Saturday, September 7, 2013

The other side

The whirr of the MRI machine cuts through one's thoughts. Lying in the tunnel was interesting..I am not claustrophobic but the whole experience indeed is one of close quarters. And my thoughts drifted back over the last few days. The symptoms were getting a bit worse, had waved it off as just a manifestation of stress..but something was niggling...this had happened before but this time, it just didn't want to go. When in between ward rounds, I had to stop for a was easy to disguise it as a coffee break..I knew the time had come. Did the NHS click into gear? Can I say it was amazing? To be honest, I don't know- as I was seen by a friend who happened to be a Rheumatologist. A quick fire X Ray followed by a thorough review..and next stop was an MRI. In the back of my mind, the symptoms over the last 2 years were adding up...and somehow I knew what the MRI could show.

So it came to pass..and it is interesting to be on the other side. So far in life, ailment free, never one to bother my GP...the signs and symptoms had been waived away. I was Partha Kar..the swashbuckling Diabetes Consultant out to change the world...who ever had time for symptoms? Me? Problems? Seriously..wasn't I supposed to be the healer of all problems myself? And didn't you know about my achievements over the last 5 years...go find someone who has done as much as blasphemous heathen!! Anyhow, the results when revealed gave rise to little emotions..all I remember my Rheumatology colleague asking.."what do you feel about that?". Honestly? No idea..not the faintest idea what came next...before the practical side kicked in. There's always a solution to a must this have...what were spinal surgeons for after all?

But what was quite touching was the small bits that happened over the last few days..the Radiology department making time and space to squeeze me in an incredibly busy schedule, the personal touch shown by the radiographer when ushering me in. It was all very easy sauntering in from my morning clinic, strutting down the radiology department corridor for the takes a different perspective when you are then sitting in a gown on a trolley waiting to walk into the scanner. A Consultant colleague came along...Daren and I talked about NHS politics, we laughed about finances, we cracked a joke about football..but I remember at the end Daren saying.."Don't worry mate, just be calm, it will be fine"...beyond the fa├žade of being cool, had he seen my worry? Showed my departmental colleagues the results..a few par for the course black humour jokes followed by a swift appointment with a spinal surgeon scheduled by them early next's all been a daze.An evening chat with a school friend who is now a Orthopaedic Consultant..reassuring, calm..all people focussed on helping out a friend. Maybe the image I have in my head of just being seen as an arrogant brat is perhaps not always the way I am perceived. Maybe, just maybe.

And then beyond all, you come home and be with your loved ones..who know that the worry is niggling..that the pain, the involvement of the nerves, the muscles, the arteries and the background knowledge of the human anatomy gives a constant reminder of what lurks in the background. Beyond everything its the assurance of them being there.They know you and an extra hug, an extra word of assurance..always there..always available when needed. I write this blog more as a distraction while sipping on a glass of vino. A movie night with the family is to follow...the next few weeks will be interesting to say the least but with friends and family like I have? It will be a doddle.

In the words of Samuel Smiles.. " Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey towards it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us".  In that case..let'

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