health

We all take our health for granted until something goes wrong. Mostly people suffer from coughs and colds and that be a couple of weeks where you feel like you are close to death. Man flu is real get over it.

It was last year when felt a lump in my chest that was sore. It was rather painful and I am not scared of these sort of things. You roll up your sleeve and you get yourself to the doctor. Sitting there wondering what it is and thinking it will go away doesn’t help at all.

I made an appointment to see my doctor and they weren’t too sure what it was and they knew that they could feel something there. I was sent to the breast clinic. I was that obviously it was going to be me and woman and that didn’t bother me at all. I saw a surgeon and he examined me and said he would take a biopsy. The worse thing about it was that he did it without an aesthetic and boy did it hurt. I was told by his nurse that I was one of their patients as I didn’t make a noise. I didn’t even get a gold star or a lolly for being good.

I also had a mammogram on both ‘breasts’ so to speak. In total I was in the hospital for four hours. Not the nicest of experiences I can tell you. I went on my own. I have never had anyone with me on these sort of things. I much prefer to go on my own.

I waited a few weeks and got the results from the biopsy and that was fine but there was a problem with my hormone levels and I had to have them rechecked. I had the blood test and again it confirmed that my testosterone levels were really low. This was the reason I was feeling really tired and just couldn’t get enough sleep. It didn’t help that mums health was deteriorating and took all my energy to look after her.

So I was sent to another consultant at the hospital who said he wanted to to a whole lot of tests to determine why the hormone levels were so low. I had to have and MRI scan on the brain. It’s the most pleasant of things and if you have ever had one you will understand.

So I waited for a few weeks it was then I got a letter from my own doctor to tell me that I had to make an appointment to see them as they had some information from the consultant that they wanted to discuss. I put it to once side thinking it was going to be nothing. Did worry at all.

So I went up to the doctors and he went through the records as I explained that I had more blood tests and an MRI. He said “Ah yes …”.

He told me that the MRI had shown a small tumour attached to the pituitary gland which controls all things to do with hormones. He said that this is probably the reason why my hormone levels were so low. At first I was in shock. I just couldn’t believe it. I knew I was feeling knackered and I put that down to the depression and looking after mum.

The doctor told me that that tumour was benign which I suppose was good news. I had been told that I have to testosterone injections every three months. It’s like have a wasp sting every time it happens but the soreness goes away after a day. Sometimes I do get tired. But I don’t feel anyway like I did six months ago when no matter how much sleep I was getting I didn’t feel any better.

I have to have another MRI next year to see how the thing is see if it growing. If I have any other symptoms obviously I have to go back to the doctors and they will take it from there. It’s an easy operation to remove it. I made the mistake of googling it and I wish I hadn’t.

So as we hurtle towards Christmas I will start and look after myself as my doctor told me yesterday. It is time that you had some time to yourself and putting me first for once after all these years and I intend to do. I don’t know what the future hold I have no idea what will happen. I will take each day as it comes I have done for the past five years.

Mental Health 2015

Yesterday I went to a meeting for those interested in promoting the needs of those who suffer from mental health problems. It wasn’t restricted to any particular form of mental health so it was compelling to hear some of those stories and events that others had experienced.

 (An amazing venue was the Royal Station Hotel. A gorgeous place.)

It was heart-wrenching to hear others who had suffered. It was also sad to hear that there is chronic underfunding of mental health especially for young people in this country.

I will continue to help promote mental health issues as it’s been something I have experienced over the past 20 years or so. Talking about these issues doesn’t make someone ill. Not talking about them does.

What ever the illness people need to be educated. There’s a lot of people out there who still have the “pull yourself together attitude” or still making hurting comments about someone who is genuinely suffering.

(Danny Bowman speaking about his experiences)

Over the coming months hopefully Mental Health 2015 will continue its good work. Let’s hope others can be encouraged to speak out or even let someone they know if they too are feeling unwell.

Astounded

The world of the Internet can be a dreadful place. I stumbled across a posting on a Vine app. A place where people can post six second videos for others to view. This is where a person kisses another persons arm. Nothing out of the ordinary until to realise the context.

The person who was doing the kissing is a young man in America. He is famous in the world of YouTube and this app called Vine. He was meeting a number of his “followers” at a conference especially set up so fans can get to meet these sort of people.

The arm of the girl that he was kissing is scarred from her self-harming. The comments left on this video were “Oh he’s wonderful” “I have never cried so much” and “This is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen”.

Never in my life have I been sickened by the lack of attachment to reality that some people have shown to this video. Some of the comments have left me speechless.

Self-harm and mental illness isn’t a phase or some sort of fashion statement. Using your illness or cutting yourself for what ever reason to get attention from those who consider themselves to be famous is utterly wrong.

I have been told by some on this site that expressing the opinion that I found this disturbing didn’t matter as I obviously hadn’t suffered like this girl had. Little to these people know about me and certainly about life.

Who is to blame? I am certainly looking for someone to give me answers to why so many seemed detached. Life isn’t all about being serious and not being able to enjoy yourself but when it drifts into the world of so-called celebrity worship and you start to allow this to take over yourself and health then there is something definitely wrong.

the barefoot tree

Still grumpy

Gari Wellingham

UK-based musical theatre geek previously living with a brain tumour!