General musings #1: Now that was scary

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Blog entry by BritBoxmaker posted 08-29-2011 02:09 PM 7131 reads 1 time favorited 53 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of General musings series Part 2: I'm back »

Not wood working related, so sue me.

Yesterday evening I was minding my own business when a sharp chest pain hit me. It spread through to the back. This felt like a heart attack. As far as I knew anyway. Finally I found Sue and told her I didn’t want to worry her but….

Well we phoned the on-call doctors who immediately sent around an ambulance (no pic’s I was a bit preoccupied).

Within minutes I was on my way to the local hospital, already being checked on their ECG. All seemed good. Just these incredibly sharp pains when I bent back or forward. The gas was good (Nitrous oxide), keeping the pain down and me happy. Sats, also measured en-route were fine too. They also gave me pain killers.

When I arrived at the hospital it all ran like clockwork. 2nd ECG, Sats, blood tests and chest X-ray. One of the junior doctors, a rather efficient yet pleasent (human) young German guy asked me questions and wrote down the whole story.

By this time Sue arrived having packed an overnight bag for me before she left. Seems that I was going to be in for an overnight stay as they wanted to do more bloods at 4 am. I was sort of comfortable but the occasional shooting pain and definitely one when I moved. I don’t think I’ve kept still for so long for a while.

The consultant came in went through a few questions and prodded my chest all over. When he hit the spot where it hurt most I nearly hit the roof. He pronounced Costochondritis, an inflammation of the ligaments joining the ribs to the sternum. Relief, of a sort. No overnight stay. They dosed me up with Diclofenac (inflammation and pain relief) and diazapam (yum) and waited a decent time to see if it worked. After forty minutes (12:30 am) I was asked how I feel. When I said significantly better my young German friend said OK you can go. I have to take the week off, keep taking the Diclofenac and no shop time (they can make you drowsy). I’ll have to do some more design work or I’ll go crazy.

Overall I am relieved, as is Sue, and I can say that the thing I love about the NHS (National Health Service) is that, as a public health service paid for through our taxes, its free at point of use (they don’t ask for credit cards or health insurance).
For emergencies and the majority of non-urgent treatment they are always there when you need them. I don’t live in a town but the service is immediate and effective. I also don’t, now, have to think about how I am going to pay for this.

Recently I have been worried about a lot of things. The same things we all worry about. Today, after having gone through this experience, I’m not worried about a whole lot. Apart from a week with no woodworking that is.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

53 comments so far

View Gene Howe's profile (online now)

Gene Howe

11486 posts in 3787 days

#1 posted 08-29-2011 02:32 PM

Glad to hear it wasn’t the ticker, Martyn.
An experience of that sort does tend to focus one, doesn’t it?

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View YorkshireStewart's profile


1130 posts in 4260 days

#2 posted 08-29-2011 02:34 PM

Phew! What a worry Martyn. It’s wonderful to hear that you were well looked after and that the problem wasn’t a lot worse. We look forward to some wild drug-induced designs :-)

-- Res severa verum gaudium - True pleasure is a serious business.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3474 days

#3 posted 08-29-2011 02:43 PM

now thats is serious … a hole week with out sawdust and flavours from fresh shavings
you´l better call in the Proff. colleggs and discous this so you ain´t going to bee lazy
and forget how wood is fellt
but I hear a book or two can help a little

glad you are alright after all and soon will be back and scared us with another 55 hour box :-)
take it easy and enjoy a whyskey to the book

take care

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3225 days

#4 posted 08-29-2011 02:51 PM

Martyn, I’m just glad it was not as serious as you first thought. A week off isn’t going to hurt anyone and you never know, with all of that time to do nothing but think you are liable to come up with some really wonderful ideas. Just enjoy your rest – it will do you a lot of good.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View CharlieM1958's profile


16282 posts in 4577 days

#5 posted 08-29-2011 02:52 PM

Nothing like a health scare to make us appreciate what we’ve got, and realize that most of the things we fret over on a daily basis are actually quite insignificant.

I’m glad you’re okay, Martyn.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Roger's profile


21001 posts in 3162 days

#6 posted 08-29-2011 02:53 PM

hope you start feelin better. please don’t go out to the shop while “under-the-influence”. just sit on the porch and relax. no stress. get better fast

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View SSMDad's profile


395 posts in 2955 days

#7 posted 08-29-2011 02:54 PM

Glad everything is ok and you were able to get prompt care.

Charlie, you’re right on with that one!

-- Chris ~~Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past."

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 3793 days

#8 posted 08-29-2011 02:59 PM

Martyn, So glad you are OK, must have been a real worry for you and Sue.
Over here, the NHS is portrayed as an evil communistic/socialist creation that is no good and to be avoided at all costs. In the US we have a system heavily laden with intermediate bodies that all have to make a profit, the lucky have medical insurance policies, but even that insurance does not cover the bill.
We do have free medical though: Illegal immigrants and people with no insurance can get free medical services, well why not, the insured people have it added to their bill.
The US has probably the best health care system which unfortunately is only available to about 40% of the populous plus foreign nationals who pay or don’t pay. This system will never change as too many entities are involved and making money hand over fist.

I envy those health services of Europe and can understand that not one of those countries would even consider choosing the US system. Rock on NHS

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9238 posts in 3278 days

#9 posted 08-29-2011 03:01 PM

You have been doing quite a lot lately. Perhaps it is a warning you should slow down. You are very lucky, as others have said, that it is something that you are able to take care of fairly easily. I understand that it is difficult for you to slow down, as it is for me, but you are always telling me that time off is good and necessary and now I will say the same to you. There are plenty of creative things that you can do that won’t be harmful to you. Draw. Read. Take a drive and get inspired. Be good to yourself for a while and try to even enjoy life with less pressure for a bit. Otherwise me and several others here will lecture you incessantly if we see too much production from you too quickly.

Take care of yourself, my friend. We need you here. :)


Added in – As an immigrant from the US to Canada, I find the health care system here good. I know there are instances where others aren’t happy, but that is always the case anywhere. I have had to use the system a couple of times in the seven years I have been here an find that the providers are caring and as competent as anywhere I have seen in the US. But I don’t have to worry about paying the bill when I get home. We still pay for medication here, even though most think it is for free, but the general care is good and I would rather pay higher taxes than constantly worry about how I am going to receive medical services if I need them. I just wanted to say.

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View hairy's profile


2821 posts in 3891 days

#10 posted 08-29-2011 03:36 PM

Get well soon, I’m glad you’re ok.

-- My reality check bounced...

View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 3280 days

#11 posted 08-29-2011 03:37 PM

Glad to hear you are fine. Take rest. Cheers and Thanks God.

-- Bert

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3467 days

#12 posted 08-29-2011 03:43 PM

Well Martyn, sounds like you got a taste of both immortality and mortality all within about the same week. I know that life requires balance but lets not take it to the extreme :) I am most glad that everything checked out and the means were there to provide competent and immediate care. Forgive me, but I did find some humor in the comment that your woodworking will be put on a brief hiatus, not because of the inflammation but due to the medication. I can picture your mind when the doctor told you to take a week off work. “Woodworking is not work! Its a passion!” It is probably a good thing you will be medicated so you can give those ribs a rest.

Since your designs tend to reflect your innermost fears, revelations, and experiences, I know there will be a symbolic piece in the future. Rest the body, nurture the spirit, I know the brain won’t need any food.

“Be seeing you”


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3395 days

#13 posted 08-29-2011 03:46 PM

Sheila, We have to pay for drugs,here too. Its £7.40 per prescription. But considering that that prescription could contain £100’s worth of drugs its nominal. If you are on benefits even that is free.

Thank you all for your kind comments.

Right now I’m designing. You may all regret this, soon, well after this week anyway.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View Manitario's profile


2747 posts in 3241 days

#14 posted 08-29-2011 04:13 PM

Glad that you’re ok. I look forward to seeing what new creations your “rest” produces.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View Cozmo35's profile


2200 posts in 3394 days

#15 posted 08-29-2011 04:26 PM

Martyn, that must have been pretty scary for you and Sue. I am sincerley glad to hear you are alright. I wish you a quick recovery and I am looking forward to seeing the fruits of you design labor. Take Care!

-- If you don't work, you don't eat!.....Garland, TX

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