Tag Archive | Huggins Hospital

Flowers Of “Huggins Hospital”, Wolfeboro, NH — August 10, 2018.

by Anura Guruge


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Every Summer Huggins Hospital sets out to display a very impressive array of flowers. Not sure who does it, whether it is volunteers or their ground staff. Either way I am delighted. Always a pleasure to stand outside and just see all that color in its full glory.

Alas, I have to visit Huggins Hospital, at least once a year, typically in late July/early August to get blood work done for my annual (much dreaded) physical (where I get told, without fail, that I am going to die). The only thing that brightens up my visit is that I know that there will be flowers to photograph. Here are the flowers from last year.

Enjoy. If you are in or around Wolfeboro you should stop by. They don’t mind and there is plenty of free (in every sense) parking.


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by Anura Guruge

Wolfeboro, New Hampshire Fireworks — July 4, 2018.

by Anura Guruge


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The Wolfeboro (New Hampshire), 4th of July fireworks, as ever were good. As good as you can get with hand fired fireworks I would think — though I could be wrong. From what we can see all the fireworks are set off by three intrepid souls carrying flares and scuttling, like beatles, from one pod to another. As always the Wolfeboro fireworks were much better than those of Alton the previous night — but that is to expected, Wolfeboro being one of the wealthiest towns in the State.

Good crowd and LOTS of boats (especially in contrast to Alton, the night before).

We sat, as ever, on the grass bank, in Brewster, right across from the field where the fireworks are set off. It was the most crowded that we have experienced. This time, after last year’s fiasco, we parked at Huggins Hospital and walked. Getting back on Rte 28 was a piece of cake, so I suspect this will become the new norm.

Unlike Alton, which started late, Wolfeboro, started right on time at 9:30pm … with some folks even having a countdown to 9:30 which proved to be spot on. That was cool. The show lasted 26-minutes. So, it was all good.

I will never rate a public firework display as even been a total disaster — provided they get at least a few up in the sky. In my book all firework shows are ‘good’ by definition, though some, of course, are much better than others, and you are unlikely to get a truly spectacular one in New Hampshire outside of the BIG cities and Jaffery (the home of ‘Atlas Fireworks’).


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by Anura Guruge

Flowers At Huggins Hospital, Wolfeboro, New Hampshire — July 23, 2017.

by Anura Guruge


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Anura Guruge Huggins Hospital Wolfeboro flowers Sony a7 II July 23 2017 New Hampshire




It, alas, is again that time of year — I have to go for my dreaded annual physical, where I will get told off for how unhealthy I am, and told to lose more weight, get my cholesterol down and that I should watch my diet. Given that I like to get much of the bad news done face-to-face I insist that I get my blood tests done before I go to meet with the doctor. So it was time to get my blood tests done. Hence, Huggins — despite them once screwing up my PSA test by stating that I was a woman.

Well going to Huggins on a Sunday morning to get your blood tests is not a bad idea. Place was deserted. Did NOT see a single other ‘patient’. No lines. Just I.

Huggins always has a good show of flowers in the Summer. So I was banking on taking some pictures. They have more in the back but I literally didn’t have the energy to make it to the back since I had fasted for 15 hours.


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by Anura Guruge

What Is Happening To & At Huggins Hospital, Wolfeboro, NH?

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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by
Anura Guruge


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Huggins Fair 2013 — Aug. 5, 2013.
>> My FALSE PSA from Huggins — Aug. 1, 2012.
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Mamogram 20130002

Mamogram 20130001


Notice anything strange
about this flyer we got from Huggins Hospital
on Saturday?

It was actually very timely. Deanna had had a physical at Dartmouth-Hitchcock (Concord) on Thursday and had been told to get a mammogram. She was thinking about getting it done at Concord Hospital when this flyer came.

I have never forgiven Huggins Hospital for the grief it caused me through its FALSE PSA reporting.

But, Huggins is our nearest hospital and we use it when we have to.

Something is not right at Huggins — of late.

We were there, in the Emergency Room (ER), a few weeks ago, crack-of-dawn, i.e., 8:30 am, on a Monday. Over the weekend Teischan managed to fall off a stationary skateboard and hurt her foot. Though it was slightly swollen I was sure that there were no broken bones. That is one of the many advantages of having played rugby, in school, in Britain, in the early 1970s. IF you yourself didn’t break anything, you were still likely to see at least one broken bone injury a game. So you get fairly expert at spotting broken bones. I do have an enviable diagnostic record in this respect. But, despite my assurances Deanna was not convinced. So we took Teischan to Huggins ER on Monday.

The ER was deserted. No patients. Just one rather bemused volunteer and two frumpy receptionists pretending to be busy. Though we were the only ones there it took the receptionists 20 minutes to get around to calling us.

Yes, we had to get an X-ray. So we accompanied Teischan, through multiple automatic doors, to the X-ray room (to call it a department would be a joke). [I was right. Just a strain. Ace bandage, which I had already done.]

The hospital was deserted. Empty. I have seen more activity in Arizona ghosts towns than at Huggins, of late.

Eerily quiet. So there is now this pervasive air of morbidness though the place is SPOTLESSLY clean — probably because they have so few patients.

Yes, we all know that Huggins stopped delivering babies years ago. I can understand that.

But, I heard recently that Huggins no longer has full-time cardiologists! How is that possible?

Wolfeboro, NH, the Oldest Summer Resort in the U.S., outside of Florida, is the Old People’s Capital of the U.S.

And we are not talking just, hoi polloi old folks. We are talking Mittens Romney RICH, very rich old folks with Titanium health policies.

What gives.

The new building looks a million dollars — and I know it costs much, much more.

But, the place is empty.

And then this flyer. [I know. You thought I forgot.]

So did you spot the incongruity?

There is NO PHONE NUMBER.

Just the Web URL.

Yes, it tells you to call your primary care provider to schedule an appointment, BUT is Huggins that ashamed of itself, and I can understand if they were, after how they screwed up my PSA, that they are too embarrassed to give out their phone number?

There phone number is, in case you want it:
603-569-7500.

We Got Our Flu Shots at the Hannaford, Alton pharmacy


Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


Click image to read article from ‘Fox News Latino’.


Deanna, Devanee and I got our 2012 – 2013 ‘flu shot’, influenza vaccination, at the Hannaford, Alton pharmacy. It, in all aspects, was ‘painless’ — though Devanee, as ever, complained (but did not scream as she is sometimes wont to do when getting a shot or having blood drawn).

It is the first time we have had a flu shot from a pharmacy, as opposed to a hospital. In terms of convenience and price, you can’t beat it. No lines and a minimum of waiting. Yes, there was a fair amount of paperwork to be done. But, overall it was quick. Basically, in and out.

The pharmacist who administered the injections was very nice. We had never seen her before. The Alton Hannaford pharmacy currently does not have a permanent pharmacist. For 2 years or more we had two really decent men, who we got to know quite well. We are supposed to be getting a new one within the month. Till then the pharmacy is served by floaters.

This pharmacist, very openly, admitted, even without us asking, that giving injections is not something she had expected to do when she was studying to be a pharmacist. It is very apparent that she was not taught to give injections at ‘school’. She had an interesting, but effective, technique. She didn’t inject per se; she jabbed, handling the syringe as if it were a dart. You could tell she has practiced on poor oranges. Told me that I am thin-skinned. Wow.

Though I am very happy to have got the shots, with the minimum of fuss, the whole process bothers me. First of all, I feel bad for the pharmacists! I have to assume that they don’t really have a choice in this matter — other than trying to find a job with somebody else. They should not be expected to give shots. That is not what they trained for. I wonder if Hannaford has any pharmacists who have refused to give shots. They should have a choice in this matter.

I checked the pharmacist, as I am wont to do with most professionals, on her knowledge on the subject, and she got it wrong. I asked her if this was a NEW vaccine for ‘this year’ and she glibly responded: ‘we get a new vaccine every year because the flu strains are different’. Wrong! There was no new vaccine last year. They used the same one as they had used the year before. How do I know; I checked with the CDC. Why did I do that; because Walmart started offering flu vaccine in early September (maybe even August) and I couldn’t fathom how they could have come up with a formula that early.

Yes, there is supposed to be a NEW vaccine, with protection against two new strains added, for 2012 – 2013. Not sure whether we got that. As far I know she could have injected water from the tap! Yes, I am a cynic. Yes, I saw her extract fluid from a small vial, but who knows. The drug company could be shipping duds. Yes, I am very cynical.

I have never been a fan of flu shots until of late. This is just the 3rd flu shot I have had. I am genetically prone to bronchitis. For the last 30 years, once in Spring and then in the fall, I get a real bad case of bronchitis. I would always end up having to take antibiotics, sometimes multiple courses. So I was finally persuaded to get the flu shot, especially as I get closer and closer to 60. The first year we happened to be at Dartmouth Hitchcock in Lebanon when they were having a free flu clinic. That was ultra convenient and the price was right. Last year we also got it from DHMC, but at Concord; our ‘Primaries’ being there. We didn’t make a special appointment or go to a scheduled clinic. Deanna had an appointment with her Primary and she asked for a shot while she was in there. I asked whether I could get one too, and since my Primary is also there it proved not to be an issue. They charged our insurance.

Hannaford yesterday told me that my shot was not covered by my insurance. They were wrong on that too. I called up my insurance, the NH State ‘NH Plan’, and they said I was 100% covered outside of my deductible. They claim that Hannaford most likely billed it wrong. So I now have to submit a claim. But, overall in terms of convenience and cost ($25) it was a good deal. By the way, I did call Huggins. They told me to try a pharmacy.

I have mixed feelings about vaccinations. Though I was a child growing up, 50 years ago, in a poor 3rd world country, I was lucky enough to get vaccinations against most things. Chicken pox vaccination was before my time and I got chicken pox when I was in my 40s. I never knew until much later what that could have done for me. Luckily I came out of that alive and with everything working. I have never had a tetanus shot, and as good, enlightened doctors will now point out … there is not much point getting one. That I haven’t got tetanus after all the cuts I have had indicates that my body has built up resistance on its own. A few years ago I worked out that c. 1960 I was one of the folks that received the then brand new ‘sugar cube’ polio vaccination as part of the patient trial process. Yes, they tested it out on brown kids in Ceylon. My uncle, who was a doctor, had a hand in arranging for this ‘free’ nationwide vaccination program, but since he is dead I have no way of finding out if he knew that this was a trial. All of us kids in Ceylon, including his then 3 sons, took it — by mouth. It was a big deal. Lots of media coverage. Lots of political publicity. We were told to wear our best to school for the occasion. We lined up. They put the sugar cubes in our mouth, a bit like the Eucharist. We survived and polio never really got a foothold in Ceylon. I have seen more people, in general, with polio in this country than I have in Ceylon. Some are my age. They did not get vaccinated. It was still being tried out on us. Funny how the cookie crumbles.



National immunization programs in Ceylon. Click if you want to read an article.

Huggins Hospital, Wolfeboro, NH, And My False PSA Test Reading

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


The new Huggins per its deservedly proud architects.


Writing about the forthcoming Huggins Fair yesterday, got me thinking about this far from amusing incident with Huggins — and I knew I had no choice but to share it with you.

It was Fall 2007 and I was seeing an urologist in Manchester, NH — next to Elliott Hospital. I needed to get a PSA test done before my next visit.

My primary care doctor at the time was based in Alton (where I had recently moved to) and was affiliated with Huggins Hospital. They could draw blood, enter the necessary ‘stuff’ into the computer and then sent the vials off to Wolfeboro to be tested at the hospital. It was certainly more convenient than having to drive to Wolfeboro. Plus, you typically got faster service in Alton. So, I arranged to have my blood drawn in Alton and to have the results sent back to them.

My appointment with the urologist was on a Thursday. I was going to swing by the Alton office on Wednesday afternoon and pick the results.

I get a call from a nurse in Alton that Wednesday afternoon. She says that my results are in, but that they are NOT good. The PSA score had been marked as HIGH.

I was devastated. I had never expected any issues, at that juncture, with my prostate. Usually my PSA was always on the low side; below ‘1’. Now I had a nurse telling me that my PSA was high.

I still had the presence of mind to ask her what the reading was. She said it was ‘0.1’. I got her to repeat it. ‘0.1’. It was below ‘1’. But, it was supposed to be high. I told her I will be there shortly to pick up the result sheet.

I did a Google. ‘0.1’ was way LOW. Not high. Deanna drove me to the doctor’s office. I was in a trance. Long ago having seen what it did to folks I had vowed that I would never have my prostate taken out. Worst case I would go with pellets. If they could only guarantee 8 years, that was still ‘OK’ with me. So, I was, in my mind, already getting mentally prepared for the pellets. I called up my eldest daughter. She told me not to worry and that all will be OK.

I saw the nurse and got the result sheet. She showed me where there was a big, BOLD ‘H’ to denote that the ‘0.1. reading was high — and per the range, it indeed was very high.

Next morning we all went to Manchester. I was still dazed.

My urologist is great. A good Catholic. I had given him a copy of my first pope book. He liked it.

I told him the results and gave him the sheet. He read it, carefully. He told me that it was strange. He said that ‘0.1’ should not be high. I said, I thought that. I asked him if the test has changed, with a new scale of readings. He said ‘No’.

He was confused. He told me not to worry. That he was going to call Huggins. He said that I would need to get the test done again — at a different lab.

He told me he would call me. That was the end of the appointment.

I was still crushed. The kids needed to go to the bathroom. Finally we were ready to leave and were trooping out of the door of the main building. A couple came up behind us and said that the doctor was looking for me and that I should go back.

So we trooped back upstairs. The receptionist called the doctor. He appeared with a BIG GRIN on his face.

‘Mystery solved. Your results are fine. Way below ‘1’. You are good. Huggins had YOU coded as a FEMALE!’

Aaahhh!

So all of that was because Huggins had me in their computer as a FEMALE.

Well, I wasn’t new to Huggins. They had done blood work for me before. I had also had Cat-Scans at Huggins. So, it wasn’t as if I was new to them. Plus, in whichever light or direction you look at me, I do not look un-masculine.

I was relieved, but now was bummed.

When I got home I checked. To my amazement I found out that they indeed do PSA testing of women — and for a woman ‘0.1’ PSA is high. I think that in the main such testing has to do with transgender issues.

Now I was at the ‘get even’ stage. Called up a couple of my favorite lawyers. I wanted to sue the pants off Huggins.

Crushed again. Would YOU believe this: I had NOT suffered enough pain!

Yep, 24 hours of mental anguish, however, severe is considered bagatelle by the system. So much for the you can sue on a dime theory. I was told the BEST I could hope for was to get Huggins to refund me for the PSA test!

Well, maybe this story might help somebody else. Check the gender on your PSA results.

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