Sunday, 23 March 2014

March 2014 - Neglected my emergency kit

A bit of a gap since my last update, pretty much because there hasn't been much to say. Which is a good thing!

One thing that did come up recently was the subject of my emergency Hydrocortisone injection kit, partly because of my recent few days off and holiday to the Isle of Wight and partly because of a chat to a Twitter contact of mine who is an Addisons patient. Last year I went to an education day at the QA Hospital Portsmouth to teach me how to inject an emergency dose of Hydrocortisone (HC) if I ever needed to. The circumstances of ever needing to are quite specific, such as if I have a bad dose of vomiting which means I cannot keep down my HC tablets or if I have a major trauma such as a broken bone. I do not make enough Cortisol of my own, the body would normally produce its own or give me more as and when needed, but I make a low amount and not enough for daily life and certainly not enough for a stressful situation such as a broken bone. So the emergency kit should be around me at all times in case I need it, as that injection could essentially save my life by giving my body the Cortisol it needs to fight infection or stress. But that kit it isn't always nearby. I've been a bit remiss in paying attention to it, and chatting to my wife made me realise she is quite worried about it, and chatting to the Addisons patient - who quite the opposite of me has several kits available to her (one with her at all times) - made me realise I'm not taking this quite seriously enough (whilst not erring on the panic side of things).

OK, so I haven't got Addisons Disease, but I could end up with similar symptoms if I have an 'Addisonian crisis' or 'adrenal crisis', in fact I did last June**. But the end result, i.e. a severe lack of Cortisol, amounts to the same thing. So what I'm going to do is ask the doctor for another emergency kit....I need to re-order the Cortisol injection anyway as it is nearly out of date. The reason for the 2nd kit, is that the current kit lives in the medicine cabinet at home, but what about when I'm at work in Portsmouth, or away on a business trip to London?....not a lot of use is it? So my 2nd kit will live in my work bag, which will be with me wherever I happen to be working. The other kit will remain at home. Of course, when I go away on holiday the kit comes too as it did this last week. But again, not enough thought given by me....the kit remained in the holiday cottage, not a lot of use if we are out and about and I need it. So it needs to live in the car whilst we are away, somewhere it can actually be of use. So nearly 10 months in since my operation, I'm still learning. Yes on the 28th of this month, it will be 10 months since my Pituitary Tumour was removed, amazing.

** My wife and I have very different memories of my adrenal crisis from last June. My memory is, well, in fact I have very little memory of it, which is the whole point really. I was very ill and was admitted to hospital in a right state, so I haven't got any bad memories of the actual event only the aftermath of recovery. Whereas my wife has very acute memories of my descending into illness, being incoherent and almost losing consciousness on several occasions and Deb was really stressing out about trying to get me admitted in the first place. Back then neither of us really understood what an adrenal/Addisonian crisis really was. Luckily we both are a lot more educated now!

I need to pick up my prescription for my amended Testosterone dose, which the doctors surgery finally got around to sorting was a bit harder than it needed to be but we got there in the end. I can also pick up my blood test form to check out my vitamin B12 levels to see if we can rule out another potential reason for my numb/tingly leg. Lets see how that pans out.

So that's my latest update, over and out!

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