Slip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah

Fandango’s Friday Flashback. I follow suit, a chance just to reblog an old post, just to make readers aware of what didn’t go on in my head, in years gone by! I had to scrape around this week to find a post, but just about foud one from the same week, at least.

Today, I reblog a something-and-nothing post. It is only short, but it does, at least, highlight a success story. In this post, I moan about not being able to get any meds online. Okay, I am an easy-going guy 🙄, I try not to moan, but basically, a moan!

I start off by talking about online doctors appointments. You know, you log on to a web site, put in your card details, and get video-linked through to a doctor who’ll talk to you for a few minutes. I mean, it has been years since I stripped off for my webcam, and that story is probably best saved for a slow day 😀. Web doctors must’ve gained sufficient popularity to have come onto the radar of national radio, but have become no more common than they were two years ago. But I was more concerned just about getting hold of the meds that I take every day, week in, week out, without having to walk all the way to the doctor’s surgery to pick up my chit.

I should probably explain that my doctor’s surgery is about half a mile away, and only a few months before this post, I was struggling to walk ten or twenty yards! So, not having to walk there to collect my chit was a big deal.

There was a scheme a few years ago – and it was only a few years ago, I was happily buying from Amazon in the nineties, but our NHS is something else! – to get every surgery in the UK online, but our surgery was one of the last to jump on board. In fact, it did not get on board until way after the original cut-off date, which the government allowed to slip. So, until a short while ago, placing any order across the internet was impossible.

Eventually, though, they did get on board, and I started using one of these internet-based services (Superdrug, if you’re in the UK). I could make a request via their site, from the comfort of my sofa, and from that point, I would be hands-off. They would, in turn, make a request to the doctor, and ultimately post my meds out to me. But it wasn’t smooth. My insulin needs to be refrigerated, so they wouldn’t send that through the post. Fair enough, I’d sooner they didn’t send it, than it arrived warm. So, I had to get my insulin separately, from a bricks-and-mortar pharmacy. But more worrying, this process, which should take a few days, took up to three weeks! I remember clearly this surreal conversation with their support team:

Me: What is the lead time supposed to be?
Support 7-10 days.
Me: I have been waiting for more than 20 days.
Support: The lead time is 7-10 days.

With that kind of stoneewalling, it was never a match made in heaven.

Fortunately, I kicked these guys into touch when when my wife started working at the local surgery, she got to meet the resident pharmacist, who had much more of an idea what options were available to me. So I changed, and have been extremely happy since. The local surgery bought into a portal. It is rubbish, but it does at least allow me to order my meds. Once my request gets approved, it is sent to a pharmacy in the next village, who will issue the meds, and will also deliver locally. A guy comes over in a car, and knocks on my door. Insulin goes straight into the refrigerator. Not a problem since then, and just a few days turnaround, to boot!

Stroke Survivor

Ha, ha, they are talking on the radio about one of these apps, where you have a video link to a doctor, and the doctor diagnoses your ailment.

It all sounds great, but I’d settle not for a diagnosis, but simply to be able to order my repeat prescriptions. I haven’t actually seen my doctor since I had my stroke, and furthermore, because I test my own sugars and blood pressure, I don’t really feel I need to see them. But fvery time I need some more meds – a couple of times per month – I am forced to take two trips to the doctor’s surgery. I’d be happy to use some secure login to a web site so as to avoid these trips. There is the notion of electronic prescriptions within the NHS, where I can order my repeat meds online and pick them up straight from the…

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See-through

Discussion with wife. For, dear reader, after all this time, they don’t count as arguments. You can’t put that in there. Nothing to do with carnal desires, but the much more mundane recycling bin.

We have two bins for recycling. One is a black box, and this came along first. We use it now for paper, glass, clothing, tins etc.

The second is a blue bin, which made an appearance later. In this we are supposed to put cardboard (no, I can’t work out the difference, either) and plastics. Only some plastics, for some can’t be recycled.

We finally have a big black bin, for general household waste.

My wife caught me putting some illegal plastic into the blue bin. You can’t put that in there.

But I do. Deliberately so. You see, the blue bin, for me, is to put plastics I should be able to recycle. Whether I can or not doesn’t really come into it.

What happens? Sending things off to landfill costs the council money. And, there must be some kind of sifting process on the way to the recycling plant, in order to separate recyclable and non-recyclable items. After all, people could put all sorts into their blue bin.

My guess is that the non-recyclable items get sent to landfill. Which costs. So, when the council see all my yoghurt pots being rejected and sent to landfill, some bright spark, sooner or later, will think, shouldn’t we be recycling yoghurt pots? It will be cheaper. So, I figure I’m doing them a favour. I’m only using my yoghurt pots as an example, by the way. I have no idea whether my local council recycles them or not already, but if they don’t, they should. And, they do go into my bin.

And, if people keep throwing away packaging which isn’t recyclable, then sooner or later, that bright spark at the coulcil might think to ask either the recycling plant, or the manufacturer, why it isn’t recyclable. So, again, I’m doing a favour.

Our general waste, incidentally, is usually just a few discrete things. The main waste is empty cat-food sachets – our pets might not be aware of the waste they produce, but I am. I can see the day when we all go back to tins, because at least a tin can be recycled. Speaking personally, feeding a cat one-handed from a tin is beyond me. You need one hand for the tin itself, and the other for some utensil to scoop the food into the dish. I have got around that problem – by using sachets! Another big thing are my empty trays of pills. Not really much choice there. But the biggest thing of all is still food packaging. Things that are wrapped individually, then wrapped again in a packet. Just wasteful!

I am kinda aware that once stuff goes into the black bin, it is a case of out of sight, out of mind. I saw a brilliant scheme in Australia which promoted transparent bin bags, so we could see exactly what we throw away. Some people would probably be shocked at what they’d see.

If we’re talking about recycling, why, you might ask, did the council not choose a green bin? Well, dear reader, that one is for our garden waste!