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That merits an award.

Robin, you recently put in such a tremendous effort reading all my past posts (and leaving thoughtful comments) that I’m thinking of giving you an award. The problem is I can’t figure out which category you qualify for. It’s either the “dogged determination and persistant patience” award, or the “what the hell are you reading that crap for when there’s dishes in the sink” award. But wait, there may be a late challenger, Pixielyn seems to be attempting the same feat. Maybe you guys could decide who gets what.

BTW it was real elephant shit I was talking about. When it’s wet, the wheels slide out from under you, and when it’s dry it’s like hitting a boulder. “Then why do you keep hitting it?” Because we talking about narrow bush tracks and there’s not much choice.


A trip to the eye doctor (the aftermath)

“What’s aftermath?” Recess I think. Sorry it just popped into my head. If you’ve just joined us you should read at least Part 2, Part 1 is pretty much optional. For everyone else, thanks for the well wishes, and questions. It seems a wrap up is in order, to wit:

I was in intensive care for two days and after that was in a normal ward for a week. Everyone was amazed at how well I responded to medication (except my wife, who got over her incredulity at how quick I recover from things years ago).

For the first three months I had to have blood and urine tests every week (love them 24hr creatin tests, piss in a jug for a day and a night), for a year after that I had them every month, then six months and now I have them every year. Which is fine by me because I have ‘popeye arms’ and none but the best can find a vein first time.

In the first month I registered the highest tri-glyceride reading that Prof. S. Rogers had ever seen, he actually thought there was a mistake so he got the samples delivered to him and was dumbfounded to see that my blood looked like a strawberry milkshake.

I was admitted to hospital again for MRIs, Cat scans and a kidney biopsy. But being the complex fellow that I am they couldn’t determine what was causing the trouble. Now if I had been in America, House could have sent someone around to my place to check my cupboards, but alas we had no such option in Oz, so they just gave me some pills and let me go. Oh yeah, my cholesterol also made it to number one on his highest ever readings chart.

The medication has worked fine since then and with some tweaking he got it down from 7 pills a day to 3.

Now you may well ask “how did you manage to let it get so bad?” and I wouldn’t be offended by such a question. As it happens I had been seeing a doctor to complain about the headaches for 3 years but he said it was just stress. When I got out of hospital I went to see him to get a prescription for the medication the specialist put me on (he only gave me enough for three days) and he said…brace yourself for this…”have you had a history of high blood pressure?”.

After composing myself I said “You’ve been taking my blood pressure for three years, why don’t we look at my file?” We did and guess what? For the last three years my lowest reading was 160/96! Something which was never conveyed to me (and being a male, something I never asked about).

You may be thinking “this guy’s negligent”, and once again you’d be correct, because that’s what a court determined in a wrongful death case two weeks after all this happened. At least I was luckier than the poor bastard he sent home with aspirin after she had contracted meningicocle disease and died two days later.

A trip to the eye-doctor Part 2

So its about 4:30pm Friday afternoon as I park in a 30 minute zone outside the ophthalmologist’s and head inside for what I thought would be a quick checkup. Hang on, I just have to check the dictionary. OK back again, there seemed to be one too many h’s in ophthalmologist and I thought the spell checker must be wrong, but waddya know? That’s how you spell it.

Having never been to an ophthalmologist before I didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t expect the eye drops that stung like shit and made it almost impossible to see anything (apparently they dilate the iris). I also didn’t expect the concerned whispering to his nurse after he started looking in my eyes. And I certainly didn’t expect to see the shocked look on the his face when he took my blood pressure. I mean shit; this guy does this for a living so if it bothers him, there must be something wrong. And anyway, why is an eye doctor taking my blood pressure? Now I’m starting to think there may really be something wrong.

It turns out there was, the pain in my eyeballs was caused by the extensive damage to the capillaries behind my eyes. They had exploded due to a massive build up of blood pressure. After taking me into a small room and connecting me to this really elaborate bit of camera equipment, I’m talking science fiction elaborate here, the eye-doctor rang the local hospital and had me admitted to emergency. And get this, I’ve since learned that the pictures he took are now in a medical textbook.

And if that wasn’t scary enough, this high priced specialist who I’d never seen before thought it was serious enough to drive me to the hosptial himself without waiting for an ambulance. Fuck me, I didn’t feel that bad! They should have seen me on Monday! Oh I forgot to mention that I had only partial vision since all the barfing at work.

Next thing I know I’m in a hospital bed with monitor leads stuck everywhere and a nitro drip in my arm. I was on the drip in emergency for 6 hours before they moved me to a ward. My wife arrived after about an hour (which is ironic really because she worked at the hospital but was in a meeting), had a look at all the equipment and said “Wow, that’s really high blood pressure!” And she was right, at this point it was 250+ over 190+.

Now, I know you’re going to say “bullshit, that kind of blood pressure should kill you” and you would be correct, because that’s what the doctors said too. And that’s why they were putting nitro-glycerin into my bloodstream and checking me every 10 minutes.

Strange thing though I still didn’t feel all that bad, nowhere near as bad as on Monday when I was throwing up. Which is roughly when they determined that I’d had the stroke that had infarcted my kidneys and had caused my organs to shut down through lack of blood. I had only 10% kidney function and they were talking about possibly needing a transplant if things didn’t improve in the long term and dialysis in the meantime. Where’s House when you need him!

The best guess the specialist (a professor of nephrology) could come up with was that if the ophthalmologist hadn’t addmitted me I would have been dead by sometime Sunday afternoon. Go figure. The ophthomologist incidently, was derisive of the optometrist for not calling the hospital herself the day before; I just was thankful she spotted it and passed it on to him.

And what’s the good news? Since I was diagnosed with malignant hypertension, the medication prescribed to control it has also prevented the headaches for seven years now.