The Anonymous Widower

A Summary Of My Health

Doctors have always been puzzled about my health. In my early years, Dr. Egerton White struggled to find, what was wrong with the sickly child I was.

I used to miss one school term in three and it was probably the Spring Term, but as I’m relying on memory I could be wrong. I was always suffering from rhinitis, sore throats and often coughed for England. At one time, I was diagnosed with scarlet fever, but as I was the only case in London and no-one caught it from me I do wonder if it was a misdiagnosis.

Dr. White, at one point thought I had an egg allergy, but in the end I got the usual treatment of children in those days, they took my tonsils out.

Sadly, none of my medical records of those days exist, as they got lost somewhere between London, Felixstowe, where my parents had retired and Liverpool University.

But as my current doctor and I have agreed, whatever has bugged me over the years didn’t kill me as a child, so hopefully it is unlikely to kill me now!

Spending time at Felixstowe on the windy East Coast seemed to improve my health, but I still had lots of small problems like athlete’s foot, terrible dandruff, joint and foot pains and an overactive gut. I should also say that I suffering pain from my left arm, where the humerus had been broken by the school bully.

My mother’s health incidentally was generally good, but my father suffered from terrible rhinitis and catarrh, which wasn’t helped by his smoking of a pipe. His father had been similarly effected and found that the best way of coping was smoking and drink. Consequently, he died in his forties.

Moving to Liverpool for four years for university and work, seemed to dull my troubles and I can’t remember any new problems until a few years later, when I was living in a flat in London, when I started to get pains in my knee joints. One doctor recommended an operation, but luckily I decided to pass.

Things seem to get better in the mid-1970s, when my wife and I moved into an eleventh floor flat in the Barbican.

Generally, for the next thirty years or so, my health was pretty good, although my arm, where it had been broken, could be painful in hot weather. We had moved to Suffolk and generally spent a lot of time outdoors.

Then in the early years of this century, I was diagnosed as a coeliac by Addenbrookes and went gluten-free. My health changed for the better, with most of the joint pains and gut problems disappearing. But I still seemed to suffer from the odd bad Spring, although it got better, when my wife and I could afford to take luxurious winter holidays.

Then my life fell in, in that my wife of forty years died of a squamous cell carcinoma of the heart in 2007, followed by our youngest son, who died of pancreatic cancer in 2010.

My health got worse on the death of my wife, with hay-fever like symptoms at times.

I then had a serious stroke in Hong Kong, whilst on holiday. Luckily, they gave me the superduper clot-busting drug, and my brain is no worse than it ever was!

As I lay there for about three months with the sun streaming through the window, some of my old symptoms returned.  Rhinitis was pouring down my throat, like it hadn’t since the 1960s and my left humerus was giving me some of the worst pain ever.

Since then, I’ve sold up in Suffolk and moved to Hackney, so that I have access to public transport.

The rhinitis is often present, usually in the Spring, and my body feels very much as it did, when I was at school. I’ve also started to get conjunctivitis in my eyes

In one instance, I collapsed and was taken to hospital. They were puzzled, but did report that I had something like water on the lung.  A couple of days of oxygen and I was able to come home.

This Spring, my small problems have been getting worse, with constant wind, itchy skin and especially eye-brows.  Then I was found to have a fungal infection in my toes for which Terbinafine was prescribed.

This reacts with my Warfarin, but as I test my INR daily on a meter, I’m able to keep it under control. I should be able to, as I have a Degree in Control Engineering.

One thing that seems to help cope with the muck pouring into my mouth and throat is fresh lemonade, as it scrapes the muck into my stomach. The odd glass of weak Scotch has a similar effect. At times though it all goes away and white wine tastes like white wine, rather than vinegar.

May 16, 2014 - Posted by | Health | , ,

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