NHS wonderland part 2 – peeing in a pot for 24 hours

July 9, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Posted in Me, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | 3 Comments
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Well, I went for my x-rays – appointment booked half an hour before the dermatology appointment, and it all fitted in fine – I had about fifteen minutes to find the dermatology department once the x-rays were over, and I found it without any problem. All going rather well so far.

Then I waited … and waited … and waited … and waited – but that’s just the way it is. Fortunately I’d remembered to take a good book!

Dermatology lady said she’s fairly sure I haven’t got lupus (hurrah) but I have got rosacea (boo). Unfortunately I’ve been applying gunk to my face for nearly five months now and it’s not going away at all, so the obvious solution seems to be ‘try it a bit longer, and in the meantime we’ll discharge you’. Hmm … thanks a bunch!

Having said that, she was very pleasant, really took her time, asked sensible questions and listened to the answers. For that, I don’t mind waiting a bit!

One of the things she asked was, ‘Do you get night sweats?’ to which the only possible response was, ‘Do I get night sweats! You bet!’ So we talked about the whole ‘early menopause’ thing and the fact that although it started 5 years ago I didn’t seem to actually have gone through menopause and the hormones had never actually been fully investigated.

And that led to the delights involved in the title to this post. ‘I think we should test your hormone levels,’ she said, ‘ but I’m afraid the test is a bit long-winded. It involves a 24-hour urine sample.’ I couldn’t resist the obvious response. ‘I can’t pee for that long!’ Poor lady must have heard that one a few times before but she was very patient with me!

I have to keep all urine I produce over a 24-hour period and put it in a LARGE sample bottle, which I had to collect from the labs in a beautiful LARGE bag with things like, ‘Biohazard’ and ‘warning – dangerous substance’ stamped all over it, as it contains hydrochloric acid to preserve the sample, once the sample is in there. Luckily I had brought a bag for my book and other bits so I just put it inside that – otherwise slightly embarrassing to walk around with.

I haven’t done this test yet as she wisely suggested waiting for a day where I could stay in the house for 24 hours, and there aren’t many of those, but I’m planning to do it soon. Once done, and I’ll finish my 24 hours at 8 0’clock one morning, I have to jump in the car, dash over to the hospital, deliver the sample ‘for immediate testing’ and then dash up to the top of the hospital for a blood test – which should take place straight after the sample is finished – a bit tricky since I live 30 mins or so from the hospital! Never mind – hopefully it’s not THAT critical.

If anything comes out positive/negative/worrying about this test, that’ll mean further referrals etc. as it’s hardly a dermatology issue. It’ll be interesting to find out either way though, as the hot flushes and night sweats are horrendous at the moment and if there is something hormonal going on as shouldn’t be, it would be nice to know!

 

 

In the meantime I shall continue to be a ‘ruddy cheeked penguin’ – a rare breed indeed.

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  1. We’re birds of a feather, Penguin! Ruddy-cheeked… heheheheheh… Hey, I empathize entirely with you regarding your hot flushes/flashes and night-sweats, having gone through the same day and night for … YEARS… before finally breaking down and asking my gynocologist if I might please try some low-dose estrogen. She agreed and prescribed estogen patches in the lowest dose made. I change them once a week.

    Penguin, my ruddy cheeks faded within two weeks. I still have the occasional, very mild hot flash/flush, but the difference is like night and day. I don’t have night sweats at ALL any more.

    There are risks involved with taking estrogen. I weighed those against feeling constantly like my brains were boiling and dealing with sweat running down the sides of my face, into my eyes and down the back of my neck and decided to try the patches. I cannot tell you how glad I am that I did. The very idea of going back to imitating a teakettle every 30 minutes or so makes me cringe…

    Here’s wishing you the best of luck in learning what’s going on with your hormones. And by the by, I’ve got rosacea too. I’m lucky, though. A nice smear of Metrocream keeps it under control.

    Hugs to you!

  2. what treatment does your dermatologist gave you?

  3. Azelaic acid topical gel at the moment … it’s not great, but she doesn’t want to use antibiotics because of the methotrexate/immunosuppression etc. (Not sure how that works but I think that’s what she said!)


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