27 April 2011

Hospital: First round over

Doc called me up to head into the hospital yesterday. Looking forward to getting to the bottom of this.  Drove into the Regional hospital in Galway.  No fixed appointment time so i was lucky on that scenario as parking was a nightmare. The car park was full and when one car left then one was entered. Took up to 40 minutes before i got to enter the car park.

Great having volunteers on the premises and Mary the volunteer brought be straight to the medical checkup unit. Took a seat around and gave out my basic details. Then i was brought down to a bed where the nurse did some tests. Tests would return in a few hours and that's how long i would have to wait. In the mean time the doctor would come over and ask a few more questions and do some more tests. Had a book to keep myself occupied.

Well who would know the results would come back normal. Apparently being on steroids is just hiding the situation so therefore will have to do it all over again. So got to stay off the tablets and head back on the 11th where I should be in pain rather then feeling 100 %.  Did another test for Haemochromatosis. It runs as a carrier in the family so getting it tested anyway. Apparently they don't do the tests in Ireland and it gets sent to England. It costs up to a few hundred euros so I told them to put them to put in on the card.

Didn't do a chest x-ray which is what i thought i was going in for. She said around 6 that there is only one person doing x-rays that night and i be there for another 4-5 hours. She said since I'm coming back again that the chest x-ray will be done on that day.

Well so 2 weeks before i go back. Going to go off all tablets so the pain will return. its going to be tough. Really annoying feeling great at the moment but steroids can do that.

23 April 2011

Health Update 2: More triggers leading to Erythema Nodosum

The weather out there is screaming for me to go out for a cycle. Doctors orders says do not do any exercise and rest up. Very tough watching cyclists pass by, wants me to knock them down and finish there cycle for them.

So what has changed since my last health update. Well i came down with a bacterial infection in my throat last week. Got some antibiotics for it. Then my bones again started to get inflamed, mainly in my arms and hands. Couldn't even open the milk top. I said another visit was needed for the doctor before it closes for Easter.  I got the last appointment available to my regular doctor. I also got pains in my chest and began to feel very tight. On Thursday morning then, i looked down at my legs and noticed 5 lumps had appeared.

So the doctor said based on the signals from the chest, lumps on the leg and the inflammation that it is not reactive arthritis but now believes its Erythema Nodosm.  i could go into much detail on this subject here but there is a great article located on the the Patient site (Click here for more information on Erythema Nodosm)

I will say I'm glad the doctor thinks its not reactive arthritis. But Erythema Nodosm is a serious rare condition and that is frightening in itself.  The pains in my lungs  maybe Sarcoidosis and a chest x-ray will be carried out next week. The Easter holidays has affected me from carrying this out now.  My mother told me she got sarcoidosis just after having me and unfortunately it does run in the family.  (Click here for more information on Sarcoidosis)

So until i get the tests done. Doctor has ordered me not to do any exercise, In fact, I am to put my feet up over the Easter holidays and the less walking i do the better. Just waiting now for a call from the doctor to when I go in for that x-ray and take it from there. 

Well I will curl to a movie each night to see me through the Easter. Got myself Invictus, Warrior King and Remember the Titans. Good film on the Manchester united team that went down in the Munich disaster. Think it focuses mainly on the aftermath and already causing a bit of an uproar with the Busby family. BBC Sunday night 9pm I will soon be allowed chocolate.. added bonus.  lent nearly over
08 April 2011

Health Update: More fighting needs to be done

Well over the past few months I was fairly sick and didn't manage to get out and about much. It all started back in February and i shoved it off for a week saying it would pass. It did not so  I went to the doctor and it looked and felt like the flu so basic tablets were provided. They kicked in for a little while and i managed to do my duathlon race. I was feeling good at that time but 3 days later and i was back to square one.  I returned to the doctors and he provided me with stronger antibiotics ans steroids and they kicked in straight away and i though nothing more of my little upset. Well a week after taking the medicine, he came right back and even worse this time.  I returned to my favourite friend 'the doctor' and this time we went to get blood tests done.

I did not take any medicine while waiting for the results to come back. it was a tough week let me tell ya that. An eighty year would out walk me and a kid would lift more then me. All but one section returned normal in the tests.  The one part was showing a high level of inflammation. He said there is a possibility that i have reactive Arthritis. Just hearing that word 'arthritis' was putting shivers down my spine, well that could be arthritis putting the shivers down there.   He said reactive arthritis can last in the body for 6 weeks and may not reoccur.. Also stated in this medical article

I was recently just prescribed Prednisolone ((6 * 5mg daily) * 7 days). This steroid prevents the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation. After taking it by one hour yesterday i noticed the pain easing off and I was getting back to myself.  It felt great. The road does not end here,   Like the previous tablets before, they can just last the course and the pain will gradually return. I really hope it does this time and we will have no more to say on this subject.

In reading up on reactive arthritis last night, i found cases where people could not move at all and remained bed ridden for up to 3 months, I only ever had one night where i couldn't move and needed help.

There is not much medical history done in the case of preventing reactive arthritis. Reactive arthritis occurs when there is conflict between your immune system and the infection often results in ‘debris’such as chemicals and bits of dead germs which are the fallout from this. Some of this debris may spread into the bloodstream where it travels to other areas of the body. If this debris accesses a joint such as the knee joint then it causes inflammation in that joint.

I only started looking up articles last night but none have came up with ways of preventing with it but only to use anti-inflammatories to deal with it.

On a final note, the doctor said if the pain still persists after I finish my prescribed medicine I should return where more blood tests will be carried out. Then from there it probably be to hospital to see a specialist who works in that area. 

As you guessed I am not to upbeat at the moment, To much is hanging in the balance. All i even wanted was to build up a bit of distance in running and cycling.  Any attempts i have made so far i have being knocked right back to square one. Time is only thing that can tell.

Articles on Reactive Arthritis
Online Forum Discussions

If you got any other sites that provides information on this topic, please send them in through the comment box.

On a final note, how weird this pain is, I walk in to the doctors the last day and the pain was in my right leg so I was fairly limping on the way in, it took awhile to be called and on the way out, I was now limping on the left leg, The change in pain happened so quick i didn't even realise it.  God give me strength.