I've just spoken (Friday 13th Feb. 2009) with my GP after a blood test. Briefly: 'Vitamin D 83 - 'OK', Blood Sugar 4.6 - 'normal', Cholesterol - 5.4, NDL - 3.5 - 'balances out', PSA 5.4 - 'normal'. Some of you will know what all this means (I avoided a lot of this in my academic studies)!
But apparently, as I said to my wife Jan after the phone call, 'I'm gonna live a while yet, barring serious illnesses/accidents. Better get used to it :-)!'
I've had a dream run through life in terms of illness/accidents. Tonsils and adenoids removed when I was about seven (I remember the ice-cream and lemonade); the usual childhood illnesses - measles, mumps etc.; fell off bikes of course: every boy has to do that; collided with a fence-railing at Mortdale Primary School chasing a football, but all that did was leave a bit of a scar on my cheek; got crushed by half a dozen Rugby Union forwards at Teachers' College - strained chest muscles; walked through ashes on a hillside when about 21 - a few burns; then right through adulthood nothing more than a couple of biopsies when the urologist figured my PSA levels were jumping around too much; Delhi Belly in Bangladesh, Montezuma's Revenge in Mexico; a sore back sometimes - when I haven't walked enough; a couple of wounded cartileges in my fingers catching footballs the wrong way...
How can one go right through life, playing a lot of contact sports, and never have a broken bone? Well, all I can say is that the good Lord wanted me to stay healthy to bother more people more often with more words about the Good News!
Sorry about that!
April 2009 footnote: This week's visit to the Doctor (for flu shots for both of us, plus a pneumonia shot for Jan - which left her with a sore/swollen upper arm for 3-4 days), revealed that my blood pressure is 120/76 ('OK'); but Jan's is 145/89 (seated), 142/80 (lying down) - ('a bit high').
CONVERSATION WITH MY UROLOGIST Wednesday December 7, 2011 (hopefully the last).
I'll make this as discreet as possible, but a warning: if you don't like reading medical stuff, you'd better skip it. For some here this could be important. My prostate was removed (TURP for those in the know) 4 weeks ago yesterday. I'll preserve the anonymity of the doctor, but I was his last patient for the day, so we had a nice relaxed chat...
Dr (after the usual 'How are you's?' This Dr - as do many in his profession - has an economy with words - and with information that isn't prompted by patients. Don't blame him): Well, Mr Croucher, it was benign. No cancer. That's the best news I can ever give to anyone.
Moi: Thank you so much!
Dr: How's your 'flow'?
Moi: As strong as it was about 30 years ago! And colour's gone from red to brown to orange to natural these days. Getting less painful, though a little way to go on that score. I still 'have to go' twice in the night (down from 5 or 6 times), depending on how much I drink in the second half of my waking-time.
Dr: That's all to be expected. And do you sometimes have little warning?
Moi: In the early days, yes. I had to buy some ‘continence underwear’ for that.
Dr: Yes, that’s common too.
Moi: Is dehydration likely to be any sort of problem if I drink nothing from 2-3 om onwards?
Dr: No, not at all, but drink plenty in the first half of your day.
Moi; You said you took out a 'mandarin-sized' inner part of the prostate in this TURP operation. But how big was the mandarin?
Dr: Slightly smaller than a tennis ball.
Moi: Regarding the other aspect of the functioning of that part of my system, I'm half-way there. Is that about usual?
Dr: Yes, give it a little more time.
Moi: Haemerroids: I have a bit of a problem there, and with some constipation.
Dr: That's common. The pain in one nearby area [I'm laicizing the language] sometimes leads to those issues. That will heal of its own accord, but some ointment might help.
Moi: By the way, the Flomaxtra didn't help much before the operation, and it was expensive.
Dr: Uh-huh, that's common.
Moi: I have a cardiologist friend who suggests taking a small amount of aspirin each day. Do you agree with that?
Dr: Yes, now that we’re past the operation.
Moi: I have a profound admiration for your work. I can't understand how someone can devote their life to such a profession!
Dr: I have the best job in the whole medical industry. My heart-surgeon friends don't have the high success rate we do, and paediatricians tell me they get fed up with all the crying of kids.
Moi: That's gratifying... So, are you saying I don't need to bother you again? [Then followed a brief discussion of my profession as a counsellor of clergy, and he told me he was an atheist. I'll keep that to just us two...]
Dr: Yes, unless there's anything else that's a problem in that area. I'm someone who enjoys people saying to me "I don't want to see you again!"