Personal .... health


  [black-on-black personal]
 
 
 

some data . . .

Shingles

In Late July 2017 I developed intermittent pains in one place on the left side of my chest. The pains continued to occur from time to time, until on the evening of 3 August I noticed an itchiness develop in the area of the sore spot, with a couple of red areas marking the itchy places. I saw Dr L the next day (couldn't get an appointment with Dr M) and she diagnosed shingles. I started a course of famciclovir that day (250 mg tablets, taken three times / day for 7 days). By 8 August the rash had spread only a little (photo), and the pains were still present but not too troubling.    

Foot sensation

In late 2015 I developed tingling sensations on the plantar surface of both feet, especially the left. In February 2017 as it had not improved, I asked Dr M about this. He ordered a blood test for vitamin B12. Result: serum B12 (measured on 24 February 2017): 529 (ng/L). Conclusion: No vitamin B12 deficiency. Dr M then referred me to a neurologist - perhaps for nerve conduction studies. I can see where this is headed - "idiopathic neuropathy" with no treatment. I made an appointment, but then cancelled it. I don't have the time, the money, or the hope that it would go anywhere useful.  

Bowel

I developed frequent diarrhoea in mid-2016. I subsequently had lots of distractions from this issue with the discovery of coronary artery disease and prostate cancer leading to fasting, bowel wash-out for surgery and days of only taking clear fluids. However, when the condition was still persisting in January 2017 I saw a GP (Dr M).  He ordered pathology tests of my faeces to look for pathogenic bacteria and parasites and for signs of bleeding (pathology report shows nothing abnormal). He then decided we'd better look at other possible issues. He ordered a full blood count and measurement of Ferritin, CRP, Coeliac serology, and TSH. Nothing especially revealing, so he referred me to a gastroenterologist. Not the one I saw back in March 2008, Dr G, but a new one (Dr N) who was recommended by my urological surgeon, Dr K. Dr N recommended a colonoscopy and an endoscopy. He did these on 10 May. His reports indicate that he found nothing sinister: endoscopy, colonoscopyfollow-up biopsy result and letter to GP. The diarrhoea continues to occur occasionally.

Heart

On 15 September 2016 I saw cardiologist Dr James W in relation to my elevated Troponin level with normal ECG  found in August 2016.  They did a stress-echo test: they used ultrasound to look at heart function (how well the chambers move, whether they're the right dimensions etc), then got me to exercise on a treadmill for 7.5 minutes with gradually increasing speed and grade, terminating when it was still only a fast walk. Then very quickly did another ultrasound scan of the heart to see how it was performing under the stress of just-completed exercise. Full ECG was also being measured throughout, along with periodic blood pressure measurements. Conclusion: Some minor changes on ECG but no significant abnormality. Dr W then sent me for a coronary artery CT angiogram and coronary artery calcium scoring (CACS) at the Sydney Adventist Hospital. Results:

I visited Dr W again on 23 September to discuss the results and he prescribed rosuvastatin, atenolol, and aspirin. 

Follow-up tests arranged by Dr S on 10 November 2016: 

On a follow-up visit to Dr James W on 23 December 2016, he decided I didn't need to keep taking the beta blocker, atenolol, and I didn't need to see him for two years, and he wasn't sure why my troponin level stayed high for so long. 

Prostate

From 17 August 2016 to November 2016 I saw urologist, Dr K, in relation to the high PSA value 'accidentally' discovered by Dr S. Dr K did a digital rectal examination - result was a "small, soft" gland, otherwise unremarkable. Dr K ordered, in sequence:

He then arranged for a radical robotic prostatectomy on 23 November 2016 at the Sydney Adventist Hospital

4 weeks post-op follow-up tests 21 December 2016:

11 weeks post-op follow-up tests 10 February 2017:

In August 2016 I saw Dr S about my thoracic back pain. Test results:

On 22 June 2016 I finally had enough improvement in my proximal hamstring tendinopathy that I could start running again. I gradually increased the distance and frequency, but on 29 June 2016 while running to work I developed a strong pain in my thoracic spine. I stopped all running for three weeks and the pain was almost gone. I started running again on 22 July 2016. I ran quite happily for a week or so, until the thoracic spine pain recurred during my run on 02 August. Given the absence of a major trauma, my background of marginal bone density, and history of rib fractures, I presume this pain is due to osteoporosis-induced compression fracture of one (or more?) vertebra. Looks like I have another disability to live with. I will go and see Dr S and have a chat about it. A visit to her costs me nothing! Maybe this issue will stop me ever running again?

In December 2015 I developed pain in the lateral shoulder region on abduction of my left arm. In May 2016 I thought the shoulder was getting worse so I saw a sport and exercise oriented doctor about it - Dr Etinenne. He did a thorough physical examination and a quick ultrasound scan of the tendons. He concluded that it was a muscle strength & control problem causing impingement of the head of humerus on the under side of the acromion process, inducing sub-acromial bursitis. Dr E wanted me to have an X-ray (here is the report) and full ultrasound scan. He suggested I see a physiotherapist for a series of exercises and go back to him for review in a couple of months. He also suggested an injection of cortisone into the bursa. After having the radiograph done I concluded that I really couldn't afford to pay for the full ultrasound, or the visits to the physiotherapist, or the return visit to Dr Etienne. And I didn't want an injection of steroids into my shoulder. It's now August 2016 as I write this, and the shoulder is no better - or worse - so it looks like this will be a permanent disability that I just have to live with.

In August 2015 while training for the Sydney Marathon I developed proximal hamstring tendinopathy (read the full story here) which forced me to stop running - and worse than that, to stop walking too.

In September 2014 I had a recurrence of my (presumed) gout, which first presented in April 2011 (see below). This time the main focus seemed to be the joint between the cuboid and the 5th metatarsal on the right foot. The pain developed at night to very strong levels, but responded well to ibuprofen (or improved on its own) over the next few hours. The location was immediately adjacent to a long-standing lump on my foot (pain location arrowed on this picture - lump is just proximal to point of pain). It is apparent that the lump is most likely to be a tophus. I continued to take 2.4g ibuprofen per day but minor soreness also occurred in the right 1st MTP joint, and the left 5th MTP joint.  Issue continues (17/09/2014).

In April 2014 I had an eye test for new glasses and to check my eye health. Here are the results

In June 2012 I had a 5 month history of hip adductor tendon soreness (proximal end, mostly left side), rectus abdominis tendon soreness (left side, inferior end), and buttock soreness  (mostly left). It was getting worse despite not running for two months, so I saw Dr S who arranged for a pelvis/hip Xray and some blood tests. My diagnosis was osteitis pubis, but Dr S reckons it's hip joint osteoarthritis. April 2013 update: I have become convinced Dr S was correct, although it's most likely that both conditions were contributing to the problem, the osteoarthritis now remains. Both left and right hip regions are now sore from time to time, with the left side initially worse that the right, but in late 2013 the right became much worse and the left pain-free. In February 2014 the pain in these tendon areas became such that I had to stop running altogether. In September 2014 I gradually started running again, and aim to perhaps be running 20 km / week by Christmas 2014. 

 
In April 2011 I had left mid-foot pain with a rapid onset and no history of trauma. It was fixed with one 50 mg dose of indomethacin. Gout is the presumed cause, but there's no proof in the blood tests done at the time.

 

In March 2008 Dr Vicki referred me to a gastroenterologist, Dr G. He also ordered some blood tests:

 

In January 2008 I had suffered what I believed were multiple rib fractures with minimal trauma. I also felt that I had abdominal distension. I went to see Dr Vicki, mostly about the rib fractures, to make sure there wasn't any underlying problem. She organised a bunch of tests, and here are all the results:

 

In September 2005 I saw Dr S about abdominal distension & urinary symptoms. She ordered some blood & urine tests:

 

Regular Faecal Immunochemical Test / Faecal Occult Blood Test results (done by Enterix Australia Pty Ltd except where noted)

Date

 

Result

12 January 2017

 

negative

#10 January 2017

 

negative

May 2016

 

negative

April 2015

 

negative

April 2014

 

negative

^December 2013

 

negative

April 2013

 

negative

April 2012

 

negative

April 2011

 

negative

September 2009

 

negative

September 2008

 

negative

June 2006

 

negative

March 2006

 

negative

*September 2005

 

negative

August 2005

 

negative

* St Vincents Hospital Bowel Cancer Screening Unit

^ National Bowel Cancer Screening Program - Dorevitch Pathology

# Douglass Hanly Moir

 

 


Copyright Michael Lee 2017
updated 08 august 2017