GP Visit

Another trip across town to visit my GP. It’s time for my annual flu shot. I don’t know if they do me any good, but then again, I have never suffered a dose of flu,swine, or whatever other similar nasty bugs that are always preparing to invade our shores. Now when I think back I must have been taking flu shots for at least fifty years. I seem to remember lining up the staff for a shot way back to when I worked in Oamaru.

While cooling my heels in the waiting room, I allowed my eyes to wander around the room and take in the proliferation of notices pinned on the four walls. They have been sticking up information on every health issue since the year dot. How to stop smoking, to take tests for diabetes, pregnancy tests. Another very pertinent one, ‘If you have been waiting for more than 20 minutes please advise the Nurse’. That’s a joke, as you always have to wait more than 20 minutes. This doesn’t bother me as I know that from time to time, I have taken up much more than the normal consultation allowance,

Thinking back to how things have changed. The first time I came in contact with doctors with needles, was during the War. The needles then were of a large calibre, after each injection they were causally tossed into an purple alcohol solution, and to be reused, time and time again. They hurt too, but I did hear that some thinking doctors even resharpened their needles. What a different story today, a single shot syringe, with a fine needle, and what’s more, painless

Looking around the waiting room there was one group that were clearly from overseas. Granddad, wife, son, and grandchildren. Not sure which one was the patient, as they all moved everywhere as a group. Clearly all from Polynesia. All very tidy, and granddad clung to tradition and wore a lap lap or skirt. Obvious too that had all got dressed up for the occasion, as they were dressed in their Sunday best. We don’t have many Islanders down here, but those who do find their way South, are all hard workers.

There was another woman in the waiting room. Clearly a troubled soul. I had passed her as I came in, then she was standing out in the rain smoking. In between each puff, she gave what only could be called a spate of graveyard hacking coughs. I could have diagnosed her problem for free, without the need for any doctor’s visit.

Lynn’s reaction to the earthquake is the same as a lot of other peoples. She is not shopping in the Malls meantime, or anywhere that has a glass ceiling or roof. That’s a no no too.

Couplands Bakery said this week that they were puzzled as they had sold a weeks bread in the matter of hours. But later Roger’s sister who made a visit yesterday told us that the Quality Bakers hadn’t resumed baking bread, and that to a degree explains the rush on bread when a big player is missing. As well, there are still some Supermarkets yet to reopen. It would seem we got off very lightly when you measure our situation against of what happened to Japan. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the tsunami wave on TV. What hope would you have of escaping a monster like that. It just ripped the heart out of a Northern Town while we were watching.

As if all that an earthquake trauma and tsunami wasn’t bad enough for the Japanese. Some of their Nuclear installations have even been damaged by the resulting giant wave that has totally engulfed some Northern Towns, and is responsible for a death toll mounting into the thousands. Those living in the town would have had no escape from the killer wave, it being so huge Two Nuclear-powered stations from reports are close to a meltdown and the operators have resorted to trying cooling them with salt water which is a last resort method and will ruin the stations for any further use. Further I have just heard that the strength of the earthquake has been upgraded to 9 on the Richter scale. I wasn’t aware that it even went that high.

Our heart goes out to the thousands of souls who were swept away and had their lives cut short by the killer wave.

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