Friday 29 July 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....



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