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2008 - June 3rd - Tuesday

JH received a postcard from Kathy – dated 27th May – with a view of Pafos on the front.  Kathy said that “Life is wonderful here” and yet again encouraged JH to sample Cyprus’s delights, but JH prefers little old England.  Kathy had walked into an open door in some small town, thinking that she was entering the local hostelry but it turned out to be a private residence, however, they were given a drink by “a lovely Cypriot man . . . He gave us a drink in his pyjamas!” . . . urrrh?  Kathy also sent a leaflet about Cypriot stamp issues which she said was for Walter: although JH thinks her brother-in-law is very patriotic and only collects German Stamps, she will of course send the leaflet to him.


2008 - June 5th - Thursday

JH went to have blood taken by the Phlebotomist.  Amanda was her usual cheerful, and reassuring self: although she would certainly NOT set herself up as being on a par with a Doctor, she did point out that it had been the creatinine level which was rather high in JH’s last blood dollop!  This was, of course, information which the Receptionist could not give JH when she asked JH to come in for another blood dollop to be taken.  Amanda also said that the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) level was worked out based on all the results, and that JH would have a ‘different’ GFR to someone with two kidneys – which, if JH had stopped to think, had been explained by Ray at the RLH.

2008 - June 6th - Friday

JH attended her appointment with Dr Hateley.  JH’s blood pressure was 125/81 – Good!  Dr H showed a graph of the ups and downs of JH’s B/P readings on his computer; and he showed JH all the graphs of the results of her various blood tests – including those from the blood dollop taken yesterday. 
JH told Dr H that she had mentioned all her musculoskeletal aches and pains to Linda Marshall, who had advised JH to mention it to Dr H; JH also observed that she noted that her blood calcium level was a bit low, but that she had not resorted to taking all the vitamin D tablets given to her by Kathy!  In view of JH’s stabs of pain in her right groin, and some pain located around the right knee, Dr H did rotate both of JH’s hip joints but felt sure that there was no clicking to be heard, or sudden stabs of pain felt by JH, for that matter; JH did observe that she had back pain when lying recumbent – which Dr H took to be a moan - but JH was really only on her back for a second or two, and just adding to her past pain history, not grumbling! 

Dr Hateley whipped out a request form for a bone density scan and showed JH the list of risk factors – two of which certainly applied to JH: ‘renal impairment’ in having only one kidney doing all the work, and being post-menopausal and so having no oestrogen around (except for ‘local’ HRT cream weekly)1.  We had some discussion about any family history of osteoporosis and, although JH could not remember her mother particularly mentioning osteoporosis increasing the pain she had from her disintegrating hip, she did wonder if this was a factor in mummy’s incapacity.  JH was told that she would have to wait a bit – (? as long as it takes) - before she had her bone density scan; JH was given another prescription for 20mg tablets of Zanidip. 

{Subsequently JH asked Ann, via email, if she had any recollection of a family history of osteoporosis: Ann’s reply in a letter said: “I can’t remember mummy mentioning osteop in her family. I thought the hip pain on her “good” side was due to overloading it due to the stroke side.  I am taking calcium and Vitamin D tablets due to osteop probably due to the anti-hormone tablets I had to take for 5 years – now completed and go for a bone density scan every summer – so it will be interesting to see results this year – it had improved last year.  (Ann had her mastectomy for breast cancer in 1982, and a recurrent plaque removed 22 years later, after which she had to receive the whole gamut of radiotherapy and chemotherapy.)}

1In 2011, JH had to research her own physiology following having a left mastectomy for breast cancer!  it was only then - after having been put on anastrosole 1mg tablet daily for 5 years - that JH realised that oestrogen continues to be 'manufactured' 'here and there' including in the fatty tissues {of which JH has a lot} after reaching the menopause.  Hence the efficacy of taking anti-hormone tablets - should the histopathology on the cancerous breast tissue indicate that the cancer is 'hormone sensitive'.  JH stopped using HRT cream.