Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Thought Picnic: I am a medical subject

Preparations at pace

Today was the day again, an early morning, the preparation that started from the night before – ensuring that my hospital identity card and appointment book was in my bag, I did not want to miss my appointment as I did miss my last therapy session just because I got the wrong dates fixed in my mind.

I was last in hospital some 4 months ago to see my consultant and then I was between minds about returning to the UK or staying in the Netherlands; I decided to stay.

In any case, before such meetings, at least two weeks before I had to have gone in to give some blood for tests that could take well over a week of analysis and be presented to my consultant and readily available for call-up on the computer system when I went in to discuss my condition.

Foggy riding

I was hopeful that the results would be an improvement over the last time, but bloods do tell tales you can never really know until someone checks.

Leaving home on my bicycle with 15 minutes to spare, it was quite foggy, we’ve had that weather condition for the past few days, maybe the most appropriate meteorological word is misty too, you never know with all these terms.

Halfway, to the hospital, I realised I had forgotten my wallet at home but there was nothing to it, I would not be needing it but I will have to return home to pick it up for another requirement.

Recalibrate those scales

At the hospital, I registered at the counter and was called in to have my weight and blood pressure measured. The scales seemed to be reading a good 3 kilogrammes more than I expected, not that I am obsessed with my weight, but I have always liked it to settle in the mid-70s but it was a smidgen too close to 80 though for a height of 183m, 6 foot in imperial measures, I am quite good for it at 45.

My doctor would be happier that I was heavier, there is something about the body having a bit more on it to fight disease especially when some rather drastic measures like chemotherapy are required, the battle remains the between the vanity of trimness and the medicine of bulkiness.

Blood pressure, looked fine, sitting between the ideal and the just pre-high blood pressure, maybe there is a bit on my mind, the Lord is my strength.

I am a medical subject

Soon my consultant came out to get me, apologising for keeping me waiting but I would hear none of it, as far as I was concerned, I was fine with the situation and we entered his office where I was introduced to a medical student who gave me a warm handshake.

Some banter ensued, I said I was not a medical student, to which the doctor responded that I was quite knowledgeable about my condition and I said well in all honesty I was more a medical subject.

Then the topic moved on to my plans for the future before we returned to the matter of my health, the blood readings looking good, the immune system much improved and the fact that I had stopped using a cane.

We talked about taking a flu jab, I thought with a struggling immune system I did not want a vaccine that introduced even a deactivated virus into my system – his view was it was really left to me if I wanted the jab but there are no studies that I will have any appreciable benefits from taking it.

Four months hence

Besides that, the whole conversation was pleasant, as our meetings always are, it also suggests why I still want to remain in the Netherlands, there is much with having medical concerns so well cared for.

We arranged to meet 4 months hence in March 2012, I could come off the antibacterial medication at my convenience and now was the time to take my Vitamin D supplements, I took my new prescriptions and we bid ourselves goodbye.

I think it was all over in under 25 minutes, I did not get to see my treatment consultant, she is somewhere in Nepal doing something silly that should only be watched on National Geographic, climbing mountains and the catholic pastor was visiting patients.

That began the day of good and wonderful things for which once again I am thankful and even more so to my well-wishers on Twitter and Facebook, your prayers and messages all redound to me strength and giving me the courage to share my story.

Thank you and God bless you all.

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