As you all know I love living in a small coastal community and can find seemingly endless reasons why; today I have another to share with you. Out here our GPs haven’t been criticised by overly sensitive patients or sued by ambulance chasing no win no fee crooks they are as nature intended. Today I had to see the GP to see if we can work out why I seem to be finding ever more reasons to flush, I thought it good to check before I get mistaken for a 12-year-old in a lingerie aisle! We started out with a sociable hello and then moved to the reason for the visit. I explained that the flushing is becoming more common and that I have ruled out alcohol (thank god), food and laundry detergent so I can’t actually associate it with anything it seems random. My exercise level was discussed, my blood pressure was taken and then my GP summed up his thoughts.
“You’re probably changing into a girl” said with a straight face to a patient that he has seen once in 8 years. I laughed and said that would I would need some fashion help if that was the case and the response was “are your balls shrivelling up?” having assured the doc that this was not the case he conceded that this was a flawed diagnosis. He explained that it was probably nothing, reeled off a couple of things that were of no concern and then threw in that it could be some long sounding word ending in tumour. I suggested that the latter didn’t sound like something I wanted and he emphatically agreed. Symptomatic treatment would be achieved by beta blockers whilst he ordered up blood and urine tests. Doc went on to explain what beta blockers do and asked again if I did any sport because “I play table tennis and darts, I am OK but with a beta blocker I am a winner” I assured him that there were no drugs that he could prescribe that would result in me taking up a sport before he sounded a caution “if you were to get chased by a lion then you wouldn’t react quickly and the lion might get you” This last warning was offered with a sincere look of concern and I almost expected him to produce a lion before I assured him that I had no plans to visit the jungle.
I like to think I had the last laugh when he mentioned that a very common side effect of beta blockers is cold hands “so it will make raynauds worse then?” he checked the notes and asked how bad the raynauds was nowadays, I assured him that it was much better than when I was younger. Did I still get the colour changes he asked, oh yes and the spasms but not like when I was younger. The raynauds itself was not a concern because “if it makes it too much worse we can stop the beta blockers” but what foxed him, and hadn’t occurred to me, is that raynauds is the reverse of flushing. Raynauds is a vasoconstriction condition that results in loss of blood flow to the extremities where as flushing is caused by vasodilation. That both conditions exhibit at different times pointed to a control issue but unfortunately that particular circuit is located at pretty much the centre of the brain so kind of difficult to recalibrate.
I left him to his musing and returned to the reception, made blood appointment and collected the urine sample bottle to fill over the weekend, the last part was not what I expected. No small sample pot for me oh no they want a couple of litres. Apparently this is a 24 hour deal where you have to collect everything for said period, given it is the weekend I nominate Sunday so that I can deliver the sample on Monday. Luckily I live close enough to the pub to pop home so wont have to hide the bottle up somewhere!