Friday, 19 December 2008

Our 'Point of Need'

I find myself writing this post from a café in the Norfolk and Norwich hospital where I've come with the tartist and her dad so that he can have an M.R.I. scan. He is sadly increasingly confused in his mind and shows all the signs of dementia. Some days are for him, better than others. Sitting with my bacon sarnie and cappuccino surrounded by people at their 'point of need', some in wheelchairs, some wearing eye patches, some hobbling along in plaster with the help of a crutch and a friend or family member, I have many thoughts running through my mind right now.

I'm very aware here of how fundamentally right and civilised the idea of our National Health Service is (despite its enormous cost). That you or I can be provided for in this way regardless of our financial means is something I feel all of us largely take for granted for most of our lives, until, like my father in law we reach our point of need. Then we realise it was just there all the time, benevolent, waiting to help, no invoice, no V.A.T. or commission to somebody further up the line!

I'm also very aware of how equally for granted I take my own mental state. How for most of the time daily life makes perfect sense and that so many simple daily tasks, having a shave, getting dressed, making a cup of tea, for example cause me no anxiety whatsoever. Sadly for John these basic tasks have at times proved such a challenge lately and therefore for his immediate family too. So here we are with the experts and their scanner to find out what John is suffering with and maybe find a way to proceed through the fog of a condition that will inevitably trouble so many of us at some point sooner or later in our lives.

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