Wednesday 30 November 2022

A catchup on the check-up

As things seem to be

Five weeks later than schedule, I was back in hospital for my biannual check-up which follows the usual routine of reviewing the results from tests conducted on my last visit, how I am both medically and mentally, along with other issues that might come up.

In these straitened times that even I in all my denial of reality sometimes suggests does not affect me, there is a sense of dissatisfaction in the state of affairs, a sad feeling of betrayal of confidences and trust that gave the impression of prospect where there was none, then with quite limited resources to hand, one is constrained in agency and autonomy.

It goes without saying that all these has its effects to either a greater or lesser degree on one’s health. Yet we soldier on believing that the travails of the present are temporary and would pass into the annals of recount and raconteuring with a wistful acknowledgement of how trying times have blessed us with an appreciation of the better things that have followed.

Something quite unexpected

In the review of the last battery of tests, I was unaware of an indicative test that had been conducted as neither my general practitioner (GP) nor I were informed of the result. My understanding was the test was rarely done and only annually, if necessary. However, on the consultant’s screen, I could see a third is the depreciation of an indicator that signalled my ability to fight infection with no clear reason as to why that might have happened.

It is a matter of concern, but one will have to wait for the results of tests conducted on fluids taken earlier today to determine if that was a mistake, an aberration, or a trend. With the new computer records system, you are notified of the result as soon as it is known.

Those hardworking kidneys

Beyond that, I wanted some close attention paid to my kidney function tests as the antiretroviral formulary I am on has been administered for over 12 and a half years. One of the components in the combination therapy can cause kidney impairment and I wanted that aspect monitored. However, looking at the trends in my kidney function tests over the last 4 years suggested I did not have anything to worry about.

The discussion nevertheless allows the consultant to pay a bit more heed to the indicators apart from being acquainted with the fact that I quite knowledgeable about my condition, the therapies, and developments in HIV medicine with the view to obtaining the best outcomes for my health and wellbeing.

Drink lots of aqua

Having had 3 instances where drawing blood was an ordeal, my cousin had given me some advice some months ago, so, from the moment I woke up, I was drinking lots of water, something Brian noted as unusual for me. By the time I was at the hospital this morning, I had drunk over a litre of water.

When I went to see the phlebotomist, my veins were in the Christmas spirit as for how my blood filled the vials, we could intone, “Let it flow, let it flow, let it flow.”, and soon, 7 vials were filled without the need for another prick in my arm.

Everything is electronic now, things are called up on computer and there were no forms for new appointments or prescriptions, you just had to give your name and date of birth along with some other personal information to get things done. The days was slow and tiring, in general, I felt good. I will just wait for the results for comparison and the next meet-up is in 6 months, I guess.

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