J: Good news comes in threes

So they say, and it was true for me today.

First I visited the GP to get some stronger painkillers. I’ve been having trouble sleeping due to a combination of what seems to be sciatica and increased lung pain. If I lie on my left side it can be uncomfortable as a bit of rib at the back seems to be sticking out more and more. If I lie on my right or my back then when I move after a while I get a sharp pain in the top of my lung. And wherever I lie the right leg hurts. I wasn’t going to mention this sciatica as although I’ve had it for a few weeks I didn’t think it related to the main show; and I didn’t want you to think “Crikey he’ll be on about a pimple on his bum next!”. But the osteopath (qv) thinks it may well be connected.

Anyway the GP gave me the uprated painkillers I wanted: cocodamol (a paracetamol and codeine cocktail) and naproxen which seems to be an uprated kind of ibuprofen, an anti-inflammatory. Then of course I’ll need more Macrogol to stop the naproxen bunging me up. Result: better drugs; good.

Second I went to an osteopath, Ellie West, to see if I could get help with the sciatica. She and the GP are unsure if it is that, since I don’t have the usual lower back pain, just a pain going all the way down the leg about 75% of the time. Mind you the GP didn’t have any other ideas either and shrugged in that knowing, empathic way they have that tells you they are not sure if an osteopath will help but actually they don’t have a better idea (other than whacking the pain with drugs).

The osteopath made me laugh as she said I was walking with my right side down and this was due to the kidney coming out. It sounds like taking a brick out of a tower so then it leans over a bit. I scoffed and said it was the pain but maybe she’s right. In any case she thinks the sciatica (if it is that) could well be consequential on a vacancy for a kidney space.

Fascinating factoid: I learnt this week that if you get a new kidney they usually just stuff it in without taking the old one out. So you end up with three!

The osteo certainly seems keen to help and more interested in me as a total person rather than as a selection of body problems. I felt better afterwards anyway and am a great believer in placebo effects; so despite being generally unconvinced about osteos/physios after throwing thousands at them rather uselessly in the past, I’ll give it some more sessions.

Third: Elizabeth, the Macmillan Kidney nurse, rang to say I now have an appointment with the oncologist, Mark Beresford, on the 25th August, which is great news. Whether this was a consequence of my chivvying or the wheels moved anyway on his return from holiday I will never know. But as someone who has always liked to feel they have some control of their world, I like the former interpretation.

Next update: should be after I see Beresford.

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