We have an emergency room at the local hospital. I know because they know me as well. Now and again you get something mysterious happening in your system and so you go to the ER. First of all report at the desk. I live as a Brit in Switzerland, no big problem, I have been here for 50 years, but the last time the lady at desk looked at me and discovered we were both speaking Swiss German with the same accent, yes she was also a Brit. My symptoms were no longer so important, and so we had a conversation catching up on our anglo-swiss backgrounds. Then I had to go to the next desk where things begin to get serious.
First of all your name and address is required. This is no problem for me as they have my symptom history in their records and find me immediately with all the various operations and accidents. Yes the local hospital knows me inside and outside: not quite, because my broken arm happened in England. They only have the records of removing the wire from the break.
After a wait for about an hour you eventually get to see a doctor One of my last symptoms happened after falling and cutting my ear on a metal edge. That was interesting because the emergency nurse could not sew it together. It was cartilage and that needed a special process, only to be done by the surgeon on duty. They found him and he brought his assistant with him so that she could learn how to do it, not that I was making medical history. After an hour of sewing it all together I had 10 stitches and today I must say I have a very interesting left ear. The shape at the top is different.
I try to ignore symptoms when I can. What is the point. Today Mr. Swiss was visiting his doctor who is also mine. She asked him how I am and he said I never complain about anything. Of course not, what is the point. At the age of 72 you recognise all your own symptoms. I am allergic to milk (lactose) and coffee (perhaps also because of the milk), otherwise despite my MS everything seems to be working as normal. I have a funny walk, although I can disguise it with my stick and walker, but you really get used to it. Even the aches and pains that go with it are now part of me. And I can always take a trip into town with my wheelchair, the advantage being that you can take your heavy camera and lens with you for good quality photos – you no longer have to carry it.
If your symptoms might change, everyone has a mobile phone today, so you are no longer alone with your symptoms. You can always call someone and tell them about them. Even the ambulance arrives promptly to pick me up if I fall and those guys are really something to see – big and strong and…. yeah OK, that’s enough. Oh, don’t we love to talk about our symptoms.