Medical Matters

I had a cardiac specialist’s appointment today, the various tests I had to undergo were prolonged and concluded about 4:30pm. Unfortunately this time puts me right into the middle of Christchurch peak traffic period. I didn’t think the medical procedures would take so long, and keeping me so late. I wasn’t even feeling ill to have these exams, it was just a routine check up. Anyway, I would have preferred not to be travelling down Papanui Road and into Central City at this hour of the day. At this time it means you meet up with School retrieval runs, plus early commuters, all hell bent in returning home. Adding to the congestion there are many schools in this area. All travelling on road at this time seem to be grumpy, and a very short tempered lot.


My tests must have been important to take so long, anyway when I left I was some $850 lighter. What exactly are these tests? I hear you say why are they so expensive. I don’t know but they didn’t seem all that different to the tests the medical centre in Queenstown used to carry out. I can’t really complain, these are the people who are extending my life.


Well the details of the test are,


A follow up Consultation 19th Dec $150

Then an Echocardiogram $340

Bruce Protocol $210

Second Follow up 4th Feb $150


As I exited St George’s Hospital, I discovered that I had escaped yet another charge, that was for parking on their site. They have now introduced toll gates in and out, you are issued with a time ticket on entering the Area. but the official ‘Take’ commences next week. Also, I would have still been standing in a queue outside St Georges Hospital had not some kind person let me join the traffic flow by making room for me. I was grateful for this gesture. I will never meet them to offer thanks, but it’s something I practice too whenever I can, after experiencing this curtesy in Australia.


Having lived in small towns most of my life, never having to bother with such things as traffic lights and all the other controls that abound in Cities. It’s been quite a shock to get used to peak traffic and ‘grid locks’. Not that locals take much notice of the many rules anyway. Compulsory Stops, for example, without exception they just cruise through those. Round Abouts, there is a protocol, but not many know what it is. No one bothers to signal. Show any hesitation and you will be ‘Cut Off’ in a flash. And how is I’m such an authority? Well I had to learn the road code again at 80 years of age, when I resat my drivers licence, and again at 82. I nearly failed my first test, I stopped at a compulsory stop a metre past the yellow line. ‘I will have to fail you’. Cried the examiner, ‘Why did you do that’? I replied, ‘Because there was a tree blocking my view and I stopped where I could actually see any on coming traffic’. ‘You should have still stopped on the yellow line then moved forward’. You have to admire the way these examiners cling to the official line, no matter how stupid it is. I passed, but more than a little annoyed with official attitude. I returned home and immediately wrote a testy letter to Ruth Dyson, Minister of Transport, inquiring why were we, the ‘Oldies’ being picked on. Statics relating to accidents show we are no different than any other age group. Why do we have to be retested every two years? It’s not because of the number of accidents we are involved in? Figures do not support this. Actually as a group, the Police have more accidents. Shouldn’t they be retested also? Anyway, she replied with a polite note saying she was pleased to say the requirement of retesting would shortly be looked at, and it’s since has. She wrote again when the requirement for retesting was actually repealed. I was pleased about that. But I must have got under her skin for that to happen.


The one group here that really do annoy me and they are the cyclists. About 20% of these have a death wish as they weave in and out of the lines of cars. Especially at the crossroads controlled by lights. Then they weave up to the front of the queue while the traffic is stopped, then when on the ‘Green’, everyone moves off at their speed. We spend millions in making roads which could be a ‘double’ carriage way. Then they mark off a metre or so on each side for the ‘occasional’ cyclist to use. Overseas they have cycle lanes but they are not carved off the existing highway. Another annoying habit it that a cyclist can turn into a pedestrian in a flash. They leap off their bikes when they come to a crossing, then commence walking claiming the ‘Right of way’. Also with the cycle lanes, people can and do park on them, a cyclist is then forced to go around the vehicles. This means at times they are obscured from view, if you are not careful you can have a cyclist on your lap when you open your door. Several have been killed by this action, being thrown into the path of another passing vehicle.



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