The NHS at 70 – How It’s Impacted My Life

The NHS is a national treasure here in the U.K. Free at the point of need, it’s a constant safety net that when your health takes a dive there’s someone willing to assess and treat you. And they don’t ask for much money from you, if they ask it all.

To put into context how great the NHS is, I thought I’d recount the times the NHS impacted my life somehow:

The NHS was there to treat my sister’s malformed hip.

The NHS was there to save my father’s life after a motorcycle accident where he almost lost his foot.

The NHS was there when I was born by Caesarian section.

The NHS was there to stitch my thumb when I dropped a glass milk bottle as a toddler.

The NHS was there when my mum slipped and fell in the garden, breaking her arm, and I as a toddler went next door to ask for help and the neighbours called an ambulance.

The NHS was there to give me all of my vaccinations that prevent a myriad of debilitating or fatal diseases.

The NHS was there when I needed a home visit because of the flu.

The NHS was there when I cut open my head to the skull when a swing hit me.

The NHS was there to treat my nan’s emphysema, extending her life to see her grandchildren grow up and to meet her first great-grandson.

The NHS was there when my nan’s emphysema attacks forced her into hospital.

The NHS was there to see my nan go to that long good night when her illness finally beat her.

The NHS was there to bring my three nephews into the world.

The NHS was there to vaccinate them and treat numerous child related illnesses they came down with.

The NHS was there to diagnose my mum’s broken foot.

The NHS was there to treat my childhood asthma.

The NHS was there to straighten my teeth and remove a broken tooth.

The NHS was there to treat my mothers broken wrist and provide her with physiotherapy.

The NHS was there to diagnose my brother-in-law’s cancer, and provide him with best in the world chemotherapy to lengthen his stay with us – but, it could not save him.

The NHS was there to treat my wife’s skin condition, and continue to deploy tests and medication to this day.

The NHS was there to treat my wife’s wounds from her skin condition and an accident with a dog lead. Don’t ask.

The NHS was there to treat my chest infections.

The NHS was there to save my father-in-law’s life when his big toe needed amputating due to a complication of his diabetes.

The NHS was there to diagnose my back pain and provide treatment advice.

The NHS was there when I was a first aider responding to a child hit by a car and another time a colleague was bitten by an adder. For the second time.

The NHS is going to replace my dad’s knee and have him walking and driving within 8 weeks from start to finish.

About 99% of what I described above involved no cost to me or those mentioned. Only where there was the flat price prescription fee, or dentist visit would a payment have been made.

I have worked for software suppliers to the NHS and had the pleasure of meeting and working with hundreds of NHS workers around the U.K.

They are a special bunch and the NHS is an amazing, imperfect, but truly brilliant organisation.

Here’s to 70 years of the NHS and may it continue to impact the lives of many more who turn to it in their time of need.


Why You Should Be Sleeping Naked Tonight – Recommended Reads

Here is today’s recommended reading.

Do you like these recommended reads? Let me know in the comments.

How to Enjoy Winter Like the Norwegians

With winter coming into full swing here in the Northern Hemisphere (don’t forget the buggers down-south are enjoying their summer) it’s time for some reminders of how to avoid the gloomy nights and cold days from bringing you down. 

That’s right, it doesn’t have to be all bad:

Tromsø is so far north that from late November to late January, the sun never climbs above the horizon. Leibowitz went to study the residents’ overall mental health, because rates of seasonal depression were lower than one might expect.

Read the full article.

Bacon Not So Dangerous?

The WHO has clarified its position on how dangerous bacon and other “processed meats” are in relation to increased cancer risks. 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has insisted it is not telling people to stop eating bacon and other processed meats after a report claimed they could increase the risk of cancer.

Bacon is a staple part of the Positive Pragmatist diet. 

Read the full article

How Wil Wheaton Rebooted His Life

Wil (the actor who played Wesley Crusher in Star Trek: TNG) describes the seven areas of his life he is focussing on as part of a life reboot. So many of us don’t realise we have sleep walked into unhealthiness and that it’s really hurting us.

About twenty years ago, I had a portable spa in the back yard of my first house. One day, the heater stopped working, so I called a repairman to come out and look at it. He told me that there would be an $85 charge no matter what, and I told him that was okay. When he got to my house, he opened up the access panel where the heater, pump, and filter lived. He looked inside, then looked back at me.

“Did you try pushing the reset button?” He asked.

“Um. No,” I said.

He pushed the reset button, and the heater came back to life.

“That’ll be $85,” he said. I paid him.

This post is about realizing that I was sitting in cold water, and not doing anything to turn the heater back on. This post is about how I hit the reset button.

Read the full article

Why Is A Convicted Criminal A Source of Fitness Advice?

When you’re locked in a small cell with little to do, it’s amazing how inventive you can be about getting fit and building muscle. 

I’m a big believer in bodyweight exercises and fitness on the cheap.

This article has some great exercise ideas you can trust – from a criminal. 

Besides a few brief stints of freedom, notorious British criminal and troublemaker Charles Salvador (better known as Charles Bronson) has been serving time since 1974. During these decades behind bars, and often confined to isolation, Bronson has become a fitness fanatic, creating workout programs that require only his bodyweight and a few odd objects. His extreme regimen has given him near-superhuman strength — he claims to be able to do 172 push-ups in 60 seconds, pick up a pool table by himself, and bend a steel prison cell door with his bare hands. He’s set many prison fitness records as well, including one for most push-ups in an hour: 1,727.

Read the full article.