Scanned Before Breakfast…

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Ordinarily, on a Saturday morning at 6am I’d be all warm and cosy under a massive goose-feather duvet, enjoying a lie-in after working nine to five during the week, however, when your consultant physician schedules a CT scan of your lungs at 8am you have to drag yourself out of bed at the weekend no matter what. Fortunately I have very good friends, so I was lucky enough to get a lift despite the fact it was still dark when I left the house. At the radiology suite I was required to remove my top (something I seem to be doing rather a lot of these days) and change into an unflattering hospital gown in readiness for the procedure. Although I’d had MRIs before this was my first experience of a CT scanner, so I chose to treat this new experience as exciting rather than scary.

After confirming my date of birth I had to lie down on the machine with my arms raised above my head waiting for the lights and whirring to begin. An automated female voice then said “Breathe in and hold your breath” – around five seconds later I heard “You may breathe normally” which was a bit of a relief. The table, with me on it, moved back and forth and the breath-holding exercise was repeated twice more. Hard to describe the feeling other than diving through a doughnut shaped washing machine while flat on your back; surreal but not remotely painful, and all over with in less than five minutes. Once my innards had been thoroughly photographed I was free to leave – the results will be sent to my specialist and a follow-up appointment will be scheduled in due course if there’s anything of note to discuss.

I can’t help but feel very lucky to have access to such incredible medical technology, and wonder what marvellous diagnostic tools we’ll have at our disposal in the not too distant future. I love science!

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I’m Ready For My Close-Up…

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My phone rang this evening and it was the hospital cardio-respiratory dept (thought I was finished with all the heart stuff until next April). Basically, they have regular reviews and new quality control measures, that have recently been put in place, which means that they must now produce log books of important clinical results and findings.

Apparently, my heart scan was “so beautiful” and “such a fantastic example” (of two faulty valves to the left chamber) they would very much like me to go back up there for another scan next month, and use my images (anonymously) for their departmental logbook! They’ll pay for my transport and will also provide me with whatever I need on the day. Who knew I had such a photogenic insides?! It’ll be entertaining if they want topless shots showing the scanning process – ooo errrr!!

Lumps and Bumps…

Untitled-1I’d only gone to see my GP to discuss my upcoming cardiology appointment, but after simply asking for a second opinion on a small lump on my neck the focus swiftly altered and I was immediately booked in for blood tests and a scan! I must admit, all I was expecting was confirmation that all was ‘normal‘ so this sudden turn of events took me totally by surprise.

In less than a week I’d undergone both procedures and a few days later I was back with my GP to find out what the hell just happened. Apparently, anything to do with iffy lymph nodes throws the NHS into panic-mode, which is why I subsequently ended up with an urgent (within 7 days) referral to the haematology department at the local hospital! It’s the first time my doctor said the word lymphoma out loud, but I’m choosing to ignore it and am assuming it’s just a virus of some description.

I don’t have time to be ill – I’m far too busy living the dream

Two Hard Ones and Two Floppy Ones..!

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Get your mind out of the gutter! “Two hard ones and two floppy ones” are the words a doctor said to me this morning when I went to discuss the results of my heart scan, and she was talking about my arteries. I now have to be referred to a cardiologist for further tests, although I was warned that the local NHS waiting list is very VERY long. In the meantime I’ve been put back on statins – oh joy, the delights of leg muscle cramps to look forward to…

However, this week is all about perspectives, and while I moan about a few aches and pains I’m horribly aware that some very good friends of mine are, at this very moment, with their newborn in a London ICU waiting to hear when he will endure a complicated heart operation. I am now counting my blessings and crossing all of my fingers (and toes) for a positive outcome for this lovely family. Life really can be so unfair at times…

Affairs of The Heart…

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The Cardio Respiratory Department at the General Hospital wasn’t my favourite place to be at 8.30am on a Wednesday, especially when it was already nice and sunny outside, but as I needed to have a heart scan I guess it was the best place for it.

The last time I whipped my top off in front of other people was in Gran Canaria last December, while lounging on a sunbed under a massive palm tree beside a fabulous infinity pool, which was a whole lot more fun than being topless while laying on a hard hospital bed in a cold, clinical environment in front of a Cardiology Technician. However, needs must and all that…

The process itself, laying on my left with my arm above my head while having an ultrasound of my heart wasn’t painful, just a little uncomfy and not the best environment for making ‘small talk’. Fortunately it was all over and done with relatively swiftly and now I have to face the next bit – the two week wait while the scans are thoroughly examined by a specialist and the results sent through to my GP.

No point in worrying about it though – I’ll deal with whatever I need to when the time comes, but for now work beckons. That winter break in Lanzarote won’t fund itself!