All my life I’ve had an innate knowing that the universe has my back and so it is has proved yet again. Recent events have probably saved my life or prevented a permanently debilitating episode. I feel blessed and guided.
About a month ago, Husband and I each had a letter from our doctors’ surgery inviting us to make appointments initially for blood tests, and then for results and further health checks in a new screening initiative. Mine went into my ‘no chance’ pile and was dismissed. Husband made his appointments.
I should say that over the past few years I’ve had so many medical appointments to monitor a condition I have which is simply that – a condition and not a disease – that I know all my systems have always been in good working order.
Fast forward to the last couple of weeks. Coincidentally, although I don’t believe in such things, Husband had to go for an interview at the time he was scheduled for his vampire appointment which therefore made a nonsense of the follow-up. Immediately, I felt compelled to take over the appointments which is very unlike me, as noted by Husband. I duly trotted off to see the phlebotomist.
It was slightly disconcerting to discover the glass sample tubes had been made out for a Janet Swift of another address and birth date. Oh well, these things happen. Phlebotomist drains my system and tries to change incorrect details on the thin glass vials. She’s not happy and declares she wants to start again. Realising I have only a finite supply of the red stuff, I reluctantly agree. She needs the other arm as the original veins have collapsed due to the trauma, I’m dutifully informed. Talk about rinse and repeat.
At this point, I’m wondering why I had the mad compulsion to grab the appointments. I leave the surgery with padded and plastered puncture sites, think no more of it and carry on with the day.
On 10th April, I returned for feedback. Just a five minute ‘in and out’ job, I thought. Oh boy, suffice it to say I left in a state of shock, with the receptionist trying to fix an emergency appointment with the doctor. As none are available, the receptionist emailed the doctor, such was the considered degree of emergency. I was telephoned later with an appointment time which, in itself, was worrying.
Liver function impaired, kidneys not functioning adequately, inflated fasting blood glucose and, as someone who’s always registered low blood pressure and a slowish pulse, it was shocking to find that my blood pressure was in the hundreds. Pulse racing at 98 when it’s usually around 60/minute. BP was repeated after a period of resting but no better. As I left I thought for a moment I saw the shadow of the Grim Reaper ahead. Then I wondered if these results did actually belong to my namesake. Nope, definitely mine.
Saw doctor 24-hours later, BP still the same. Raft of different tests instigated and I’ve had appointments all over the place since then. Back to GP in the morning for BP check and additional meds and an ECG.
If you know me at all, you’ll know I’d research the cause of system impairment and the results were shocking, especially as it seems the whole thing might well be self-inflicted. My investigations show that a non-alcoholic fatty liver can be caused by taking a very low calorie diet and, indeed, is often found in patients who’ve had a gastric bypass. Strange that, isn’t it? One would think a low fat diet would have a beneficial effect.
The glucose-intolerance is probably caused by excluding carbohydrates and the kidneys are stuggling with the toxins created by my handiwork, exacerbated by not drinking enough, which has always been an inclination of mine although I can always manage a latte.
Tomorrow morning I’ll get the results of the more in-depth tests carried out at the hospital, together with specific additional thyroid tests, so I’m hoping for better news. It would be good to hear it’s a belated April fool joke.
Daughter, who was still at home doing her lambing placement, rushed out and bought me a calibrated water jug and has me on a re-hydration programme. She’s also confiscated some of my (many) supplements saying the liver’s probably struggling to deal with all those and hence is overwhelmed with the fatty deposits as well. I was a tad surprised when she said a fatty liver is the stage before cirrhosis.
Son drove me to Birmingham for a hospital appointment yesterday.
For all this, I feel grateful and blessed for two very caring young people and for the inspiration to take action and grab those health screening appointments. I don’t feel particularly unwell and yet my internal environment is a ticking time bomb.
If your invitation drops on the mat in the morning, don’t chuck it out will you? Your blood pressure can be through the roof and you may not know – I didn’t. All of the above come under the ‘silent but deadly’ category until it’s too late. My thanks and gratitude for the timely intervention of that kindly unseen influence which has my back.