It's 70 years since the inception of our NHS.
As someone who has always been used to having free at the point of access health care, it could have been easy to just take it for granted.
But born in the early 60's, to parents and grandparents to were used to a totally different way of medical care, it was a kind of unspoken rule that you didn't waste this new method of care.
They had been used to times of maybe not having the money for the doctor, so any time of illness, you really had to think hard about if you should call the doctor out.
A kind of respect for the system.
I didn't realise the significance of the date of our wedding at the time, but Matthew and I set our date - 5th of July 1985. We just wanted a good day, with our families and friends and we would sail off into married life and all would be happily ever after.
Ah, so young. So naïve. So sweet really when I look back!
So here am I, sitting at the pc 33 years on and looking back on the impact our NHS has had on our lives.
Very quickly, we began our journey into our medical care system.
Matthew developed Epilepsy, which, for a number of years meant hospital visits, GP visits, trying out drugs, combos of drugs...……. until, it was decided that neurosurgery was part of the solution.
As scary times go, having your hubbie going under the knife and you have a 9 month old child, well, it was a scary time.
With a few tweeks over the next few years, things are no fine. But thanks to our Institute of Neurological Science, things are fine now.
Me - well, I gave the NHS a good run for its money.
Endometriosis - and the "you may have some issues" talk about babies.
Thankfully. my body doesn't listen at times.
The a recurrence.
Then another baby.
Till I got so fed up with the pain I asked the Consultant to just get rid of those bits that I didn't need any more.
BTW - the deliveries of said babies was not easy - did I tell you my body doesn't listen?
Well, that meant 3 c sections, some crazy bit, where I was told the surgeon had his foot almost on the table trying to pull my chilled baby out. Not saying who it was, but youngest children...……………..!!!
And my children have had a fair share of treatment from NHS Doctors, nurses, ST, Physio, OT, Genetics teams...………… We have quite a mix in there .
I shudder to think what all this would have cost if we'd had to pay.
Things I can do - well, one is self refer to our genetics team to get an appointment to see them.
And they are only a few miles away.
I've heard of people in other countries being told no - no genetic appointments. And anyway, the nearest team is maybe hundreds of miles away.
I've had appointments where I've argued the toss with an eminent Professor of Paediatric Neurology and didn't I just shock him when I spoke back.
I've argued with a geneticist and told him if he couldn't work out what was wrong with my son, told him to send me to someone who might have a clue . (in fairness, I don't think he really knew how worried we were and how much it impacted on our life)
I've had to explain to a nurse in A+E that my daughter is NOT having a panic attack, but it's her asthma (and try yo make sure here boyfriend sitting beside me in the waiting room didn't go into a hypo due to diabetes.
I've asked anaesthetists to look after my boys as they went for surgery and Speech therapists to help my boys with various issues round their speech.
I've cried at times, had to explain to my GP that i'm not really an alkie , I just have a screwed sense of humour.
I've take great pleasure in watching a GP open the bag we've brought back from Disney as a thank you for writing the letter for our pass - small price to pay for something they didn't need to do (and i'm sure THAT wasn't on the remit 70 years ago!!!)
So thank you to all the front AND back line staff in the NHS. We need you, we should cherish you
and here's to another 70 years.