Today is Volunteer Information Day in Bridgend. Along with around thirty other charities that work in the Bridgend area, we have been allocated a stand along with table and chairs where we can publicise what we do. A year ago I was offered a place but, as we had no volunteers at that time, I declined. This year Bethan and Fiona will be manning the stand and we have decided to offer a free test to discover whether members of the public could be B12 deficient. Basically we have adapted Dr. Chandy and Sally Pacholok’s list of symptoms to find out if the person taking the test should mention to their GP whether they feel they need to be tested for deficiency.
The response was incredible that once again highlighted the dreadful way in which some patients are treated. One member of the public who made a bee line for the test was 88yrs old. In a wheelchair, the lady told us that up until she was in her early eighties she had received B12 injections every three months. Then she was told that she no longer needed them because of her age. Result – she is now confined to a wheelchair. Bethan took her name and address and will send her our fact-sheet on Sub Acute Combined Degeneration of the Cord Secondary to Pernicious Anaemia.
One other lady who took the test ticked all but one of the symptoms. “I sleep all the time” she told us. “And she gets so moody” her husband informed us. After taking the test and scoring so highly she left telling us that she would visit her doctor on Monday and ask to be tested.
Civil Dignitaries, including elected members, also took the test with mixed results. This helped raise awareness of the work that we do – even if it did mean we got soaked by heavy rain on the Saturday…..