Monday, February 13, 2012
Be Still My Beating Heart
Due to an under-active thyroid gland, I'm meant to have my bloods regularly checked. I take daily medication, and so long as the dosage levels are right, which they generally are, I'm hardly troubled by the condition at all.
I usually tell if my meds are running out of sync when;
(1) I'm more tired and grumpy than usual (yes, you up there in the gallery, I'll have you know that that is possible, and I'll have less of the cheek in here too, if you don't want yourself escorting out!)
(2) All my extremities go numb, and,
(3) I experience constant heartburn, often combined with a rapid heart-beat/palpitations.
This all reads much, much worse than it actually is - it's no-where near life threatening, and is easily fixed by upping the meds. But to up the meds, I need a blood check, since I don't want to risk any nasty side-effects (a heightend risk of Osteoporosis, or at the far extreme, heart failure) by upping them too much.
Having perhaps not so wisely skipped my last few blood checks, for the past week or so I've been increasingly experiencing these above-mentioned symptoms, signalling all is not quite well within the temple of Shrinky.
Yes, yes, I know it sounds like a heart-attack, but it isn't. I have low blood pressure, low cholesterol, I'm not over-weight, have absolutely no family history of heart problems, I even take the odd tread-mill exercise, and actually lead a fairly healthy(ish) life-style.
Trust me, I know this. My G.P. knows this. My family knows this. The sodding hospital have my medical records, they also should know this.
Anyhows, enough was enough, today I hauled my arse over to the hospital to have some bloods drawn. I even had the correct form requests from my GP in tow (albeit a little worn and tattered from having had swum around in the bottom of my handbag for so long).
Naturally, one form is never enough, the receptionist had her own set she wanted to run through with me, too. She didn't even get half-way down before I found myself slapped on to a gurney and raced through to emergency.
WTF??? How embarrassing is this??
I'm fine. Will ya' listen to me? At least let me WALK!
I tell you, if you ever want to jump the queue at Accident and Emergency, just hide your severed arm and claim indigestion, you'll be sped to the front of that queue before you can so much as blink.
It's not as though I actually VOLUNTEERED this information, she was the one who'd asked - and I did try (oh boy, did I try) to qualify what I said.. that it simply was a sign my meds are out of kilter.
"It's just procedure, Mrs. Shrinky, best to be safe than to be sorry, eh?"
I was already feeling very sorry, I had a Tesco grocery home delivery scheduled to arrive in about an hour.
I was still trying to explain all this as I was completely stripped from the waist up and plugged in to various machines and monitors. Another nurse appeared with another bunch of forms.
"Next of kin?"
"He's in London.."
"Does he have a mobile?"
"No." (I was learning honesty is not always the best policy around these parts.) "How long am I going to be here?"
"We'll probably need to keep you in for observation, it depends upon your blood results really."
"What blood results? You haven't taken any."
"The doctor will take them."
Oh great, whoopee-do. The only good thing about going to the blood clinic is that the nurses there know what they're doing. They should, after all it's the only thing they do all day. Junior doctors, on the other hand.. shit, I just knew this was going to hurt.
I started to explain I couldn't possibly stay, my ice-lollies would melt, (I know our delivery guy, he kindly leaves our shopping in the kitchen if I'm out, but even I haven't managed to train him so well as to stack them all away for me yet) besides, I had Sam to pick up from college soon.
Before I get the chance to finish, she wrestles an oxygen mask over my face. I wrestle it back off, not only do I not need it, it's making me light headed. She snaps it back on again, her vain effort to shut me up. Hearing (and smelling) the car crash victim, a half-drawn curtain away throwing his breakfast back up, I realise keeping the mask on might be not be such a bad idea, after all.
The young doc makes his appearance, stabs me a couple of times, and finally hits a vein.
"Hang on - Can you pass me up my bag?"
I grab it from him, rooting out the dog-eared form, "Whilst you're in there, you might as well take enough for all these other bloomin' tests.." (Reasoning I'd might as well accomplish the original purpose of why I'd first come in.)
I explain why I can't stay, and we finally reach a compromise, he'll rush through the results that will confirm I am NOT having a heart-attack, if I can only stay put where I am for the next hour.
I start warming to this young man.
Always prepared, I'd packed a book with me for the blood-clinic, and so I resignedly settle myself down in it, to rejoin my hero, him, the one flying over the Cuckoo's nest (alright, that may be a bit of poetic licence there, I'm actually mid-way through reading yet another one of my much famed, true-to-life American serial-killer tomes).
Turns out I may have gall stones. This is news? No I do not need a scan to prove it, thanks, it's already been well and truly documented from the last scan I had done in this place . Huh? NO, kindly leave the stone EXACTLY where it is, I'm totally, completely and utterly done here. Truly. (Sheesh, seems these guys will stop shy of near nothing in order to further justify my kidnap.)
I need to wait another week or so for the full blood results to come through, but at least the initial ones reassure my captors I'm safe enough to be released out alone, loose to hit the street again.
What a royal palaver.
Arriving home, I find I needn't have worried about my ice-lollies melting after all - Jake already scoffed them before they had the chance to, those plus all the biscuits, and as well as half the carcass of a raw chicken, the bloody giblets of which now lie splattered all across my freshly-mopped-this-very-morning kitchen floor, to greet me.
So now, do tell, how's your week shaping up? I'm sure hoping mine delivers better matters of the heart. Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!