Wednesday 5 June 2024

Men's things - VIII

Interpreting bloods and dreams

In preparation for my biannual consultation today, I printed out sheaves of information for which in the analysis I would hope to have satisfactory, convincing, and comforting medical assessments of the situation. Like the kings of old, their dreams then and our blood results today, need interpretation. They hold some keys to the future.

The bloods have been telling wild stories of rage and range that has led me into many lairs of the medical establishment for observation, through inspections, radiography, biopsies, and another set of appointments and scheduled tests. It is tough if a king cannot remember what they dreamt, just as it is difficult if you cannot review your blood and other results to ask pertinent questions.

Silence is never an option

Having a long-term health condition you have effectively managed for about 15 years gives you some experience handling how doctors relay or disseminate information. You have to read the obvious and then read between the lines. In the UK, they are not as direct and forthcoming as our Dutch neighbours, they are reserved though a certain cohort is abrupt with a patrimonial bedside manner.

The Dutch are interventionists, they do not wait and see how things develop, they go after the issue with alacrity and immediacy. I recall my Dutch doctor saying, “This looks serious, I have to refer you.” She was already on the phone making appointments and speaking with urgency, I could be in no doubt about the seriousness of the situation. When I saw the professor, a few days later, he said, “We have a bed for you upstairs.” That was the beginning of an 18-night stay in the hospital in September 2009.

That compared to how three different health institutions vacillated for almost 3 years on a co-morbidity that could be treated and then I was put on new therapeutic drugs, but this was after I had a conversation along the lines of, “I am well aware of my mortality, what are you going to do about this co-morbidity?

We have to talk about it

Regardless of who you are seeing, it is evident you must have a good understanding and grasp of your situation and give full voice to your concerns unrelentingly until you get satisfactory answers leading to hopefully, your desired outcomes.

Next week, I will be attending a follow-up consultation to discuss the results of the transperineal prostate biopsy I had just over 3 weeks ago. What has been scheduled has left me almost falling off my seat. There is a multidisciplinary team (MDT) with the qualifications of pelvic and urology along with the elephant in the room, who have set something up for the day after with no detail and this has an expiry of a year hence. As it comes under the topic of upcoming tests and procedures, I am left wondering, is this adopting a wait-and-see approach, or there is really nothing to see, and we are just in close monitoring?

You can bet I have many questions for all my follow-up consultations, I am not a tough customer, just one who knows what everyone should know for themselves. “It is my body first before it is your Guinea pig.” Selah!

Blog - Men's things

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Blog - Men's things - VII

NB: I use bloods to mean blood tests.

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