Thursday, 11 July 2013

May 2013 - Diagnosis

So having made it through the perils of Googling, blood tests, "is it this or is it that", I finally got a referral to an Endocrinologist at Portsmouth QA Hospital, Dr. Kar. I'll say this now as I didn't realise quite how I would come to respect him, but Dr. Kar is truly "epic".

I went to see him at our local community hospital at a clinic, and the results he was looking at led him to believe it was most likely I had a Pituitary tumour. This was because several areas of my body were affected, and the Pituitary was like a 'master send' gland which controlled so many things. He was going to send me for an MRI scan which would tell us for sure what the answer was....for once it was a test I thought I could cope with, how difficult could be be to lie on my back in the middle of a big machine.

So on Saturday 18th May, off I went to Portsmouth QA hospital to have my scan. It went well, almost. I mentioned my hate of blood tests, which extends to injections and needles. When in the middle of the scan the nurse came over the intercom and said "I'm just going to inject you with a contrast die is that ok?" Well what choice did a man have, in the middle of the MRI scan, I could hardly say no. Blooming well stung it did, but anyway I just told myself to "man up".

I saw Dr. Kar the following Friday to find out the results of the scan. With a huge amount of trepidation we sat down and Dr. Kar swung his computer screen around and showed me some bizarre almost alien like pictures on his screen, they were of the inside of my head. In almost slow motion I heard him saying about, and showing me, this peanut casing sized shadow in the middle of my skull and how this showed it was definitely a large Pituitary tumour. He also showed me a white ribbon like structure that was my optic nerve, it was being badly squashed by the tumour.

About that last bit, I had been having some visual disturbances in my left eye, that I couldn't quite put my finger on. I knew something wasn't right, but as it turns out one of the most common symptoms in the later stages of a Pituitary tumour is visual problems. As the tumour gets to a critical size, it can impact on the optic nerve squashing it. Ultimately if nothing is done, blindness can occur. Luckily it hadn't got that bad with my eyes, but Dr. Kar explained that once impaction has started, damage can occur quickly and be permanent. Worrying.

So we left the room, happy that a firm diagnosis had been made. What happened next was most surprising, shocking and showed the NHS in a very good light.

No comments:

Post a Comment