockpile of cardboard coffins). The one relevant to this "History of the NHS", is the Emergency Hospital Scheme, which was funded and run by the Government and was "designed to serve the purpose of a moment" - to look after those injured in the war, especially bombing victims. Under this scheme any treatment needed, including hospitalisation, was free. It was during this period, in 1942, the the Beveridge Report was published which proposed a "free national health service" as a way of combating the five 'Giant Evils' of Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor and Idleness. The Conservatives, who nominally had the majority in the Commons at this time (though there was actually a "Government of National Unity" in power) refused to commit to putting in place the reforms, which was one of the reasons why they were beaten so comprehensively by the Labour party in the 1945 General Election. One of their first acts when they got in to power was the 1946 National Health Service Act, which provided in law for a free and comprehensive health care system.

The first day of this National Health Service was to be 5th July 1948 but there was an enormous amount of work that had to take place before it could start, including the nationalisation of Hospitals, the creation of health centres, the better/fairer distribution of doctors around the country and the creation of a new salary structure. On top of all this work, there was a huge amount of opposition (as with any large and sudden change). Most Local Authorities and Charitable Organisations who had previously run hospitals were opposed, as were doctors, who did not want to be employed by the government, or told where to work. In fact, at the beginning of 1948 90% of doctors said that they would not co-operate with the NHS. There was also opposition from many who were scared by the huge costs involved, but Aneurin Bevan who was Minister for Health at this time argued that Britain could afford it, and had to afford it. Bevan worked extremely hard to ensure the creation of the NHS, and by hook or by crook (he allowed doctors to work for the NHS and keep private patients while getting the public to sign up with doctors for the NHS - if a doctor didn't sign the form, he risked losing the patient [and the funding that came with them] to a doctor who would), made sure that over 90% of doctors had signed up by the opening day.

The benefits of the NHS were visible very quickly, especially in those groups which had not been covered until its creation. Maternal and infant mortality levels fell very quickly and life expectancy rose, especially as the new techniques and drugs (such as Penicillin) became available at no cost to people who would have died for want of them.

In 2008 we're looking at:
* An average life expectancy of 77 years, with more and more living until 100.
* An average of 5.2 out of every 1000 babies dying before the age of 1 (0.52%) [figures from 2006]
* Everyone can see a doctor, irrespective of whether they can pay

What I'm trying to say in an incredibly long winded way is that the NHS may not be perfect, but in comparison to what we have had before it is amazing, and I sometimes think we lose sight of just how brilliant it is amongst all the complaining about the things that are wrong and the compromises that sometimes have to be made.

My dad was chronically ill with Type 1 Diabetes most of his life, and we did not have to pay towards his care. His final illness and the two weeks spent in intensive care did not bankrupt us. My sister was born 15 weeks prematurely and spent her 16 hours of life receiving the best care available in 1982, and my parents were not left with a crippling bill as well as a dead daughter. When my mum hurt her back and she was in bed for 6 weeks her care (a physio, home help twice a day, doctors visits, nurse visits) did not cost us. When my mum was pregnant with me and was kept in hospital for most of those 9 months my parents did not have to check her out because they were worried about the cost, nor did they have to worry about the bill they were getting at the end. When I was ill with depression I did not have to worry about the cost of my prescriptions or my counselling. The times Phil has injured himself we have not had to worry about the bill from the Hospital for getting him checked out. Ben and I have not had to worry that while I've been off work I've been without coverage for my health (or traded electricity/food/rent for insurance coverage).

I think there's a lot to be said for that. So Happy Birthday NHS, here's to many many more.

ETA: Pretty much 1500 words. I wrote as much as that in some of my degree essays. Sorry guys!

ETA2 (2011): Since I wrote this my mum died from a rare form of Cancer. Her care was second to none and nothing was denied her on grounds of cost. We were not left with crippling bills, and not having to worry about finding money for her care made her last weeks and days easier for everyone.

lizziec: (acid)
Today the NHS turns 60, and I want to wish it a very happy birthday and wish it well for the next 60. I know there are plenty of problems with it, I am not blinkered enough to say that there could not be improvements, but I believe that it is one of the greatest achievements of this country, especially in the post-World War II period. Here's why.

In 1900 (that's only 108 years ago) in this country:
* Life expectancy was below 50 years
* 163 out of every 1000 babies born died before they reached the age of 1 (that's 16.3%)
* The majority of families could not afford to see a doctor

The government refused to interfere as the emphasis at this point in time was on a "laissez-faire" country, meaning that things should be left to take their own course. It was believed that interference by the Government would strangle the economy, so generally people were left to sink or swim as they could. During the latter years of the 19th Century, and the early years of the 20th Century many reports began to come out which drew attention to the plight of the poor, which was reinforced by something of a recruitment crisis for the army during the Boer War. Of those who volunteered 35% (over a third) were rejected as medically unfit, generally because of problems related to poverty.

This changed in 1906 when the Liberal Party was elected, with David Lloyd George as their Chancellor of the Exchequor, and what followed was a package of reforms that ultimately led to a constitutional crisis. The reforms included the setting up of Old Age Pensions, free school meals (which went quite some way to tackling malnutrition among the poor), slum clearance programmes and Labour Exchanges (see here for more information).

The most pertinent reform to what I'm discussing today was the 1911 National Health Insurance act, which brought in various safeguards for those in employment who could afford to contribute to a scheme, which would then pay for them to go see a doctor if ill, and pay a small sum every week if the contributor were unemployed or unable to work. The government paid a sum to the scheme, as did the employer. The limitations of this scheme were numerous. It only covered those able to work, which at this period were mostly men, and even then the only hospitalisation it payed for was sanitorium treatment for TB. It did not cover those earning too little to be able to afford to contribute, children, the elderly, women, and those who were chronically and mentally ill. As a result, many still relied on the quack remedies that they had done before the scheme came in to force. The sad truth was that despite the advances in Medicine that had taken place, most people could not access it. The major problems with NHI showed themselves in the 1930s during the Great Depression when so many were out of work, and so many accounts in arrears (upwards of 4 million) that the companies running the schemes made no profit, which was compounded when the government reduced its contribution.

The turning point came with the Second World War. The Government were in possession of some rather terrifying figures about expected casualty rates as a result of any enemy bombing action, which thankfully never came to pass, though the Government did not know this at the start of the war. Expected Casualties (because I found this during my dissertation research and I think it's really interesting) ) As a result the Government planned various strategies to deal with the expected casualties (including a stockpile of cardboard coffins). The one relevant to this "History of the NHS", is the Emergency Hospital Scheme, which was funded and run by the Government and was "designed to serve the purpose of a moment" - to look after those injured in the war, especially bombing victims. Under this scheme any treatment needed, including hospitalisation, was free. It was during this period, in 1942, the the Beveridge Report was published which proposed a "free national health service" as a way of combating the five 'Giant Evils' of Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor and Idleness. The Conservatives, who nominally had the majority in the Commons at this time (though there was actually a "Government of National Unity" in power) refused to commit to putting in place the reforms, which was one of the reasons why they were beaten so comprehensively by the Labour party in the 1945 General Election. One of their first acts when they got in to power was the 1946 National Health Service Act, which provided in law for a free and comprehensive health care system.

The first day of this National Health Service was to be 5th July 1948 but there was an enormous amount of work that had to take place before it could start, including the nationalisation of Hospitals, the creation of health centres, the better/fairer distribution of doctors around the country and the creation of a new salary structure. On top of all this work, there was a huge amount of opposition (as with any large and sudden change). Most Local Authorities and Charitable Organisations who had previously run hospitals were opposed, as were doctors, who did not want to be employed by the government, or told where to work. In fact, at the beginning of 1948 90% of doctors said that they would not co-operate with the NHS. There was also opposition from many who were scared by the huge costs involved, but Aneurin Bevan who was Minister for Health at this time argued that Britain could afford it, and had to afford it. Bevan worked extremely hard to ensure the creation of the NHS, and by hook or by crook (he allowed doctors to work for the NHS and keep private patients while getting the public to sign up with doctors for the NHS - if a doctor didn't sign the form, he risked losing the patient [and the funding that came with them] to a doctor who would), made sure that over 90% of doctors had signed up by the opening day.

The benefits of the NHS were visible very quickly, especially in those groups which had not been covered until its creation. Maternal and infant mortality levels fell very quickly and life expectancy rose, especially as the new techniques and drugs (such as Penicillin) became available at no cost to people who would have died for want of them.

In 2008 we're looking at:
* An average life expectancy of 77 years, with more and more living until 100.
* An average of 5.2 out of every 1000 babies dying before the age of 1 (0.52%) [figures from 2006]
* Everyone can see a doctor, irrespective of whether they can pay

What I'm trying to say in an incredibly long winded way is that the NHS may not be perfect, but in comparison to what we have had before it is amazing, and I sometimes think we lose sight of just how brilliant it is amongst all the complaining about the things that are wrong and the compromises that sometimes have to be made.

My dad was chronically ill with Type 1 Diabetes most of his life, and we did not have to pay towards his care. His final illness and the two weeks spent in intensive care did not bankrupt us. My sister was born 15 weeks prematurely and spent her 16 hours of life receiving the best care available in 1982, and my parents were not left with a crippling bill as well as a dead daughter. When my mum hurt her back and she was in bed for 6 weeks her care (a physio, home help twice a day, doctors visits, nurse visits) did not cost us. When my mum was pregnant with me and was kept in hospital for most of those 9 months my parents did not have to check her out because they were worried about the cost, nor did they have to worry about the bill they were getting at the end. When I was ill with depression I did not have to worry about the cost of my prescriptions or my counselling. The times Phil has injured himself we have not had to worry about the bill from the Hospital for getting him checked out. Ben and I have not had to worry that while I've been off work I've been without coverage for my health (or traded electricity/food/rent for insurance coverage).

I think there's a lot to be said for that. So Happy Birthday NHS, here's to many many more.

ETA: Pretty much 1500 words. I wrote as much as that in some of my degree essays. Sorry guys!

ETA2 (2011): Since I wrote this my mum died from a rare form of Cancer. Her care was second to none and nothing was denied her on grounds of cost. We were not left with crippling bills, and not having to worry about finding money for her care made her last weeks and days easier for everyone.
lizziec: (willy fogg (book))
London trip (including the Science Museum) )

Last night I caught a Giant Moth. Ugh.

Giant Moth (see? I'm not exaggerating!) )

Today I've been watching Around The World With Willy Fogg (theme tune), which was one of the blockbuster dvds that turned up recently. It's such fun :D I really enjoy 80s cartoons :) In it's honour I've made a new lj icon (see the one with this post :))

Phew. That was quite an update. I daresay there won't be another proper one for months now!
lizziec: (willy fogg (book))
London trip (including the Science Museum) )

Last night I caught a Giant Moth. Ugh.

Giant Moth (see? I'm not exaggerating!) )

Today I've been watching Around The World With Willy Fogg (theme tune), which was one of the blockbuster dvds that turned up recently. It's such fun :D I really enjoy 80s cartoons :) In it's honour I've made a new lj icon (see the one with this post :))

Phew. That was quite an update. I daresay there won't be another proper one for months now!
lizziec: (willy fogg (book))
London trip (including the Science Museum) )

Last night I caught a Giant Moth. Ugh.

Giant Moth (see? I'm not exaggerating!) )

Today I've been watching Around The World With Willy Fogg (theme tune), which was one of the blockbuster dvds that turned up recently. It's such fun :D I really enjoy 80s cartoons :) In it's honour I've made a new lj icon (see the one with this post :))

Phew. That was quite an update. I daresay there won't be another proper one for months now!
lizziec: (carebare hug)
Benjamin Daniel Slowe, born 13:36 today, weighing 9lb 13oz. Rah and sprog both fine (but obviously tired).
lizziec: (carebare hug)
Benjamin Daniel Slowe, born 13:36 today, weighing 9lb 13oz. Rah and sprog both fine (but obviously tired).
lizziec: (carebare hug)
Benjamin Daniel Slowe, born 13:36 today, weighing 9lb 13oz. Rah and sprog both fine (but obviously tired).
lizziec: (carebear star)
[livejournal.com profile] rahslowe went in to labour late last night and is currently in Hospital. Please do not text or call them at the moment, as they are understandably busy with other things ;) Will update again with more news when I get it (which will probably not be until Sproglet has been born).
lizziec: (carebear star)
[livejournal.com profile] rahslowe went in to labour late last night and is currently in Hospital. Please do not text or call them at the moment, as they are understandably busy with other things ;) Will update again with more news when I get it (which will probably not be until Sproglet has been born).
lizziec: (carebear star)
[livejournal.com profile] rahslowe went in to labour late last night and is currently in Hospital. Please do not text or call them at the moment, as they are understandably busy with other things ;) Will update again with more news when I get it (which will probably not be until Sproglet has been born).
lizziec: (casualty - Charlie)
Today I fell down half a flight of stairs from our flat. I mis-stepped on the top step and fell until the halfway break and its railings stopped my fall. It hurt.

Anyone thinking of falling down stairs (especially concrete ones with sharp edges) take my advice. Don't.

I was checked out at the hospital, and didn't break anything luckily (and rather miraculously). I have scraped most of the skin off my left shin though, and have grazes on my left shin, right thigh, left forearm and right upper arm, and an enormous bump on my forehead. And I'm black and blue in a way that ben's pictures (see below for link) don't show (mostly because they've been coming up since he took the pictures at the minor injuries unit at the K&C).

Pictures here.

It really hurt when the nurse cleaned the grazes up, because underneith is all bruised and there was grit and stuff in wounds that had mostly scabbed over. Apparently all colour drained from my face.

Anyway, now you all know how stupid I can be.

On the upside neither my glasses nor my phone were destroyed, despite falling twice as far as me. In fact, the phone didn't even disconnect the call I had going at the time. Talk about impressive (and lucky). Yay!

Again, I reiterate, if you're thinking of falling down stairs, don't ;)

lizziec: (casualty - Charlie)
Today I fell down half a flight of stairs from our flat. I mis-stepped on the top step and fell until the halfway break and its railings stopped my fall. It hurt.

Anyone thinking of falling down stairs (especially concrete ones with sharp edges) take my advice. Don't.

I was checked out at the hospital, and didn't break anything luckily (and rather miraculously). I have scraped most of the skin off my left shin though, and have grazes on my left shin, right thigh, left forearm and right upper arm, and an enormous bump on my forehead. And I'm black and blue in a way that ben's pictures (see below for link) don't show (mostly because they've been coming up since he took the pictures at the minor injuries unit at the K&C).

Pictures here.

It really hurt when the nurse cleaned the grazes up, because underneith is all bruised and there was grit and stuff in wounds that had mostly scabbed over. Apparently all colour drained from my face.

Anyway, now you all know how stupid I can be.

On the upside neither my glasses nor my phone were destroyed, despite falling twice as far as me. In fact, the phone didn't even disconnect the call I had going at the time. Talk about impressive (and lucky). Yay!

Again, I reiterate, if you're thinking of falling down stairs, don't ;)

lizziec: (casualty - Charlie)
Today I fell down half a flight of stairs from our flat. I mis-stepped on the top step and fell until the halfway break and its railings stopped my fall. It hurt.

Anyone thinking of falling down stairs (especially concrete ones with sharp edges) take my advice. Don't.

I was checked out at the hospital, and didn't break anything luckily (and rather miraculously). I have scraped most of the skin off my left shin though, and have grazes on my left shin, right thigh, left forearm and right upper arm, and an enormous bump on my forehead. And I'm black and blue in a way that ben's pictures (see below for link) don't show (mostly because they've been coming up since he took the pictures at the minor injuries unit at the K&C).

Pictures here.

It really hurt when the nurse cleaned the grazes up, because underneith is all bruised and there was grit and stuff in wounds that had mostly scabbed over. Apparently all colour drained from my face.

Anyway, now you all know how stupid I can be.

On the upside neither my glasses nor my phone were destroyed, despite falling twice as far as me. In fact, the phone didn't even disconnect the call I had going at the time. Talk about impressive (and lucky). Yay!

Again, I reiterate, if you're thinking of falling down stairs, don't ;)
lizziec: (evil bunnies)
My new phone arrived today. See here for pictures of it as I unpacked it.

Here it is next to my old phone:


Mmm, shiny.

While moving stuff from my old phone to my new one, I grabbed a whole load of pictures off it and uploaded them. They are nyah.

They include:
* a picture of the roof in the Physics Marlowe building after the plastic roof blew off and Estates covered the hole with tarpaulin (which then also blew off,hence why there are two tarpaulins of different colours there).
* A picture taken at the last BNL concert I went to. See why I took such a crappy picture here.
* Dalek Operation found in ASDA a while ago.

Enjoy!

P.S. Go comment on ben's journal here. He says it's "vitally important".
lizziec: (evil bunnies)
My new phone arrived today. See here for pictures of it as I unpacked it.

Here it is next to my old phone:


Mmm, shiny.

While moving stuff from my old phone to my new one, I grabbed a whole load of pictures off it and uploaded them. They are nyah.

They include:
* a picture of the roof in the Physics Marlowe building after the plastic roof blew off and Estates covered the hole with tarpaulin (which then also blew off,hence why there are two tarpaulins of different colours there).
* A picture taken at the last BNL concert I went to. See why I took such a crappy picture here.
* Dalek Operation found in ASDA a while ago.

Enjoy!

P.S. Go comment on ben's journal here. He says it's "vitally important".
lizziec: (evil bunnies)
My new phone arrived today. See here for pictures of it as I unpacked it.

Here it is next to my old phone:


Mmm, shiny.

While moving stuff from my old phone to my new one, I grabbed a whole load of pictures off it and uploaded them. They are nyah.

They include:
* a picture of the roof in the Physics Marlowe building after the plastic roof blew off and Estates covered the hole with tarpaulin (which then also blew off,hence why there are two tarpaulins of different colours there).
* A picture taken at the last BNL concert I went to. See why I took such a crappy picture here.
* Dalek Operation found in ASDA a while ago.

Enjoy!

P.S. Go comment on ben's journal here. He says it's "vitally important".
lizziec: (Jon Stewart)
I went to Wildwood (again) the other day (this time with [livejournal.com profile] rahslowe and her sister, Hannah) and got some more animal pictures, quite different from the ones last time because most of the Animals weren't co-operating. Pictures here. Best picture was of an American Bullfrog, I'm quite pleased with it. Pity about the grass that kind of got in the way of my shot.



The other thing that happened to me recently was a mobile phone upgrade. I was due for my upgrade a couple of weeks ago but put it off till yesterday, and had the weirdest and easiest upgrade ever (which is why I'm writing about something so mundane :p)

My current phone is a Sony Ericsson W300i and I've been very happy with it for the most part, but it's 18 months old, scratched and generally looking and starting to behave like a phone that's 18 months old (unimportant bits falling off it and such).

Anyway, I decided to pull my finger out yesterday and call T-Mobile (who I've been with for nearly 6 years now on contract, and four years before that on PAYG, and part of that was when they were still One2One). What can I say, I'm really happy with them, always had excellent customer service from them, and not had any problems with coverage - when I was first with them they were the only ones with signal covering my mum's house (necessary since I was living there at the time).

I got through to customer services very quickly and asked about an upgrade. A very chirpy scotsman confirmed I was due, and said I was a high value customer to them, and as such he wasn't going to offer me any deals - I should just say what I wanted and he would make it happen. So I said I was after the Sony Ericsson W890i, which according to T-Mobile's website should cost me about £50. He said I could have it for free, then gave me a discount off my bill (£4 a month) without me asking. Win :D I was really surprised, but very impressed with their customer service, which for me was impeccable. So I'm writing this all down, to act as a record for just how pleased I am with them and why.

My new phone should arrive on Tuesday morning. Mmm, shiny :)
lizziec: (Jon Stewart)
I went to Wildwood (again) the other day (this time with [livejournal.com profile] rahslowe and her sister, Hannah) and got some more animal pictures, quite different from the ones last time because most of the Animals weren't co-operating. Pictures here. Best picture was of an American Bullfrog, I'm quite pleased with it. Pity about the grass that kind of got in the way of my shot.



The other thing that happened to me recently was a mobile phone upgrade. I was due for my upgrade a couple of weeks ago but put it off till yesterday, and had the weirdest and easiest upgrade ever (which is why I'm writing about something so mundane :p)

My current phone is a Sony Ericsson W300i and I've been very happy with it for the most part, but it's 18 months old, scratched and generally looking and starting to behave like a phone that's 18 months old (unimportant bits falling off it and such).

Anyway, I decided to pull my finger out yesterday and call T-Mobile (who I've been with for nearly 6 years now on contract, and four years before that on PAYG, and part of that was when they were still One2One). What can I say, I'm really happy with them, always had excellent customer service from them, and not had any problems with coverage - when I was first with them they were the only ones with signal covering my mum's house (necessary since I was living there at the time).

I got through to customer services very quickly and asked about an upgrade. A very chirpy scotsman confirmed I was due, and said I was a high value customer to them, and as such he wasn't going to offer me any deals - I should just say what I wanted and he would make it happen. So I said I was after the Sony Ericsson W890i, which according to T-Mobile's website should cost me about £50. He said I could have it for free, then gave me a discount off my bill (£4 a month) without me asking. Win :D I was really surprised, but very impressed with their customer service, which for me was impeccable. So I'm writing this all down, to act as a record for just how pleased I am with them and why.

My new phone should arrive on Tuesday morning. Mmm, shiny :)
lizziec: (Jon Stewart)
I went to Wildwood (again) the other day (this time with [livejournal.com profile] rahslowe and her sister, Hannah) and got some more animal pictures, quite different from the ones last time because most of the Animals weren't co-operating. Pictures here. Best picture was of an American Bullfrog, I'm quite pleased with it. Pity about the grass that kind of got in the way of my shot.



The other thing that happened to me recently was a mobile phone upgrade. I was due for my upgrade a couple of weeks ago but put it off till yesterday, and had the weirdest and easiest upgrade ever (which is why I'm writing about something so mundane :p)

My current phone is a Sony Ericsson W300i and I've been very happy with it for the most part, but it's 18 months old, scratched and generally looking and starting to behave like a phone that's 18 months old (unimportant bits falling off it and such).

Anyway, I decided to pull my finger out yesterday and call T-Mobile (who I've been with for nearly 6 years now on contract, and four years before that on PAYG, and part of that was when they were still One2One). What can I say, I'm really happy with them, always had excellent customer service from them, and not had any problems with coverage - when I was first with them they were the only ones with signal covering my mum's house (necessary since I was living there at the time).

I got through to customer services very quickly and asked about an upgrade. A very chirpy scotsman confirmed I was due, and said I was a high value customer to them, and as such he wasn't going to offer me any deals - I should just say what I wanted and he would make it happen. So I said I was after the Sony Ericsson W890i, which according to T-Mobile's website should cost me about £50. He said I could have it for free, then gave me a discount off my bill (£4 a month) without me asking. Win :D I was really surprised, but very impressed with their customer service, which for me was impeccable. So I'm writing this all down, to act as a record for just how pleased I am with them and why.

My new phone should arrive on Tuesday morning. Mmm, shiny :)
lizziec: (me - lizziephilinlondon)
The Deep and Meaningful Winnie-The-Pooh Character Test )

the spacefem.com html color quiz )

In other news, I've been very busy this week, doing something every day (including seeing [livejournal.com profile] bethanthepurple twice! hello bethan!). It makes me aware that while I am doing much better, I'm still not there yet - being out for two hours or over makes me so tired I just have to come home and crash. At least I'm handling getting out every day, and that is definite progress.

I've also been watching a lot of dvds, as mum got me a dvd service subscription for Christmas. It's quite cool. I've seen films I've wanted to see but haven't got around to (Hairspray, Letters from Iwo Jima) and ones that I haven't seen for ages (Regeneration, Carry on Teacher), and series that I was curious about but couldn't afford the box sets of (House). The House is being staggered - one part of a series to every two films in my list on average, because otherwise its formula House formula ) annoys the hell out of me. In small doses it's fun though. Do any of you have any film/tv series recommendations to add to my list? :)

I'm looking forward to this weekend. Liz and Si's housewarming. Get to see lots of people I haven't for a while. Should be fun :)
lizziec: (me - lizziephilinlondon)
The Deep and Meaningful Winnie-The-Pooh Character Test )

the spacefem.com html color quiz )

In other news, I've been very busy this week, doing something every day (including seeing [livejournal.com profile] bethanthepurple twice! hello bethan!). It makes me aware that while I am doing much better, I'm still not there yet - being out for two hours or over makes me so tired I just have to come home and crash. At least I'm handling getting out every day, and that is definite progress.

I've also been watching a lot of dvds, as mum got me a dvd service subscription for Christmas. It's quite cool. I've seen films I've wanted to see but haven't got around to (Hairspray, Letters from Iwo Jima) and ones that I haven't seen for ages (Regeneration, Carry on Teacher), and series that I was curious about but couldn't afford the box sets of (House). The House is being staggered - one part of a series to every two films in my list on average, because otherwise its formula House formula ) annoys the hell out of me. In small doses it's fun though. Do any of you have any film/tv series recommendations to add to my list? :)

I'm looking forward to this weekend. Liz and Si's housewarming. Get to see lots of people I haven't for a while. Should be fun :)
lizziec: (me - lizziephilinlondon)
The Deep and Meaningful Winnie-The-Pooh Character Test )

the spacefem.com html color quiz )

In other news, I've been very busy this week, doing something every day (including seeing [livejournal.com profile] bethanthepurple twice! hello bethan!). It makes me aware that while I am doing much better, I'm still not there yet - being out for two hours or over makes me so tired I just have to come home and crash. At least I'm handling getting out every day, and that is definite progress.

I've also been watching a lot of dvds, as mum got me a dvd service subscription for Christmas. It's quite cool. I've seen films I've wanted to see but haven't got around to (Hairspray, Letters from Iwo Jima) and ones that I haven't seen for ages (Regeneration, Carry on Teacher), and series that I was curious about but couldn't afford the box sets of (House). The House is being staggered - one part of a series to every two films in my list on average, because otherwise its formula House formula ) annoys the hell out of me. In small doses it's fun though. Do any of you have any film/tv series recommendations to add to my list? :)

I'm looking forward to this weekend. Liz and Si's housewarming. Get to see lots of people I haven't for a while. Should be fun :)
lizziec: (me - me)
I don't think I can let today pass without making an entry, so here it is*. Happy Leap Year Day everyone.

*I have another book review to post so depending on how arsed I can be, this may not be the only entry. I'm posting this just in case though
lizziec: (me - me)
I don't think I can let today pass without making an entry, so here it is*. Happy Leap Year Day everyone.

*I have another book review to post so depending on how arsed I can be, this may not be the only entry. I'm posting this just in case though
lizziec: (me - me)
I don't think I can let today pass without making an entry, so here it is*. Happy Leap Year Day everyone.

*I have another book review to post so depending on how arsed I can be, this may not be the only entry. I'm posting this just in case though
lizziec: (potterpuffs - Tonks)
(or, I hope that medical professionals have more boring lives than their fictional counterparts)

I came home yesterday after my appointment with my doctor and counsellor and watched an episode of Holby City because I had nothing better to do. As I watched I found myself hoping beyond hope that real doctors have very dull lives, for the sake of my health and that of those around me. The reason for this was the storyline:

Doctor A has a gambling problem and has to borrow money from Doctor B (who has a crush on Dr D). At this point Doctor A's son (who is in medical school) comes in with Pneumonia brought on by his Heroin use requiring an operation (or his heart will go septic or something), and is about to be operated on by Doctor C, who has recently had brain surgery to control his parkinsons, but just as the patient is going south the parkinsons reasserts itself and Doctor C has to bow out, to be replaced by Doctor D, who is an alcoholic and thinking only of his romantic problems with his therapist, Doctor E, who is about to go to new york. The Anesthetist, Doctor F has just come off suspension having been falsely accused of rape by a patient. Eventually, despite all these problems, the patient survives to use heroin another day, while Dr A continues to gamble his life away, Dr B continues to mope after Dr D, who has run off to New York with Dr E and Dr C finds out his father has just died.

The "B" plot is just as ridiculous (Dr G is having an affair with his mother in law [a secretary at the hospital], shortly after his wife [a sister on another ward] has delivered their stillborn baby...).

All this led me to hope that my drs and other medical professionals with anything to do with me live in dull houses in suburbia, doing nothing in the evenings at all. Luckily I have a sense of perspective - I know that people don't really have lives like that...

Do they?

Typing speed meme )

What my name means )

lizziec: (potterpuffs - Tonks)
(or, I hope that medical professionals have more boring lives than their fictional counterparts)

I came home yesterday after my appointment with my doctor and counsellor and watched an episode of Holby City because I had nothing better to do. As I watched I found myself hoping beyond hope that real doctors have very dull lives, for the sake of my health and that of those around me. The reason for this was the storyline:

Doctor A has a gambling problem and has to borrow money from Doctor B (who has a crush on Dr D). At this point Doctor A's son (who is in medical school) comes in with Pneumonia brought on by his Heroin use requiring an operation (or his heart will go septic or something), and is about to be operated on by Doctor C, who has recently had brain surgery to control his parkinsons, but just as the patient is going south the parkinsons reasserts itself and Doctor C has to bow out, to be replaced by Doctor D, who is an alcoholic and thinking only of his romantic problems with his therapist, Doctor E, who is about to go to new york. The Anesthetist, Doctor F has just come off suspension having been falsely accused of rape by a patient. Eventually, despite all these problems, the patient survives to use heroin another day, while Dr A continues to gamble his life away, Dr B continues to mope after Dr D, who has run off to New York with Dr E and Dr C finds out his father has just died.

The "B" plot is just as ridiculous (Dr G is having an affair with his mother in law [a secretary at the hospital], shortly after his wife [a sister on another ward] has delivered their stillborn baby...).

All this led me to hope that my drs and other medical professionals with anything to do with me live in dull houses in suburbia, doing nothing in the evenings at all. Luckily I have a sense of perspective - I know that people don't really have lives like that...

Do they?

Typing speed meme )

What my name means )

lizziec: (potterpuffs - Tonks)
(or, I hope that medical professionals have more boring lives than their fictional counterparts)

I came home yesterday after my appointment with my doctor and counsellor and watched an episode of Holby City because I had nothing better to do. As I watched I found myself hoping beyond hope that real doctors have very dull lives, for the sake of my health and that of those around me. The reason for this was the storyline:

Doctor A has a gambling problem and has to borrow money from Doctor B (who has a crush on Dr D). At this point Doctor A's son (who is in medical school) comes in with Pneumonia brought on by his Heroin use requiring an operation (or his heart will go septic or something), and is about to be operated on by Doctor C, who has recently had brain surgery to control his parkinsons, but just as the patient is going south the parkinsons reasserts itself and Doctor C has to bow out, to be replaced by Doctor D, who is an alcoholic and thinking only of his romantic problems with his therapist, Doctor E, who is about to go to new york. The Anesthetist, Doctor F has just come off suspension having been falsely accused of rape by a patient. Eventually, despite all these problems, the patient survives to use heroin another day, while Dr A continues to gamble his life away, Dr B continues to mope after Dr D, who has run off to New York with Dr E and Dr C finds out his father has just died.

The "B" plot is just as ridiculous (Dr G is having an affair with his mother in law [a secretary at the hospital], shortly after his wife [a sister on another ward] has delivered their stillborn baby...).

All this led me to hope that my drs and other medical professionals with anything to do with me live in dull houses in suburbia, doing nothing in the evenings at all. Luckily I have a sense of perspective - I know that people don't really have lives like that...

Do they?

Typing speed meme )

What my name means )
lizziec: (granny's garden bee)
I've been struggling again for a while (thank you to everyone who has put up with it), especially when it comes to i. getting to sleep and ii. staying asleep. That's had a knock on effect with my moods (which had more or less plateaued at less than ideal). The conclusion come to today by Nikki and Dr K was that I was only being partially medicated by the Citalopram, so over the next week I'm being weaned off the Citalopram with a view to starting my new prescriptions - Mirtazapine, which apparently has some stuff in it that makes one drowsy, so I'm to take it at night and it will hopefully help me get to sleep and stay asleep. Unfortunately "weight gain" is a major side effect. Worried I'll turn into (more of) a whale now! Hopefully though it will medicate me properly and I will stop plateauing and start getting properly well again.

A warning to those of you who have a lot to do with me. The dr told me that while the meds are switching and whatnot I'll probably have a fairly big dip, so I'm going to apologise in advance for anything I say or do while low, and if I don't get out very much in the next few weeks.

Anyone reading have any experiences with Mirtazapine and can tell me about it?
lizziec: (granny's garden bee)
I've been struggling again for a while (thank you to everyone who has put up with it), especially when it comes to i. getting to sleep and ii. staying asleep. That's had a knock on effect with my moods (which had more or less plateaued at less than ideal). The conclusion come to today by Nikki and Dr K was that I was only being partially medicated by the Citalopram, so over the next week I'm being weaned off the Citalopram with a view to starting my new prescriptions - Mirtazapine, which apparently has some stuff in it that makes one drowsy, so I'm to take it at night and it will hopefully help me get to sleep and stay asleep. Unfortunately "weight gain" is a major side effect. Worried I'll turn into (more of) a whale now! Hopefully though it will medicate me properly and I will stop plateauing and start getting properly well again.

A warning to those of you who have a lot to do with me. The dr told me that while the meds are switching and whatnot I'll probably have a fairly big dip, so I'm going to apologise in advance for anything I say or do while low, and if I don't get out very much in the next few weeks.

Anyone reading have any experiences with Mirtazapine and can tell me about it?
lizziec: (granny's garden bee)
I've been struggling again for a while (thank you to everyone who has put up with it), especially when it comes to i. getting to sleep and ii. staying asleep. That's had a knock on effect with my moods (which had more or less plateaued at less than ideal). The conclusion come to today by Nikki and Dr K was that I was only being partially medicated by the Citalopram, so over the next week I'm being weaned off the Citalopram with a view to starting my new prescriptions - Mirtazapine, which apparently has some stuff in it that makes one drowsy, so I'm to take it at night and it will hopefully help me get to sleep and stay asleep. Unfortunately "weight gain" is a major side effect. Worried I'll turn into (more of) a whale now! Hopefully though it will medicate me properly and I will stop plateauing and start getting properly well again.

A warning to those of you who have a lot to do with me. The dr told me that while the meds are switching and whatnot I'll probably have a fairly big dip, so I'm going to apologise in advance for anything I say or do while low, and if I don't get out very much in the next few weeks.

Anyone reading have any experiences with Mirtazapine and can tell me about it?
lizziec: (Default)
Since December started I have been burning my advent candle:

opening my advent calendar (from Thorntons, mmm :)):

and looking at how pretty our tree is:
.

Pressies were brought and wrapped and on Christmas Eve )

And so Christmas Day dawned )

Boxing Day started bright and early... ) And then the Mormons turned up ) In the evening we watched part of Jeff Wayne's The War of the Worlds in Concert and then I switched over to watch Ballet Shoes )

Phew. That was a very long update. If I updated more often then I daresay I would not post such long rambling entries. Ah well :)

lizziec: (Default)
Since December started I have been burning my advent candle:

opening my advent calendar (from Thorntons, mmm :)):

and looking at how pretty our tree is:
.

Pressies were brought and wrapped and on Christmas Eve )

And so Christmas Day dawned )

Boxing Day started bright and early... ) And then the Mormons turned up ) In the evening we watched part of Jeff Wayne's The War of the Worlds in Concert and then I switched over to watch Ballet Shoes )

Phew. That was a very long update. If I updated more often then I daresay I would not post such long rambling entries. Ah well :)

lizziec: (Default)
Since December started I have been burning my advent candle:

opening my advent calendar (from Thorntons, mmm :)):

and looking at how pretty our tree is:
.

Pressies were brought and wrapped and on Christmas Eve )

And so Christmas Day dawned )

Boxing Day started bright and early... ) And then the Mormons turned up ) In the evening we watched part of Jeff Wayne's The War of the Worlds in Concert and then I switched over to watch Ballet Shoes )

Phew. That was a very long update. If I updated more often then I daresay I would not post such long rambling entries. Ah well :)
lizziec: (granny's garden bee)
It's been an eventful week really.

On Tuesday my P60 arrived and I found I paid too much tax last year \o/ I called the tax office and they say it should be pretty straight forward to sort out once I send them my pay documents. Only problem is my records are in Yorkshire (!) from when I worked through Crown Personnel in 2005. Apparently Crown do their financial stuff through Yorkshire and so my records are there, despite me never having lived there! I'm also a little concerned that I've been working for the University for 8 months now and the last place they have me down as employed was for Crown. Ah well...once my records are in the right place I can send in my documents and get a refund :D

On Friday night Ben and I drove to Mitcham fix my Aunt's computer problem, which was very easily solved and had chinese when we got home. Yummy :)

Today we have been scarily productive. Went to Ashford (which appears to be in the process of being completely dug up) and had my eyes tested.

The results of the eye test were pretty good really, my eyes are settling down. The myopia got slightly worse in my right eye, but my astigmatism has improved and my left eye is unchanged :) Apparently my eyes are also very healthy :D

The results from my last test in January 2005 were:
Right Eye
sph: -1.75
cyl: -1.25
axis: 17

Left Eye
sph: -2.50
cyl: -1.75
axis: 4

This time:
Right Eye
sph: -2.00
cyl: -1.00
axis: 20

Left Eye
sph: -2.50
cyl: -1.50
axis: 2.5

Originally we went to Ashford because VisionExpress in Ashford (but not Canterbury) had a 2 for £99 offer on and I wanted a pair of Sunglasses as well as normal glasses. Unfortunately the glasses in the offer were all either rubbish (so wouldn't last two years) or didn't suit me (lots of angular frames which don't suit my face :() so we went round practically every optician in Ashford to find some that suited me and we could afford. We encountered stellar performances and incompetence (in one - Batemans - there were two receptionists, both of whom asked if they could help me and neither of whom could tell me how much an anti-reflective scratch resistant coating was *sigh*.

Ended up buying two pairs from SpecSavers (absolutely no love to the specsavers assistant who explained to me that 2.5 was "two and a half in English" - I know I'm bad at maths but I'm not that bad) on their BOGOF on designer pairs which I go to collect next Saturday :) The cost of glasses and eyetests scares me ;) Hope I like them when they're done. I encountered the same problem practically everywhere - the fashion at the moment appears to be for squareish/rectangular glasses or plastic ones with wings which I'm sure wouldn't have been out of place when my mum was getting them on the NHS as a teenager, whereas oval shapes suit my face :( Choice was all too limited :|

Came back via practically all the bed shops in Wincheap. We have decided to buy a new shiny bed and mattress to last a long time soon and now we have an idea what we want. I'm looking forward to going back in a couple of months and making the purchase :D

Finally we went to Sainsbars and got lunch for tomorrow and popcorn for tonight. Looking forward to Eurovision. Should be funny if nothing else :D

Sorry for the legnth - as the title says, it's been a very busy week!
lizziec: (granny's garden bee)
It's been an eventful week really.

On Tuesday my P60 arrived and I found I paid too much tax last year \o/ I called the tax office and they say it should be pretty straight forward to sort out once I send them my pay documents. Only problem is my records are in Yorkshire (!) from when I worked through Crown Personnel in 2005. Apparently Crown do their financial stuff through Yorkshire and so my records are there, despite me never having lived there! I'm also a little concerned that I've been working for the University for 8 months now and the last place they have me down as employed was for Crown. Ah well...once my records are in the right place I can send in my documents and get a refund :D

On Friday night Ben and I drove to Mitcham fix my Aunt's computer problem, which was very easily solved and had chinese when we got home. Yummy :)

Today we have been scarily productive. Went to Ashford (which appears to be in the process of being completely dug up) and had my eyes tested.

The results of the eye test were pretty good really, my eyes are settling down. The myopia got slightly worse in my right eye, but my astigmatism has improved and my left eye is unchanged :) Apparently my eyes are also very healthy :D

The results from my last test in January 2005 were:
Right Eye
sph: -1.75
cyl: -1.25
axis: 17

Left Eye
sph: -2.50
cyl: -1.75
axis: 4

This time:
Right Eye
sph: -2.00
cyl: -1.00
axis: 20

Left Eye
sph: -2.50
cyl: -1.50
axis: 2.5

Originally we went to Ashford because VisionExpress in Ashford (but not Canterbury) had a 2 for £99 offer on and I wanted a pair of Sunglasses as well as normal glasses. Unfortunately the glasses in the offer were all either rubbish (so wouldn't last two years) or didn't suit me (lots of angular frames which don't suit my face :() so we went round practically every optician in Ashford to find some that suited me and we could afford. We encountered stellar performances and incompetence (in one - Batemans - there were two receptionists, both of whom asked if they could help me and neither of whom could tell me how much an anti-reflective scratch resistant coating was *sigh*.

Ended up buying two pairs from SpecSavers (absolutely no love to the specsavers assistant who explained to me that 2.5 was "two and a half in English" - I know I'm bad at maths but I'm not that bad) on their BOGOF on designer pairs which I go to collect next Saturday :) The cost of glasses and eyetests scares me ;) Hope I like them when they're done. I encountered the same problem practically everywhere - the fashion at the moment appears to be for squareish/rectangular glasses or plastic ones with wings which I'm sure wouldn't have been out of place when my mum was getting them on the NHS as a teenager, whereas oval shapes suit my face :( Choice was all too limited :|

Came back via practically all the bed shops in Wincheap. We have decided to buy a new shiny bed and mattress to last a long time soon and now we have an idea what we want. I'm looking forward to going back in a couple of months and making the purchase :D

Finally we went to Sainsbars and got lunch for tomorrow and popcorn for tonight. Looking forward to Eurovision. Should be funny if nothing else :D

Sorry for the legnth - as the title says, it's been a very busy week!
lizziec: (granny's garden bee)
It's been an eventful week really.

On Tuesday my P60 arrived and I found I paid too much tax last year \o/ I called the tax office and they say it should be pretty straight forward to sort out once I send them my pay documents. Only problem is my records are in Yorkshire (!) from when I worked through Crown Personnel in 2005. Apparently Crown do their financial stuff through Yorkshire and so my records are there, despite me never having lived there! I'm also a little concerned that I've been working for the University for 8 months now and the last place they have me down as employed was for Crown. Ah well...once my records are in the right place I can send in my documents and get a refund :D

On Friday night Ben and I drove to Mitcham fix my Aunt's computer problem, which was very easily solved and had chinese when we got home. Yummy :)

Today we have been scarily productive. Went to Ashford (which appears to be in the process of being completely dug up) and had my eyes tested.

The results of the eye test were pretty good really, my eyes are settling down. The myopia got slightly worse in my right eye, but my astigmatism has improved and my left eye is unchanged :) Apparently my eyes are also very healthy :D

The results from my last test in January 2005 were:
Right Eye
sph: -1.75
cyl: -1.25
axis: 17

Left Eye
sph: -2.50
cyl: -1.75
axis: 4

This time:
Right Eye
sph: -2.00
cyl: -1.00
axis: 20

Left Eye
sph: -2.50
cyl: -1.50
axis: 2.5

Originally we went to Ashford because VisionExpress in Ashford (but not Canterbury) had a 2 for £99 offer on and I wanted a pair of Sunglasses as well as normal glasses. Unfortunately the glasses in the offer were all either rubbish (so wouldn't last two years) or didn't suit me (lots of angular frames which don't suit my face :() so we went round practically every optician in Ashford to find some that suited me and we could afford. We encountered stellar performances and incompetence (in one - Batemans - there were two receptionists, both of whom asked if they could help me and neither of whom could tell me how much an anti-reflective scratch resistant coating was *sigh*.

Ended up buying two pairs from SpecSavers (absolutely no love to the specsavers assistant who explained to me that 2.5 was "two and a half in English" - I know I'm bad at maths but I'm not that bad) on their BOGOF on designer pairs which I go to collect next Saturday :) The cost of glasses and eyetests scares me ;) Hope I like them when they're done. I encountered the same problem practically everywhere - the fashion at the moment appears to be for squareish/rectangular glasses or plastic ones with wings which I'm sure wouldn't have been out of place when my mum was getting them on the NHS as a teenager, whereas oval shapes suit my face :( Choice was all too limited :|

Came back via practically all the bed shops in Wincheap. We have decided to buy a new shiny bed and mattress to last a long time soon and now we have an idea what we want. I'm looking forward to going back in a couple of months and making the purchase :D

Finally we went to Sainsbars and got lunch for tomorrow and popcorn for tonight. Looking forward to Eurovision. Should be funny if nothing else :D

Sorry for the legnth - as the title says, it's been a very busy week!
lizziec: (me - daddy and baby lizzie)
I am a muppet and as a result of this I am fed up today.

Last week, about Wednesday, my left knee which has been misbehaving for a while swelled up. The Dr gave me some anti inflammitories and I wnet into work on Thursday and it was worse, so I stayed home on Friday and did practically nothing all weekend except sit on the sofa (though there was a great excursion to Espression on Saturday with Rah and Claire to celebrate Claire's birthday). Because of this I got rather restless and when my knee had stayed normal size on Sunday I decided, late in the evening to take something out to the car.

At 10pm.

My right foot landed awkwardly on a pothole/dropped concrete hole. Over my ankle went. I may have screamed a bit (it hurt) and some people came from across the road to see what was wrong. They restored my faith in humanity - the lady was in her nightclothes! Got Andy to give me a lift to K&C because it hurt so much and was swelling up beautifully. According to the nice nurse at the K&C it's a bad sprain and she would have bandaged it except it was not policy to do that anymore. She sounded pissed off. I would guess the "policy" is due to budget restrictions - luckily I had some tubigrip at home and it's now strapped in one of those. Sue came out and gave us a lift home.

I can bear weight, but movement in any direction hurts and I didn't so much sleep last night as doze being woken up lots by me moving my ankle in my sleep.

Congratulations if you read all that: The important hilights are that foo^rah, andy^sue, Claire^Ben and my ben (and others!) all rock and I am in ouchy pain at the moment and it's my fault and ben told me so.

I'm fed up and off work again. Daytime TV is causing me to lose the will to live. Hopefully back to work tomorrow if only to save my sanity.

Finally - Happy birthday [livejournal.com profile] claire_tanner!
lizziec: (me - daddy and baby lizzie)
I am a muppet and as a result of this I am fed up today.

Last week, about Wednesday, my left knee which has been misbehaving for a while swelled up. The Dr gave me some anti inflammitories and I wnet into work on Thursday and it was worse, so I stayed home on Friday and did practically nothing all weekend except sit on the sofa (though there was a great excursion to Espression on Saturday with Rah and Claire to celebrate Claire's birthday). Because of this I got rather restless and when my knee had stayed normal size on Sunday I decided, late in the evening to take something out to the car.

At 10pm.

My right foot landed awkwardly on a pothole/dropped concrete hole. Over my ankle went. I may have screamed a bit (it hurt) and some people came from across the road to see what was wrong. They restored my faith in humanity - the lady was in her nightclothes! Got Andy to give me a lift to K&C because it hurt so much and was swelling up beautifully. According to the nice nurse at the K&C it's a bad sprain and she would have bandaged it except it was not policy to do that anymore. She sounded pissed off. I would guess the "policy" is due to budget restrictions - luckily I had some tubigrip at home and it's now strapped in one of those. Sue came out and gave us a lift home.

I can bear weight, but movement in any direction hurts and I didn't so much sleep last night as doze being woken up lots by me moving my ankle in my sleep.

Congratulations if you read all that: The important hilights are that foo^rah, andy^sue, Claire^Ben and my ben (and others!) all rock and I am in ouchy pain at the moment and it's my fault and ben told me so.

I'm fed up and off work again. Daytime TV is causing me to lose the will to live. Hopefully back to work tomorrow if only to save my sanity.

Finally - Happy birthday [livejournal.com profile] claire_tanner!

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