Somebody should really tell doctors that asking someone to come in ‘straight away’ to hear their test results when all they have is a vitamin B12 deficiency can cause a lot of unnecessary alarm. On my solitary walk down to the surgery, my mind ran the whole gamut of possibilities….cancer, three months to live and so on. When I got there, it seems he was having something of a slow morning so thought he’d bring me in to pass the time. Needless to say, I can’t really complain about the outcome or the service.
I have been blessed with very few, very minor health problems in my life and I think this lack of concern means that when something does go a little awry I am more likely to overreact. Dr Google doesn’t help. Neither does watching an eye-opening documentary on neurosurgery in the Ukraine (hands up anyone for having a brain tumor removed with a poorly-charged cordless drill under local anaesthetic).
This is one of my guilty pleasures – watching medical reality TV shows – ‘24 hours in emergency’ (from England), RPA (for Australian readers), anything involving surgery. It’s not because of any morbid fascination with misfortune, but because it reminds me to be grateful, incredibly grateful, that I, and my family and my friends are all healthy and safe. It also gives me faith in science and medicine, that we can fix most things, a whole lot of terrible things, should they ever go wrong.
It occurred to me not long after receiving my diagnosis that I was suddenly feeling the symptoms of my deficiency much more acutely, their cause having been duly identified. So, with my newly acquired stock of B12 supplements to hand, I’m taking it easy today. There’s no denying that I’m taking full advantage of my new-found excuse to do so. However, I’m also entirely and sincerely thankful for the fact that I must (with my tongue very firmly in cheek) take the opportunity where I can, in the absence of far more serious conditions.