I had an interesting conversation with the Immunologist today. We were discussing the possible use of steroids to alleviate my pain.
He was a REALLY cool guy and I totally appreciated his direct, human approach especially when he said, after listening to my description of how I feel, "So you feel like shit?"
"YES!" I responded with more animation than my energy level appreciated. I was just so, bloody, excited to have a specialist (a professor no less) really listen.
Anyway, the steroid discussion... Now remember by now we have a rapport and I think he is shooting straight with me...
"Would you take ten years pain free if it meant that you would develop diabetes and die prematurely?"
"Ooooh, I'm not sure about that. I only recently lost a close friend to complications from diabetes and it was not pretty."
"I would. But that's just my personal opinion, it's an individual choice."
This is a conversation I could never in my weirdest, most intoxicated, most bad-acid-tripping dreams have imagined being a party to.
Fortunately for the moment it is a pre-conversation and I don't have to make that decision right now.
Tomorrow more bloods, The pathology request form is literally so full of things he is testing for that he wrote in the margins and in the space above and then drew a big circle around it to make sure they knew they were all tests, He chased (I use the term loosely because a greyhound really doesn't have to chase a snail) me out to the reception to add a few extras that had just occurred to him. Some of the things he is testing for are pretty scary and for now I really don't want to get too freaked out about things like brain-eating antibodies and cancer-companion-inmuno-oddities, so we'll just have to wait and see. He did seem pretty interested in Sjogren's. The good thing is he is looking and it could be good news if he found something and it could be good news if he didn't and it could be terrifying if he found some other thing and depressing if he finds nothing... so win/win - lose/lose who knows?
He is also sending me for an MRI of my brain - which no one has bothered to do before, I know there is a brain in there, I have a picture to prove it, because I had an ear infection they thought was eating into my brain back in 2007 and they did a CAT scan then.
I think I will call him Professor McCool 'cause he was really a pretty cool dude, I might start calling him HOUSE if he figures this out!...He spent an hour and fifteen minutes with me and I think that is pretty amazing, all on the government health care system.
Any of my US friends who think that Universal Health Care would give you a lower standard of care than the system you have now is Captain Rats (sorry, you are certifiable). In the USA I NEVER, even with full medical insurance, received this level of care or this degree of genuine inquiry AND in spite of paying huge amounts of money for coverage every paycheck I was still co-payed to death!!! Health care is a business in the US and a service here... the whole mindset is different! Not that it is perfect here, nothing is. But a public patient nobody, like me, can still get in to see the best and brightest in the country and that is really quite impressive.
(PS Just Kidding about the acid trips)