Saturday, 13 March 2021

A simple emergency!

Here I am moored just below Lock 15 at Marston Doles above Napton on the Oxford Canal. On Tuesday I took a walk down to the bottom lock to get rid of my domestic rubbish. I didn't realise it was a tad over 2 miles one way which meant I then had a 2 mile hike up hill to get back to the 'Milly M'. Going wasn't too bad its down hill, but coming back was a bit of an effort!

On Wednesday @1800 I started to feel a bit odd. My pulse started to race. I dont mean just speed up a bit I mean raaaaaaace! I got out my BP monitor and checked my BP Systolic 169 Diastolic 97 Pulse170 bpm. 

Text book figures are 120/80 and below 100 bpm.

Mmmm, thought I that's not right so I checked it again, it was similar so @1806 I sent this picture to my good friend Dr Bones with the message 'what do you think'. She came back with, "Seek medical help and call Dr Kate.......unless it's the dog."

Well I called 111 @1809 I was lucky there is almost no signal here but they picked up and entered in to a diatribe of recorded messages and button pressing. After the sixth button press I thought I don't have time for this so I hung up and called 999 @1815 and explained the situation and the said they would get a Clinical Tech to call me which they did @1855.  I again explained the situation and after a discussion of the fine details they said they would send an Ambulance. 

Well it was over two hours after my first concern before they arrived. I didn't worry I was in an awkward place and I knew not to worry and get stressed lest I should exacerbate the situation.

The Paramedics arrived about @2020 with more gear than I could carry, on a good day, and proceed to stock my boat with bags of tech/med kit. There is a pinch point in the kitchen that is 9". One of the girls was a bit embarrassed that she couldn't get through with out a struggle. I assured her that I had a friend who made her look like Twiggy that managed it with a struggle.

The girls set about their business checking and recording everything. In this situation it is a bit embarrassing for me because after 2 hours it had mostly calmed down. The 'best' they got was 146/88 66 bpm, which given I normally read high on the systolic measure was not a real cause for concern.

We discussed the situation and decided that they would take me to hospital if I wished or I could call my GP in the morning. Given my view of the whole picture I decided to go with the latter option as I couldn't leave my Molly dog on the boat all night. 

They were amazed at my calmness given my initial worries, as I was, but over the last 9 years I have been counseling a bereaved chap of my acquaintance and I have seen what stressing over stuff has done to him, and still does, so I am a bit more prepared to stay chilled than most.

Epilogue: On Thursday morning I tried contacting my GP to no avail. On Friday I did manage to contact the surgery and booked a call back from the GP. However the signal being bad after several attempts we gave up. Why am I telling you this? Well there is a very obvious problem for people who are not in the 'phone zone' getting help if needed. Why is this so in 2021?

I remember in 2010 when David Cameron became PM, he said, "We are going to bring Superfast Broadband in to every home in the capital. I remember thinking at the time, Why? I thought this is odd because not every home in the capital wanted SFBB and felt this was just a way of using public money to fulfil a corporate/industrial need.

But more especially there were large areas of the country that didn't have a basic GPS phone signal and this was a bit of a slap in the face to the people in those areas. I am sure we have all, at some time, been frustrated when we can't get a phone signal when we are out and about. Often in the area we are in there is a perfectly good signal, but not from the company with which we we are connected.

Now the electric and rail companies have a good system. One company is responsible for the infrastructure the over/under ground works, the supply if you like, and many other companies are responsible for "providing the service". Why cant that happen with the phone service. One company responsibly for the transmitter/receiver masts and all the others for "providing the service". Makes sense to me! What do you think?


Dave said...


It is possible to make a 112/999 call if your own network has no signal provided one of the other networks is available.

Roaming onto other networks or having one provider of the cells sites has been talked about for ages. In some respects it already happens as O2 & Vodafone have a site sharing agreement and in certain areas of the country it goes further (think Highlands and islands)

It would be possible to have a single network with each operator using it as already the likes of Tesco & Sky just buy capacity & airtime on the O2 network but have their own back end systems.

I think you have to blame the competition authorities and ofcom as it would make sense but they seem to want competition between the networks.

Maffi said...

What you say is true 'if other networks are available'. And if they are not?

Dave said...

Then you have to fallback to a length of string and pair of tin cans

Marilyn, nb Waka Huia said...

Do you have a cell phone signal booster in the boat? We have one to enhance the phone signal onboard when we are in low signal areas.

And have you had any advice on what to do to either avoid such a high heart rate again or manage it if it does occur?

Cheers, Marilyn

Jenny said...

Maffi, Just had a similar experience 04/04, for some reason I woke in what I thought was a panic at 02:30, my heart was pounding. Thought I'd been dreaming or something. Using one of those oxygen finger meters, my pulse was racing at 130 bpm. It stayed around that level or hours. We were moored in a remote part of the Ashby, and so decided, as-soon-as, to move to the mooring by the Lime Kilns where I caught a taxi to A&E.

Diagnosis was that I was tachycardic, with likely atrial flutter. After drugs and several hours; bpm returned to normal. I was sent home to my boat the next day.

Blood rushing through a heart for a long length of time could result in clotting, and further result in a stoke.

You need to sort this out ;), I'm now on blood thinners and betablockers (Apixaban and Bisoprolol) for life (3 tablets a day).... it's no hardship. Having a stoke would be a disaster.

Keep monitoring your BP and seek help.

Best regards, Jenny (NB Cyan)

Maffi said...

Marilyn You cannot boost what you do no have.