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Reflections on a misdiagnosis. June 9, 2009

Posted by Natasha in Life.
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I wrote here about Mum being diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

Thankfully, in my sojourn from the blog, it was discovered that this was not actually what she had.

She presented with some scary symptoms – blood work showing all kinds of crazy, run down, lethargic, niggling cough, chest x-rays showing shadows, Full body CT scans showing what looked all the world like stage 4 metastasis, in her kidneys, thyroid, around her heart and all over her major organs. Being sent in for a lung biposy to determine what kind of Chemo schedule she would be put on was horrendous.

When the results of the biopsy came back, we were preparing ourselves for the worst. Unbelievably, the words she said were not only completely different from what we were expecting, but also strangely familiar. She told us she had sarcoidosis, which Mr G had been diagnosed with less than a fornight earlier.

From Wikipedia: a systemic disease that can affect any organ. Common symptoms are vague, such as fatigue unchanged by sleep, lack of energy, weight loss, aches and pains, arthralgia, dry eyes, blurry vision, shortness of breath, a dry hacking cough or skin lesions. The cutaneous symptoms vary, and range from rashes and noduli (small bumps) to erythema nodosum or lupus pernio.

Sometimes, the Worst Possible Thing, doesn’t happen.

They’re both ok now. Mr G remains on steroids, and notices symptoms if he doesn’t take time, Mum has been off hers for months, but still has a nasty skin lesion on her head.

Still way, way preferable to the alternative.

It’s not cancer. May 14, 2008

Posted by Natasha in Uncategorized.
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Why I Don’t like Hospitals May 7, 2008

Posted by Natasha in Life.
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I’ve only been to a hospital for a good reason, like the birth of a baby, a couple of times. That is not why I don’t like hospitals. Labour wards are great, they smell like flowers, and have balloons, and teddies, and there are babies! I don’t really think most labour wards are like hospitals at all really.

Personally, I’ve only had reason to be admitted to hospital on… 3 occasions. First, when I was five, I had to have my arm re-broken, after the first hospital set it at a 45 degree angle, and didn’t realise this for 6 weeks. I woke up during the anaesthetic. Second, I was in overnight with some weird breathing thing when I was 9. Third, when I was 10, I had some weird hip-pain thing, and ended up in traction for maybe 6 or 7 days. That’s not why I don’t like hospitals. In fact, as a patient, children’s wards are fascinating places with awesome toys.

I first started to really dislike hospitals when Brother was admitted for 12 days, after mangling his arm. He was in the same children’s ward that I had been in, 7 years earlier, and even then, it was still an interesting place with even cooler toys. However, after being in a hospital with a brother who may not ever regain full use of his arm (he did, he’s now fine) takes its toll, and I took a wander. And ended up in the ICU ward. Where I promptly freaked out.

The reason I really dislike hospitals may have started when my baby brother went to hospital to get his heart fixed, and never came home. I was 3, and couldn’t understand. Maybe because last year, the last place I saw my grandmother was in a hospital.

I know that’s why my mum doesn’t like hospitals. She thinks that having surgery, particularly of the heart or lung variety, is a death sentence. That’s why she really thought she was going to die during her lung biopsy this morning. I don’t like hospitals, because they are a reminder of what we are afraid of. I look around, and I see people who are clearly very ill with cancer. I see little girls in school uniform, walking around on crutches. I look toward their faces and notice the bandanas on their heads. I don’t like hospitals because they are full of sick people, and I don’t like hospitals because they fascinate me.

People go to hospital because they are sick or in pain. Sometimes they get better, sometimes they get sicker, sometimes they don’t make it home, sometimes its just a stepping stone and a forewarning of things to come.

I don’t like hospitals, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be there every step of the way for you Mum.

I hope you have your fears alleviated soon.

15 Things I learnt at school this week. April 15, 2008

Posted by Natasha in Life, The Daily Grind.
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  1. There are 6 or 8 interior angles in a heptagon.
  2. There are many answers to the question which 3 consecutive numbers add to 48? including 40, 6, 2; 1,2,4,8,6,48; 30,10,8; 10,32,4; 40,5,2; 40,5,3
  3. 435 X 10 = 435
  4. 435 X 10 also = 430
  5. 7 Squared = 14
  6. 48 divided by 3 = 130
  7. 48 divided by 3 also = 9
  8. 14cm = 14 mm
  9. 14cm also = 6.5 mm
  10. 14cm also = 28 mm
  11. 2 fifths + 1 fifth = 3 halves
  12. 2 fifths + 1 fifth also = 13. Of course.
  13. 5 + ? = 8             ? = Q. (And M. and P apparently)
  14. 8 degrees above zero is colder than 3 degrees below zero
  15. My mum has Lymphoma.