Monday, 14 April 2014

April 2014 - an anniversary of sorts

I'm not sure if it is an anniversary that I want to celebrate, but Monday April 15th 2013 is nonetheless a memorable date for me. It was just like any other April day in many ways, but I knew I had an appointment with a consultant who was going to tell me.....well to be honest I didn't have a clue what he was going to tell me. I knew at that point I had blood irregularities and was already on Hydrocortisone tablets, but beyond that, the possibilities (according to Google) were endless.

The first time meeting with a doctor/consultant, much like any other person, is always going to be a learning process. Do you hit it off with them, take an immediate dislike....then there is all that information to take in in the haze of stress and nervousness. I am reminded of an article I read some time ago about the 'primitive brain' and how to a certain extent we have no control over how we react in certain conditions. Our primitive brain is a throwback to our caveman days when it served to keep us alive, to assess dangerous situations and make sure we run away from that big tiger than is trying to eat us. Of course I'm not suggesting a big tiger was about to eat me on that day, but stress about a big event does elicit the same response, the anxiety, the heart beating faster, sweating etc. So when faced with a stressful situation, it does help me to be aware that that my body's reaction is something normal and not to be feared, and let the more rational part of my brain take over. Easier said than done, but a useful technique.

Aaaaaanway, this anniversary. On 15th April 2013 I went to see Dr. Partha Kar at Fareham Community Hospital (incidentally how lucky we are that various consultants hold clinics at this little local hospital, rather than have to trail up to the main QA Hospital in Portsmouth or the UHS in Southampton). This momentous day he would tell me lots about the Pituitary gland, what it did and how he suspected that something was wrong with it. I was to go for an MRI scan to tell for sure what the problem was. Oh and he told me I was on way to high a dose of Hydrocortisone as well, so I had to cut them down over the course of a few weeks. It was just as well because they were making me a bit hyper and I was having trouble sleeping. Looking back on it now, hyper was certainly not a word you could describe me back then!!

So this anniversary was the first of a series of anniversaries that I have coming up, none of them worth celebrating, but certainly pretty memorable.

One of the good things to come out of my meeting with Dr. Kar, was to meet someone with such a passion for what he does. Like many people my knowledge of the NHS came from what I saw in the media and that is not really a good thing. You only get to really understand anything in life from your own personal experience and of course I could have experienced good or bad....(and my experience wasn't always 100% across my time spent with the NHS), but with Dr. Kar luckily it was always 100%. So although I walked away from that meeting still with many questions and no definitive answer, I had confidence that I would get a diagnosis and it would be dealt with by someone who seemed to know what they were talking about.

Next 'anniversary' comes on Friday 24th May 2013. That is a biggie.

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