A favourite quote and a way by which to approach life.
Today is the tomorrow that you worried about yesterday.
Wednesday, 4 June 2008
The cost of living
I had an appointment with my GP today and although unconnected to my reason for being there, I asked him if he's sent the result of bone density scans. I'd asked my consultant about the result of my most recent scan, but he was rather vague about the results, because he'd only had a chance to glimpse at them rather than really take in what they were. I have some recollection that they weren't too bad, but I thought I'd check with my GP while I was there. The GP said that he wasn't sent results as only the requesting doctor was (my asthma consultant), but that he'd look on my records on the national database and see if they're put up there. As far as he could see, they weren't, but he did have to wade through an extensive list of other tests. Apparantly almost every test you have done in hospital is listed on this database, and as I'm in and out of hospital so much I have a huge list. My GP was rather shocked at the number of chest x-rays I've had, and after counting them he said that I've had 79 chest x-rays since 2000. This is a staggering number and a bit of a worry too. Every x-ray is exposure to a small amount of radiation, and having had so many my chances of developing cancer at some point are significantly raised. My GP also reminded me that I've had a head CT scan in that time too (CTs also use x-ray), and then four bone scans (again, these use x-rays). The risk of cancer is also increased as there have been several cases of it within the family, so there's the possibility of a genetic predisposition too. Obviously there's no point in worrying about it too much at the moment, but it is slightly concerning, and my GP thought it might be prudent to discuss with my consultant the readiness with which x-rays are done on me. The problem is that there is no real alternative to x-ray, and it is important to ensure that asthma attacks aren't being complicated by something like an infection or a pneumothorax (collapsed lung), both of which have been problems with me in the past. It seems that the cost of living/breathing may, at some time in the future, be the development of cancer.