2012 wasn’t a great year for me, primarily from a personal health perspective. Way back in November 2011 I managed to catch a virus. It initially manifested itself as flu symptoms for a little over 2 weeks – I lost about 14 pounds and whilst I was a little overweight, I can think of better ways to lose weight – certainly ones that are more fun anyway.
Following that, I just had a succession of health problems. I lost my appetitie for the best part of 4 months which helped me lose more weight – so much so that I had a bunch of catscans to make sure their were no problems with things like Bowel cancer (there wasnt thank goodness!). That cleared up (by itself) and then the next 8 weeks of hell started – I wont go into too much detail here but lets just say I couldnt be too far from the loo! More tests.
Eventually found out that all tests were clear – just in time for the summer holidays. Had a great couple of weeks on the Canary Island of Lanzarote, came back tanned and relaxed and determined to put all the problems behind me (or so I thought). A week or so after I got back, I noticed I was getting out of breath. No biggy I thought. I do have asthma, but not usually in the summer – oh well I thought – and continued to use my inhalers.
Matters came to a head a couple of weeks later when I could do hardly anything without getting severely out of breath and needing to rest. Off to the docs who took one look at me and decided to do yet another blood test as a matter of urgency(I was developing a yellow tinge by this point!). 6am the day after the blood test I got a call from my local hospital telling me to get to the Casualty department asap as I needed a blood transfusion – what a way to wake up.
Off I toddled, wife in tow. To cut a long story short, it turned out my haemoglobin was dangerously low. The National Health Service kicked into gear and in short time I was hooked up and havig the first unit of blood which made me feel a good deal better. I should say that by this point I resembled a walking skeleton(my weight had dropped to 10st – I had been 12 and a half stone). I then spent the next 4 days being tested and given more blood. I was sent home as my blood count levels were returning to normal, but was told that I needed a bone marrow biopsy to start the process of analysis to determine what had triggeerd the condition.That was in early September 2012. I had my 3rd outpatients appointment yesterday(23rd January) to be told they were finally discharging me as I was completely back to normal – removing a great weight from my shoulders.
What have I learned from this experience?
- The British National Health Service is Fantastic.
- Their are ALWAYS people worse off than you.
- Don’t delay in contacting the doctor(I did for 3 weeks and it nearly caused me to be in intenstive care!)
- Doctors are great – but they don’t know everything! They still dont know what triggered the condition.. I am officially an enigma.
- You dont appreciate your health until you don’t have it!