The last couple of months of 2011 and first 8 months of 2012 werent that good for me from a health perspective. Late 2011 saw me catch a nasty virus, which led to a series of unpleasant side effects over a number of months(I lost almost 3 stone), culminating in an early morning call from my local hospital ‘Come in NOW.. you need an emergency blood transfusion’ – this is not the sort of call I want to wake up to at 6am. But.. in we went – my haemoglobin had almost disappeared. my heart was racing trying to circulate what little oxygen it could get into my blood. After 4 days (and 3 units of blood) I was well enough to be released, although I did have some follow up in the shape of a bone marrow biopsy (NOT on my Bucket List) and several months of very close monitoring by the National Health Service who despite all the moans etc do an absolutely FABULOUS job.
January of this year saw me discharged as an outpatient, I was fit, the weight had (and still is) coming back. My local GP Doctor kept an eye on me with somewhat regular blood tests. Guess what.. in May it started to deviate again. He let it go but when the next test showed the same, he decided to refer me for further analysis.
In truth , actually getting the referral appointment was a bit of a farce, but I DID get to see a liver specialist – using private medical insurance (only because I couldnt get an NHS appointment for at least 3 months). More Blood tests and an ultrasound were done. A full set of liver related tests were run. And… we SEEM to have a cause.. Its a somewhat common (1% UK population have it) condition called Coeliac Disease, where the bodies immune system thinks that Gluten is something that needs to be attacked. The result is that it damages the part of the stomach that derives nutrition from food and amongst a great long list of possible symptoms, anaemia and tiredness – all of which I had in varying degrees since late 2011.
So we know what it is (well one more run in with an Endoscope and we will – not looking forward to that so much but hey, been there, done that, got the tee-shirt) – the cure is to avoid Gluten at all costs. WOW – do you have any idea how much food and drink contains GLUTEN? Definitely life changing for me.. BUT.. it could have been a whole lot worse. I’m just getting to grips with it, getting my head around it… but.. it’ll be ok.
A very special Day for me.. finally I know what the problem is and know how to fix it!
ps if you REALLY want all the boring detail – http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Coeliac-disease/Pages/Introduction.aspx
pps Not my usual sort of post.. but I think today deserved it. Thanks for reading if you got this far!