Friday, August 24, 2012

Tramadol – did the doctor really know best?

I was given Tramadol in hospital to relive pain after a left knee arthroscopy. About an hour later, the physiotherapist had to help me back into bed. My temperature had rocketed and I felt about to keel over during her demonstration of how to ascend and descend stairs with a walking stick. She was assisted in her efforts by the ward sister, who left me with the words “if they ever ask if you’re allergic to any painkillers – say Tramadol, it doesn’t agree with you”. Well, my knees are both the same age, and this August it was the turn of my right knee to have its cartlidge tidied-up, as the doctor put it – making it sound more like something you’d do in a garden, rather than in an operating theatre under general anaesthetic. There then followed the painkiller allergy/intolerance question, to which I mentioned the Tramadol incident. “Oh, I don’t think it could have been Tramadol. After all, you’d also been on morphine. And it was an hour after you’d been given it before you had the problem” was his response – to which I replied that I didn’t want to risk a repeat performance; I was also mindful that I was being sent home as soon as I came round from the anaesthetic, and didn’t want to have an adverse reaction when I got home, leaving my wife and sons to have to deal with the immediate consequences of what the medics quaintly call a ‘contraindication’. Funnily enough, the question reared its head when I was in the hands of the anaesthetist and his two theatre nursing assistants as they prepared me for surgery. One nurse backed me to the hilt – she’d also had an adverse reaction to Tramadol and told me to stick to Co-codamol. That was just before the general anaesthetic took effect.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Tesco's wuff attitude towards dogs

Just returned from a short visit to our local Tesco. An over-zealous Advance security box-wallah was po-facedly telling a young woman that she couldn't leave her Jack Russell puppy tied to a rail outside the store. When asked why, he fell into 'more than my job's worth' mode: only following instructions, nothing against dogs, etc. Paid not much more than minimum wage, he probably gets his fair share of crap - and to be fair to the woman, her response was bemused acquiesence, rather than outright hostility or abuse. But since when did it become a no-no to tie a dog up outside a shop? Not very considerate, Tesco. After all, you allow us to insure dogs and probably make a tidy profit selling everything necessary for canine health and welfare, from dog biccies to scented poop bags, so why not let a dog wait outside while its owner is adding to your profits?

King's Lynn, the town that hates to see you leave

Nearly 28 years since my last visit, which I remember being marred somewhat by a one-way system rather lacking adequate turn-off signs, we returned yesterday, having failed to follow the ring-road cum bypass route the A149 takes round the town centre. Taking previous experience into account, I opted for front-seat observer role and Jane drove - both keeping weather eye on the signs. We ended up following the yellow-square with black dot 'all other routes' sign, which duly led us right Morrison's car park. Doubtless it's a really nice spot; my dad's cousin was once lady mayoress, so there is even a tenuous family connection, but it has to be said, signage is not a strong point or a reason to hurry back.