14 October 2015
Monday brought news that my cousin is not doing so well, and his gastric problems (for which he had major emergency surgery a couple of years back) have returned. I don't know the full details yet, but am rather concerned for him.
Tuesday saw a visit to my new GP to discuss staying on HRT for a while longer [pleeeeez!] and also to see what could be suggested to relieve the damn nuisance which my left knee has become (an old tale, but somewhat worse these days - after weeks of shifting furniture and boxes I guess).
I went primed, having done some background reading as I was half expecting the extended 'increased risks' fight over the HRT as I've been taking 'my' version of mother's little helpers for more than five years now. I was dreading it, to be honest, as I thought this would be time to stop, and I still remember all too well how awful the start of menopause was... Almost everything I've read indicates that symptoms return, sometimes in spades, if you come off the medication - even if you are gradually 'weaned off'.
Thankfully, we were able to have a very sensible discussion, both about HRT and some possible alternatives. My lovely (female, and fifties) GP turned out to be pretty amenable to my continuing the status quo for another year, at least, given that I've not got too awful a family history and have done a lot in lifestyle changes to mitigate some of the more obvious health risks associated with HRT. Phew, so looks like I get a temporary pass on morphing back into Alecto, my old mate the Fury - that one characterised by constant, unceasing anger.
Then came the big surprise. A few years ago when I talked to my previous practice about my dodgy knee I was fobbed off with physio (which helped a bit) and an x-ray (which was a pretty pointless exercise for something I suspected to be soft tissue related). This time I was offered an MRI scan(!) to properly investigate what's happening - probably damaged cartilage. Watch this space.
Today brought another health related day trip, this time to the eye clinic with my darling lovely hubby. Wow, up here (a well respected teaching hospital) they are SO organised, and so 'human'. I know that sounds odd, but he was treated with care and respect and kindness by everyone we encountered, from start to finish. We were very impressed.
His somewhat 'chopped about' eye (after macular hole surgery, full retinal detachment repair and subsequent cataract surgery) was thoroughly checked over and found to be in a pretty good state, except that a small, leftover suture was discovered to be working it's way out. The consultant was not happy to leave it there and before we could think for a moment, having administered a local anaesthetic eye drop, whipped out a pair of fine tweezers and scalpel and removed it on the spot. Goodness, we didn't have time to worry - he just motored on and did it, and it was all over in a flash. Perfect, and some tiny droppers of antibiotics to take home too - not even a wait for a prescription!
The other eye was also checked very carefully as there was a minor concern about the scan showing the retina being slightly 'uneven'. With the history from the first eye... better safe than sorry, eh. Looks like things are OK though, and there is no sign of any new (diabetic related) damage to either eye. Thank goodness - we'll take that!
What made me pause for thought though was the number of other people there for their eye appointments. Everyone you could imagine, from mums with their tiny babies to very elderly and infirm people in wheelchairs, from an extremely smart gentleman in a pinstriped suit with a posh briefcase (a lawyer maybe?) to a poor chap who looked almost down and out. All there because they had problems of some sort with vision. The fact that I am absolutely fine in this respect and lovely hubby is doing OK is a big blessing, and one I must make sure to count.
So, that combined with the fact that we are both fit and strong enough to have walked there and back (there are hills here too) gives me some pretty amazing blessings to take account of today. Autumn colours and a little sunshine add a few more. Whatever happens in life, there are always good things too. Sometimes, when times are uncertain or challenging, I just have to be reminded of that.
Onwards and most definitely upwards...