Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Tuesday 19th January

I woke up on Monday morning unable to open my eyes because the light was too bright. My eyeball hurt and it was very bloodshot. I rang the surgery and was given an appointment for that afternoon.
Having done that,I rang the Treatment clinic at the hospital. My next bout of chemo was due for today Tuesday. I told them about my arthritic hands and wrists and the bloodshot eye. They rang back a few minutes later with an appointment to see my specialist at 12.00, and to have a blood test beforehand.
Sue and I set off from home at about 11.30 and my day of sitting in hospital waiting rooms began.
First of all I queued for my blood test. It was only about five minutes, so we got to the Leukaemia clinic in good time and found two seats and sat down. Someone kindly brought us a cup of tea, and we sat and I read the newspaper from cover to cover as the staff worked their way through the day's appointments. Eventually we got to see Dr Lyttleton, got weighed and inspected and pronounced upon.
My blood test was very good again. White blood cells good, platelets double what they were when treatment started, and leukaemia cells negligible. I'm back over 100kg again (which has its own problems, as I'm seriously unfit and getting bloated from sitting in front of the TV all day. It didn't help being housebound in the recent snow either.)
Anyway, a plan was agreed. First of all, my chemo could safely be postponed for two weeks. Dr Lyttleton was to arrange for the hospital eye clinic to look at my eye, and for the arthritis specialist to look at my hands, to see if there is any underlying condition. He said to go and have a coffee in the canteen while he made some phone calls. I'd not paid for my coffee and sandwiches when he was at my side saying that the Eye Clinic could see me that afternoon. I went back to the Centenary Wing, collecetd my notes and an explanatory letter and headed to the clinic by myself. Sue went to collect her mother who also had an appointment that afternoon in the same eye clinic. We were able to cancel my appointment with my GP and I walked to the Eye clinic along miles of corridors. I arrived and presented myself at the reception and looked for a seat. Every seat was taken. Eventually I found a seat and drank the latte that I'd bought at the canteen. My name was called and my eyesight was tested and blood pressure taken. (It was quite high, which made a change from a couple of months ago when it was very low)
I rejoined the queue and Sue arrived with her mother. Eventually I was seen by a specialist who shone a bright light into my eye (not good), then gave me some eyedrops to dilate the pupil and sent me back out into the waiting room. After a while she saw me again and then took me to another room where she sought a second opinion and they did an ultrasound scan of my eye.
I was then given a prescription for some tablets and eye drops, with a further appointment later this week.
I finally got home at 5 o'clock after 5 hours of sitting in hospital waiting rooms.

Today I have the early symptoms of a cold. I don't know if it's the results of sitting in crowded waiting rooms, of coming into contact with someone who has a cold, or something else. My eye is less bloodshot and isn't painful today. I have to apply drops six times a day, which is a pain.

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