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Abnormal -- Who...me?



Just when you thought it was safe to relax -- whoosh out of the blue comes a telephone call from my rheumatologist. I'd been to my 6 month review just last week and apart from her wanting me to stay in hospital, all went fairly well. In retrospect I should have been expecting nothing less than a stint in a hospital bed -- I was quite ill when she examined me, but 2 years spent in that hospital did nothing to make me favor another spell. I got away with some rather strong antibiotics, a ticking off and "Eureka" a blood test!

I thought it was too good to be true when the phone rang and a rather anxious doctor told me that my blood results were a bit haywire. My calcium, potassium and something I didn't quite grasp were showing abnormal levels. The whole episode of having blood taken was an experience in itself and to go through it all again, well let's face it, I'd rather suck lemons without an antacid. I was very reluctant to go to my general practitioner who has very little time for me but another trip to Manchester was something I didn't fancy so I opted to visit the dragon's den. It's true that I actually hate my general practitioner and I think deep down she hates me! She openly admits to knowing nothing about my condition and never does a thing about it. She sits in her huge comfy chair in a little village practice, dealing with nothing more than sniffles and the occasional emergency, anything more than that and you're a hospital case. She once famously said to me after a change in hospital policy too technical to explain, that she had 4,000 other patients besides me to look after and I snapped "Not all with sclero though -- Eh!" She never really liked me from that point on. It was just a little phone call she needed to make. I was ill and needed to go back to my consultant but first I needed a referral from my general practitioner and basically that's what it was all about! Considering the problems I have, and I'm not being self pitying here, I go to the general practitioner very little in fact hardly at all, why would I when she clearly isn't interested. I blame my general practitioner for everything, even my geese.

Anyway I had the blood test ---- what a par larva! Oh yes, they said they had the best woman for the job a hematologist no less -- from the hospital! Now I am a challenge as she was about to find out!

My sleeve was rolled up, tourniquet on and about to undergo the dreaded blood test. She confidently boasted to being the best vampire in clinic. I boasted that I was the best un-dead corpse in the village and that my hubby had dug me up this morning. She never broke a smile, this woman is serious! Her first try like so many times before was a failure as were her second, third and fourth try. She ripped off the tourniquet and told me to roll up my other sleeve and the process began again. I said " Hold on missus" on the fourth or fifth attempt not because I was scared but my arm was so blue it was about to drop off! With that she announced a final try and the needle went in so deep I thought it would emerge underneath --- "There" she screamed, did a little dance and squealed with delight as a minute drop of blood traveled down her finest syringe. A minute drop was all she got so her delight was rather short lived -- I'd beat the best! I was told that it might just be enough for one test but certainly not enough for others. This is all too familiar for me. For them it's a first, for me it's a way of life!

I'm now awaiting the results, of what exactly, I don't know. Maybe they got enough to determine my gender and that's about it, never the less I'll wait and see.

What tribulations we suffer at the hands of a chronic illness. Life is never dull!


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