I’ve been lucky, I’ve never broken a bone, well maybe a toe bone once but I just hobbled around on that for a while and didn’t bother the medical services with it.
I’ve never been seriously ill, never needed hospital treatment for anything, hardly ever bother my doctor at all other than my glaucoma test every twelve months (coincidently my GP is also the districts eye specialist), if it weren’t for the eye test I would never have visited my doctor in 20 something years.
Except for the one time…
I mention it now because its been almost exactly four years to the day since I had to bother the National Health Service and partake of their wonderful free treatment, the morning that a small grain of sand-like substance caused havoc in one of my kidneys.
It had started some weeks before with frequent toilet trips, frequent urges to pee, sometimes finding when I got there that I didn’t really want to at all but just thought that I did. When this had finally got to a point that I recognised this could be a small problem (it takes men months and months to acknowledge health problems, I was no different) I of course first looked it up on the internet.
“Frequent urge to pee” is what I asked Google to tell me about, “You’re going to die” it replied, or at least all of the articles it refered me to said I was going to die, I had prostate cancer they said, certain of it they all said, you’ll die, there is no cure.
Well that taught me not to believe everything that you read on the internet, so I sat in the office early one morning and after my third visit to the toilet before 8am I rang the doctor for an appointment.
“We’ll see you now if you can get here within five minutes” they said, I nearly put them off but went anyway.
And of course it was a young female doctor wasn’t it, I expected nothing less, you want to talk about your gentlemen’s parts and you’re sat in front of a young girl who’s probably just left medical college the day before, I explained what was happening, she looked puzzled, “how do you know that you want to take a pee” she asked in all seriousness.
“Well you just do don’t you” I replied
“Yes but how” she asked
“You just get this urge to go” I replied, puzzled, did women not get those signals too, how do women decide they need to take a pee ?
“Can you give me a sample of your urine ?” she asked, handing me a bottle
“What, here ?” I asked, and I could have, because taking a pee was currently not a problem at all
“No” she said, “there is a toilet next door”
I proudly brought a pot of steaming sample back to her within the minute, she tested it with a stick of something
“Hmmm” she said, “No indicators”
“Is that good ?” I asked
“Sort of” she replied
And then she explained all about kidney infections and how, if I had one, the stick test may have indicated it or maybe blood in the urine, it indicated neither, in fact it indicated that I was perfectly healthy, in fact it indicated that the only thing wrong with me was that my brain was having a laugh and making me go to the toilet every ten minutes.
“There is also the possibility of a prostate problem” she hesitantly started “You could give me a blood sample and we’ll send it away for a PSA test” she said
“OK, whats that ?” I asked
And she explained the test which involved looking for an increase in a particular protein which may be an indicator of prostate cancer, or not, she explained that an increase in this protein may be normal or it may be a sign of cancer, and she explained that a normal reading may be a sign of normality, or you might still have the cancer, sounds like a useless test really doesn’t it ?
“Ultimately the only way to tell is for me to stick a finger up your anus” she explained, “I can do that now instead of the blood test if you like”
“Erm, can we go with the useless blood test first please” and I couldn’t help but think that some men would have paid this young lady to have stuck her finger up their anus under different circumstances.
So we went for the blood test and I made an appointment to go back in four days time for the result and like all men would do I said nothing to anyone and waited for Friday, the day that the useless test would indicate nothing and a young lady would have to stick her finger up my arse.