Friday, 14 August 2015

More than I bargained for .....

So yesterday I had an appointment with my family doctor just to check my chest as my recent bout of 'flu has left me with the inevitable hacking cough,. One can never be too careful, especially with children and old people! 

Never one to waste an opportunity, I decided that I would tell her about 3 worries (limiting myself to the three "most worrying") and get my money's worth (doctor appointment = $43)!! 

Worry No. 1 - Hacking cough

Chest examination clear and problem limited to upper airway. It should settle in a couple more weeks. Dr prescribed Codeine at night as this acts as a cough suppressant and this may help sleep disturbance. Excellent news!

Worry No. 2 - Visual problems
I explained the latest issue with my eyes which is difficulty in adjusting my vision when I look to the side then try to re-focus centrally. This results in dizziness and some double vision on occasion. After some games of "Follow That Pencil" she asked me if I would like her to contact my onco-radiologist or neurologist. I informed her that I had not seen my neurologist for at least 4 years as my follow-up appointments had suddenly stopped and, as I felt they achieved nothing, I had not followed the matter up further. We agreed that she should write to a different neurologist to see if they felt a follow up might be called for, but she agreed with me that they (neurologists) are not the easiest people in the world to get on with!!!

Worry No. 3 - Skin lesions
Friday is "freezing day'' at our practice and I seem to have millions of skin lesions - freckles, moles, warts, the lot!! Anyway, I asked the doctor to look at several that were bothering me including three on my face. Two of these she declared as benign and gave them a good zap with the liquid nitrogen, but the third one turns out to be an early Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC). Two others SCCs turned up for the party as well ... a teeny-tiny one on my chest and a larger job on the back of my lower leg.

The tiny one got a ''zap'' but the other two are to have daily Efudix (Flurouracil) cream for 3-4 weeks and for review in one month. Hopefully this will see them stopped in their tracks, but if not then it will be the knife!

Needless to say that my friend 'Google' has been working overtime with regard to skin cancers! Being fair-haired and blue/grey eyed, and the wrong side of 50, are increased risks for developing a problem but no-one is immune. Where you live in the world is a factor too, with New Zealand having a very high incidence, but we all need to be Sun Smart.

Remember SLIP, SLOP, SLAP on that high factor sunscreen. And do it OFTEN!