52% intelligent. 9% modest. More monkey than bear.

Friday, July 29, 2005

this is a black out...I want to detonate

So. I went to see the consultant neurologist about the weirdy tingles this evening. I turned up at the Park Hospital in Nottingham at around 5pm to wait for my appointment. It's a small hospital a few miles outside of the town centre in some pleasantly leafy grounds next to a country park on the way out to Mansfield. It's all a bit 1970s really. I was greeted at reception by a middle-aged nurse with some kind of weird paper doily attached to the top of her head, and a receptionist who looked like the "no offence" woman from the Fast Show, only older and with more makeup. I had to fill out some form detailing that I had the necessary insurance cover, and then I sat and watched as an assortment of bow-tied consultants popped in and out of their offices.

My turn eventually came, and I was summoned into a relatively spartan room to meet my consultant. I suppose it lasted about 40 minutes, all in all. My consultant had something of a long nose, and a nasty habit of saying "you understand?"in a mildly patronising way at the end of every sentence (except the one where he explained in detail the two different types of nerve in the spinal cord, including their scientific names, at which point he said "of course, you won't understand that....") After establishing that I didn't have any "naughty habits" (presumably meaning injecting heroin directly into my spinal cord), he carried out a pretty throrough examination and came to a conclusion....

It turns out that I have something called myelitis - an inflammation of the spinal cord. The numbness that I have felt over the last few weeks is a direct consequence of this swelling growing and increasingly affecting my nervous system. Apparently this is good news - the swelling is likely just to go down and the symptoms will disappear, although this is unlikely just to be an isolated incident and may have been caused by some sort of trauma in the nervous tissue in my brain... which means that I have got to have an MRI scan of my neck, spinal cord and head to see what is going on in there. I think it's a very good sign though that my dad's concern (he's a doctor) has turned into curiosity...

Anyway. I've been told that I can't do the London Triathlon next week. I can't say that I'm surprised by this news, but it is a bit of a disappointment. Needless to say, I will still be travelling down next weekend to offer my support to the Ultimate Olympian, and I will be entering this event next year....

Still.

Arse.

13 Comments:

  • At 1:12 am, Blogger Damo said…

    Rats. After all you've done, the lycra won't be getting an outing.

    Don't give up. That's an order.

     
  • At 1:35 am, Blogger Mark said…

    Friday, we'll keep a space open for you if you like.

    Gutted about the triathalon, fella. Your condition may be indutrial sabotage by other, lesser competitors.

     
  • At 2:08 am, Blogger Ka said…

    Oh no! I'm not sure what is the biggest loss: no triathlon or no lycra!

    Have you had an MRI before? They're dead fun in a "try everything once" kind of way. Very surreal. And if you're nice to the technicians, they'll show your pictures of your brain afterwards. Eyeballs are HUGE.

     
  • At 6:42 am, Blogger Aravis said…

    Yes, and sometimes if you bring a cd along they'll play it for you.

    It's too bad about the triathlon/lycra, but it's better to get this taken care of. Best of luck with everything! :0)

     
  • At 9:39 am, Anonymous Rufus fan said…

    Well, that's pants. But as Aravis says it's better to get this taken care of and I'm sure there's nothing stopping you from wearing the lycra in a show of solidarity?

     
  • At 9:57 am, Blogger Lord Bargain said…

    why don't you kill two birds with one stone and wear your lycra to the MRI scan?

     
  • At 10:33 am, Blogger YokoSpungeon said…

    I like Lord Bargain's idea: MRI in Lycra.

    Seriously, I am gutted for you re. the Triathlon, but very sensible to care for health ahead of sports.

    Do you know when the MRI's going to be so we can all send you powerful vibrations of calm and goodwill?

     
  • At 10:33 am, Blogger adem said…

    I hope the spinal cord/brain thingy is all cool.
    You said before that you got this appointment because you had the insurance cover to get a private appointment. What would've happened if you had waited a few months for an NHS one? Would you have done the triathalon and fucked yourself up more?

    hmmmmm.....

    I've just looked on wikipedia for myelitis and it came back with this:

    "Myelitis is a human disease involving swelling of the spinal cord, which disrupts central nervous system functions linking the brain and limbs. Symptoms include tingling, pain or loss of feeling, and may extend to weakness of the limbs and loss of bladder control. Untreated myelitis may rapidly lead to a permanently damaged spinal cord."

    Apart from the bit about "loss of bladder control" it does say that if it's untreated then it could "rapidly lead to a permanently damaged spinal cord." It was a good job you went to see the consultant and will hopefully be fighting fit pretty soon.

     
  • At 5:41 pm, Blogger SwissToni said…

    thanks for your kind words. I'm disappointed about the triathlon, but really not very surprised - he was always going to say I shouldn't do it, wasn't he? I am going to go down to Oxford on Friday night as planned though (thanks for the offer though Mark) and will take John and his bike (or mine if he wants to borrow it) into London on Saturday and to cheer him on during the race on Sunday. There's a big Triathlon Expo on as well, so I'll maybe do a spot of shopping for next year. I'm also told that if you have to drop out through injury, they carry your entry on to next year's race.... so roll on 2006.

    You are quite right though Adem, if I hadn't seen the consultant this week, I would be doing the race next Sunday and could have risked more serious nerve damage. I have also apparently lost quite a lot of power in my shoulders, so my muscles could have packed up in the middle of the swim... so it was a bit of a no-brainer not to take part really.

    As for the lycra.... well Ka, if the scan turns out OK, I'm planning to do a sprint triathlon with a pool swim at the end of September, and the lyrca would get an airing then. So all is not lost !

    And the training is never wasted. It's done me a lot of good, even if I don't get to race.

    ST

     
  • At 6:12 pm, Blogger Flash said…

    Like everyone else, I'm gutted for you mate.

     
  • At 1:15 am, Blogger Tom said…

    You get yourself well. Yeah?

     
  • At 11:35 am, Blogger B1RDIE Num Num said…

    Mate, dont worry about the triathlon - you are OK thats what matters - remember, its now about getting fully diagnosed and fixed.

     
  • At 11:09 am, Blogger John said…

    I bet you're glad to hear it's a "human" disease, although the bladder control thing might be a mitigating factor in the gladness stakes.

    I too am gutted you're not doing the triathlon, and not just from the Lycra perspective. I had been hoping to write about it from the angle of comparing what can be done if you train (like you have) verses what can be done if you drink too much and start smoking again (like I have).

    Thrilled you're still coming down though. You'll find it frustrating I'm sure, but you'll enjoy the expo and the action.

     

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