My Cannula And I, A Journey To Covid Clarity, One Drip At A Time
I awoke to an unusual pain in my foot; looking down, the cause very quickly became apparent. The offending party looked angry and clearly had a grudge to bear. Rather than argue with it, I did what most men never do at the first sign of something; I called my GP. And from that very moment the wonder that is our NHS swung into a typically and beautifully choreographed response.
Somewhere along the line, I had picked up an infection in my right foot; well, the fourth digit on my right foot to be precise. Which by now, I hasten to add, was complaining rather more vociferously and showing off all the colours of the rainbow. And as if to remind me that perhaps I really did need to pay attention to it, the offending phalange decided to puff up like a balloon and hurt like hell, just to be sure it had my full attention.
In less than 24 hours I was being seen by a nurse and right there and then I was referred to the local hospital. One check by the podiatrist and before I knew it, I was on a drip. It seems that my system needed antibiotics — and rather quickly, if I was to come away with the requisite number of toes.
And whilst I sat there in the hospital, under the watchful eye of doctors and nurses, every one of them polite, courteous and hard working, I was reminded of the pressure which many of their colleagues must have been under these past eighteen months.
Not from the sometimes constant flow of patients needing oxygen or incubation, but from the uninformed, the uninitiated and the downright idiotic fringes of our society, who to this day, continue to spout their nonsense and their conspiracy theories with not a thought for the danger their ideology might cause.
I listened with a mix of sadness and admiration today as the son of the struck off nurse, Kate Shemirani, spoke eloquently on the radio of his disdain for his mother’s extreme views and that yes, she could indeed be mentally unwell and that he has distanced himself from her.
And it struck me that we all have our different coping mechanisms, our own responses to what we perceive to be threats or significant change. And Covid has most likely been by far the biggest any of us has experienced in our lifetimes.
In the face of being bombarded with so much (mostly conflicting) information, misinformation and disinformation, is it any wonder that for many of us, we are simply unable to process all of it in a constructive manner and end up leaping into whichever appears to be the most attractive lifeboat?
Even for the most seasoned observer (of which I do not count myself) it must be hard sometimes to disentangle all the threads in order to make some sense of it all. Even today, the Labour opposition leader, Sir Kier Starmer, was quoted as saying that testing is more useful than being double vaccinated.
But there again, also today, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the US said that they were pulling the PCR test because it can’t differentiate between Covid and the ‘flu.
Which all means that more than ever before, we need clear heads at a time when the waters, rather than becoming calmer, are if anything, becoming even more hazardous to navigate.
At the time of writing, I have one more (of five) visits to the hospital, after which, I hope that my cannula and I can go our separate ways. The signs are good and it appears that I am one of the lucky ones, having caught the problem early.
I can only hope that my experience is mirrored on a broader stage, and that the correct dose is administered for all of us. After all, don’t our NHS staff deserve our good sense and diligence?