Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Long TIme No Blog

I'd like to apologise to my loyal reader for not blogging for ages. There's been a lot going on in my head of late, which has rather occupied me. I can laugh it off now (just about) but at the time I was given a real insight into the misery of potentially serious diagnosis. I also discovered I'm a totally pathetic individual.

Basically, I worked myself up into quite a state over the lump in my neck, and the peculiar sensations in my throat. I went to see the doctor twice - once to be told he felt no unusual lumps or bumps but that he'd set up an ENT appointment for me; twice because despite him saying he felt nothing, I knew there was something there and made the (different) doctor feel it. She said she thought it was a thyroglossal duct cyst, that it was nothing serious and that I shouldn't worry. When I said I'd go private to get it sorted out, she actually phoned me at home to recommend I didn't. As she was 100% certain it wasn't cancer, going private would be extremely expensive and might even give worse care, as there didn't seem to be an ENT specialist in private care in Scotland. She told me to hold out for the NHS appointment at Ninewells. I was reassured - for about 20 minutes. Then my mind went back to believing the absolute worst. Sore throat, a feeling of a large golf ball stuck in it, coupled with the long-term feeling that my singing voice has been compromised, just made me believe there was something more than a thyroglossal cyst. Perhaps I have a thyroglossal cyst because I have cancer, I thought.

Luckily, in a miracle of NHS efficiency, I had only about a week to wait from my second appointment (about 2 from my first). Ninewells called on Monday to say they had a slot available on the Wednesday, which I grasped with both hands. Living in a state of anxiety is not something I do well. It would probably help if I had a structured work life to take my mind off something, but the trouble with being a wastrel is that you have absolutely nothing stopping you from sitting on the sofa, imagining you have only months to live, wasting your day attempting to take your mind off it through the magic of TV and books.

On the Wednesday in question, Fisher took me to the hospital and came into the consultation with me, to make sure I mentioned all my symptoms and was totally reassured. Astonishingly, the appointment was for 2pm, and we were seen at about 2.05. The professor who saw me was the same guy who used to see Fisher when she was a lass, so no lack of experience there!

I told him all my symptoms. He felt my throat where I pointed out the lump, and all round it. He then told me to go and sit on a different chair while he had a look down my throat.

"This is where you stick a lovely tube down my throat, then," I whimpered.

"No no," he assured me. Yay, I thought. "It actually goes up your nose - then down your throat."

"Oh joy," I responded, which made him smile like the devil.

"It's really not so bad," the sympathetic nurse told me. "It'll be over in a jiffy." This reassured me, until she handed me a wad of tissues and added: "You'll need these. It'd make a glass eye cry."

It was far from pleasant, but really only uncomfortable. It wasn't painful or anything. He had a look at the nasal passages, then pushed it deep into my throat (urgle) and had a root around. Eventually he pulled it out (urgle) and said he saw absolutely nothing wrong, apart from a little redness around the trachea. Nor, apparantly, had he felt anything unusual in my throat. Puzzling, as I can clearly feel it - and so could the 2nd doctor. But, hey, he's the pro - and it was great news. He prescribed me some antacids as he thinks I have acid reflux splashes in the throat.

So that was that. He did set up an ultrasound, so the lump isn't completely ignored - but he was sure there wasn't anything seriously wrong. Unfortunately, discomfort in my throat continues today, with the feeling of something stuck at the back of my soft pallate. But I shall take some antihistamines and see if it's hay fever related. It's harvest, after all.

With the throat thing put, if not to bed, then at least down for a nap, I felt a great weight roll from my shoulders. I played a tennis match, racing about like a wild thing, having done no exercise for weeks owing to my inability to inspire myself out of the sitting room. Literally, all I did was sit around and watch the Olympics.

Unfortunately, during the tennis match I felt my lower back 'go'. I was running for a ball when - ping - a sharp pain shot through my hips and lumbar region. Luckily I was 1 game away from winning the match, which I managed to do by smacking the ball without moving my feet at all. I crept back to the car and drove home, stopping at Spar to pick up some baking potatoes for supper. Alas, my attempts at actually getting out of the car failed dismally and I was forced to drive home and sit miserably in the driver's seat until Fisher came and helped me out. Did I feel pathetic? Why, yes I did.

Fisher then departed for Island to take part in the half marathon. I was supposed to be doing my massage course, but with my back in its appalling state there was no way I could manage, so I had to give it a miss. I had an entertaining morning where it took me ages to actually get out of bed - not helped by Bridie deciding the odd noises I was making meant a game and jumping on my chest, flattening me back to the mattress with a howl of agony. I made a swift appointment with the osteo, who gave me the usual elbow-prodding (as in he prodded me with his elbow in my tender joints - he didn't prod my elbow. That would seem pointless. Unlike his elbows) and cracked my vertebrae with his usual energetic charm. It really isn't a pleasant experience - but seeing as it never fails to help, it's definitely worth it. 5 days after the cracking, my back is so much better I actually went for a run in the gym.

Now, it's been over 2 weeks since my last 5k, so I thought I'd take it easy. I put the machine on weight loss and thought I'd try 10 minutes. The weight loss programme starts the run on flat, then puts it up to a gradient of about 3%, then back to flat again. Frankly, I didn't really notice the gradient - but I'm assured it was there. After 10 minutes I noticed that I'd done over 1mile, thanks to the irritating 3 minute warm up at the start, so I decided to finish on 2 miles. I have 6 songs on my iPod's On-The-Go playlist, and at the 2 mile point I'd reached the 4th song - so I thought I'd stop after I'd listened to all 6. Then, of course, at the end of the 6th song I was so close to doing 5k I figured I might as well finish. I did the whole 5k in about 31 1/2 minutes, with a 3 minute walk at the start, and never dropped below a 10 minute mile pace. I was very pleased.

What other news? Not much. Works to the new house have been agreed, and the men will start very soon. They estimate we'll be ready by the 3rd or 4th week in September, which means we're still on track for Janus's footie 'n' food party - if she can round people up and pin them down to a date. Not an easy task.

That's me for a while. Hopefully I'll be more prompt in updating from now on.


Anonymous said...

Really hope this is nothing and you are ok..............Alaistair...