Monday, 14 April 2008

A reminder

I haven't written about my illness much apart from the occasional mention of blood tests, medication and my gratitude that I have been able to return to a full active life. The truth is that although it is always there it is fortunately no longer a big part of my life. However, over the weekend a couple of things happened to remind me of how ill I was and how lucky I have been!

On Friday I visited my GP as I wanted a referral to a specialist for something that has been bothering me for a while (and is unrelated to other illnesses). As he dictated the letter he read out my past medical history. It went something like "interstitial lung disease, disseminating intervascular coagulation, nephrotic syndrome, connective tissue disease, polymyositis...." After hearing this I said 'God, when the consultant reads that he will think I can barely walk.'.(and, I should have added..will probably say that I am imminently unsuitable for further treatment for my other complaint as that may bugger up his success rates). My GP then kindly reminded me that in fact when I was ill I was barely able to walk and he was just pleased to see that I was well and able to laugh at things now. Even now I can't really get my head around how ill I was so sometimes it is good to be reminded as I then treat life a little more preciously.

My second reminder came yesterday. Ian and I cycled into town to watch the London marathon (I was staying at his place). We had a special reason and that was to cheer on his colleague and 3 of her relatives who were running round in yellow with purple wings. They were running in memory of their daughter who died suddenly from Lupus at the age of 26 and were fund raising but also trying to raise awareness of the disease. I have posted about her before and how I was just luckier than her in that my GP did the right tests and eventually got me hospital. However, this was after I had paid for a private consultation with a rheumatologist as I was not convinced I would survive the 2 month wait to be seen!

Ian's colleagues were interviewed by the BBC and it was broadcast in the evening's edited highlights. The most poignant statement was when her father said how last year she had been handing out water at one of the refreshment stations and this year she was dead. He has written a narrative of the event.

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