Yes, yes I also now have to agree with both your last letter Paul and Eileens.
I was left on a trolley for 7 hours in A and E last November or December when I was awaiting nasal feeding because the ward had no bed. In the middle of being on the trolley, because I had made no fuss and got off it at one point to go to the lavatory unaided I was then asked as I was """mobile""" (but in a hell of a bloody, weak state I might add) to get off my trolley and sit in chair as an air amubulance accident victim was coming in. I naturally agreed - who wouldn't.
I have to say he was in a mess and I was only too happy to give up my trolley for a few hours which was later returned to me! I slept leaning with my head on my arm in the meantime.
But I too also felt very ill, but like many people I will always try to get to a loo unassisted even when a bedpan is really the answer. In not bothering to call a nurse my """illness""" was downgraded so to speak. Nor was I hooked up to any hydration or Nutrison food whilst in A and E, despite the fact that the ENt consultant had already put in the nasal tube earlier that day - why - because they did not deal with feeding. So I just got more weak waiting for a bed.
So no the NHS is not perfect.
On the other hand in America 5 years ago I broke a front crown off top teeth on the plane. It cost me �1400 to have a TEMPORARY crown put on in Boston. I still had to pay for a new crown when I got back to the UK, but at least it was under �200. And yes I did smile again when the temp was in position ( y hub reckons it's the only time I have ever been virtually silent for 36 hours
) but it really curbed my spending and the max holiday insurance for teeth you can claim back is �200.
I cannot understand why Eileen's teeth have not been treated all as part of reconstruction after her operation. I shall think twice about moving back to Cardiff after reading her post about the denatl care at University Hospital there. I really would write to my MP about it, even Tony Blair. It's amazing how people get bumped up when they take that approach.
Now though today I have been for my 2 monthly consultant visit at Worcester. Despite a 2 hour wait I only have praise for the team there. As that scope went down my nose and I watched the Computer monitor and my consultant gave me a running commentary of the oral parts on screen, I thought what a difference to the hospital examination I had for throat cancer when I was 25. So I have to think the NHS has improved despite the many problems it has.
Now Paul re radiotherapy. I agree it may not work. But I also think it works for some time after it is done. The point is - does it work forever, in all cases? Maybe for some it does and for some it does not. We cannnot help but wonder. I don't know if mine worked - we can only really know when we are dead and after surviving so long. Right now we are survivors, if we succumb it may be sooner rather than later without the treatment.
When I first researched all this I concluded I had a 5% chance of survival. Well someone has to be the 5% so why not us lot. Stats are not always the answer - after all you ultimately have a 0% or 100% chance of getting through. What happens in between is living.
Oh dear I am rambling here....