Send for a plumber

Last week I had my fourth visit to A&E. My first was 20 or so years ago when I thought I had twisted my ankle. Initially I didn’t do anything about it but when it continued to be painful and my foot was pretty shades of blue and yellow I went along to A&E and said “I think I have broken my ankle“. They looked at it, said “Yes you probably have” and sent me on my way – it was too late for any intervention and taking an x-ray would have been a waste of time. My second visit two years ago is documented in Beetroot is not my colour and my third in A new word.

Now for my fourth visit. Continue reading “Send for a plumber”

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My three-legged stool 18 months on

In the past I have mentioned my hypothetical three-legged stool  – the three key numbers that I need to keep an eye on. Well two of the three are heading in the right direction and one is drifting a little in the wrong direction. My platelets (the tiny blood cells that help stop bleeding) have been counted.  They are at 150 compared to the 10 they had dropped to two years ago, and are knocking on the door of being normal (150+). Great. The next leg, my HbA1c figure (I will explain later) was the lowest it has been for about four years at 46mmol/mol. When I went to the doctors  with a cough and came out with diabetes my HbA1c reading was 67. Since then it has been running at an acceptable 45-49 until it went up to the high 60’s when I was on steroids whilst my platelets were being encouraged to climb out of the ditch. So far so good. Continue reading “My three-legged stool 18 months on”

Is there a trend?

Blood Tests This month I had oncology and haematology appointments only a week apart so I thought it silly to go for two separate blood tests.  Off I went to the surgery with two blood test forms and found that the phlebotomist also had one form (from my GP) so she had the challenge of seeing how they differed and whether she could combine them and avoid taking too many gallons of my red stuff. After all, they all wanted a FBC, LFT and U&E (that’s a Full Blood Count, Liver Function Test and Urea and Electrolytes). In  addition Oncology, not surprisingly, wanted a PSA figure (I would be worried if they hadn’t asked for that)  and my GP wanted a couple of other things. Continue reading “Is there a trend?”

Faster diagnosis?

Ten years ago I was invited to give a talk at one of the monthly socials run by the Amersham & Chesham branch of the MS Society. Since then I have been asked back half a dozen times and fortunately I have found half a dozen other topics to talk about. Therefore when I spotted an Article by BBC reporter Caroline Wyatt titled How I’m feeling after my MS ‘body reboot’ I thought I would read it.

It is a well written (as you would expect) and thought provoking piece. Continue reading “Faster diagnosis?”

Do they really mean that (5) and platelets

I was reading a sentence on the BBC Website which started “At the time travel company First Bus . . .” and I though ‘wow, they’ve cracked it’. I was a bit disappointed when I carried on reading “At the time travel company First Bus said it faced “unprecedented delays” to services in North Somerset.” I think I needed to take a breath after ‘time’ rather than after ‘bus’! It was a report on how much delays are costing the UK and if there was any time travel it was only in one direction while sat in a jam on a motorway (where time ceases to exist anyway).

Meanwhile back in the world of needles being stuck in my arm I had a blood test last week Continue reading “Do they really mean that (5) and platelets”

Those darn platelets

When my platelets peaked at 116 (well it was a peak compared to last year’s trough, but not up to the levels of the pre-chemo days) the haematology consultant decided I didn’t need to go into CCHU for a while and that they would instead have me have a blood test every four months which they would follow up with a ‘phone call. I had had a blood test a month ago for my last oncology appointment where I found that my platelet count had drifted down to 83. Would it now have recovered or would it still be dropping? Continue reading “Those darn platelets”