Tuesday 16 October 2018

On becoming anyone's guinea pig

Wards of discomfort
I have known hospitals from the very first day of my life that they do not seem that strange to me, but many a place have I been that it might not be as welcoming as to make one feel well.
In the last few weeks, I have 4 visits, check-ups, assessments, observations and talks, some could well be unsettling if not for a rather calm exterior. For it, all began with a suspicion, whether a growth, she could not tell, but it came with a referral.
Meanwhile, in another place we had a discussion for a change of medication, in my research, of the 4 options presented, none seemed like a safe transition as the listed side-effects were fearsomely avoidable if one just stuck to what one was already on for 8 years already.
Yet, they say, these are newer efficacious drugs, but the news out there suggests over 50% have returned to their original medication just because of the side effects.
A belly prod
At the referral, I could not say the consultant was pleasant. Much as I was invited to see another consultant who I had read up on, the one I saw had a bedside manner that served me lots of discomfort. The hand I offered was not taken and the introduction was mumbled or maybe I had suddenly become hard of hearing.
He referenced the notes, asked a few questions and then had me on the gurney but called in a chaperone nurse before he did anything. For God’s sake, I have been violated by medicine too many times to be concerned by a poke, prod or prick, but needs must for all the reasons in the world.
I felt no pain as his hands did the feeling all around my abdomen and elsewhere before I dressed up and he returned to the desk to scribble away. He was recommending a colonoscopy and a phlebotomy, whilst I was thinking, I would rather be with the people who know a lot more about me.
Pills of life
Then we decided, that was the best, it means my doctor who over almost three years has collected sheaves of medical material about me, but I have never met would be arranging for me to visit a department of probing analysts.
In all, I am now in new medication for which the side-effects have not been that serious, we would review the situation next week, at which point it might well be a full transition. My medication comes in a little box with a difference, I found I had to peel off a card that suggested certain side-effects could be life-threatening. Now, that is scary stuff. I have to travel with a card listing my doctor’s details.
I chose this because it offered no change in pill burden or mode of consumption, I could still take it at the same time as with my old pills and now, with or without meals. If I do suffer pyrexia; a medical type for having a fever, have a skin rash which might well be invisible considering, have shortness of breath, feel queasy, have a sore throat or a cough, I should consult my doctor immediately.
Just writing all that makes me feel unwell, but I thrive. Now, what is an umbilical hernia? That came from the prodding and poking. Whilst I protest that it is my body first before it is anyone’s guinea pig, sometimes, I find myself the latter, just because I am the former.

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