Thursday 30 January 2014

Be a Pain in the Arse

One of the folks who follow me on Twitter suggested that I do a post about what made me go to the doctor in the first place as it might help people who stumble on the blog do the same. Good idea I thought so here it is. However if you're eating you might want to stop, this is bowel cancer, "icky" comes with the territory.

I'd been feeling a bit tired and lethargic for some weeks and things I'd previously enjoyed like studying for the Open University (I was doing a mathematics degree) were starting to feel like a chore. I didn't think much of it though as it was getting into winter, the weather was miserable and dark and I don't do dark winter too well so I just put it down to a touch of the winter blues. Then a couple of weeks before Christmas the constipation started. Again nothing to worry about really, guzzle a couple of Senokot before bedtime and that'll be fixed. Only it wasn't, my arse end resorted to doing small and frequent micro-poops, very unpleasant cramps accompanied by what can only be described as clear jelly with blood in it. Hmmm... not good but what the hell, it's Christmas, I'll get past that and then we'll see,

Stupid prat of a dragon that I am I put up with three weeks of that before going "well whatever it is I doubt its piles" and trundled off to see my GP who I'd last seen about 5 years ago when I broke a couple of ribs falling off a horse*.  He pokes and prods a bit, shoves a finger up my bum and goes "well it's not constipation" and when I tell him the rest of the symptoms he goes all serious. "You tick all the cancer boxes," he says to me "but I'm not supposed to refer you until you've had these symptoms for six weeks..." 

Here we go I thought, your wonderful NHS death-machine at work...

... "but I'm going to refer you right now." he said, leaping panther-like to his computer keyboard and typing up the referral then and there.  "I just want to be sure, it's unlikely, at your age less than a 10% chance."

Hey I used to suck at passing my saving throws when I played Dungeons and Dragons too.

I guess what I'm trying to say is I had a good GP who was prepared to push the rules a bit. I know the NHS has to ration care but if you do get a change in bowel habit and it lasts more than a couple of weeks then go and see your doctor and be a bastard nuisance. It's your body and they only let you have one. Kick up a fuss, be a squeaky wheel and get yourself seen. Also if you get one of those test yourself kits, use it. I was reading the take up rate is less than 50%. Yes you need to poke around in your poop for a while but hey, just wash your hand afterwards.

This has been a Dragon public service broadcast. Take heed or I'll set you on fire.

* among my many lacks of talent I'm a very keen but lousy horseman.

1 comment:

  1. Good for your doc! I did not know about these DIY kits. As for kicking up a fuss, we tend to not. It's terribly unBritish!