Thursday, 7 May 2015

Chest consultant day

On Tuesday  I went to see the chest consultant at Sunderland Royal Hospital, and saw the good old NHS system at work.
 So much for the new system, where all records are shared between departments

However we went along,hoping that he could give us some answers to all of my recurring chest infections.

After a few tests I went in to his office, and he asked if I had been for a recent chest X-ray.
I said yes two. One at North Durham Hospital and one in Chester le Street, as the first had shown a shadow on it.

We got rather a shock to hear him say, that he could not see any records of them, so he could not tell what they had shown.

So why had we been sent there when they do not have access to my recent records and X-rays?

After looking through my other records that were on his desk, he asked about the Lewy Body Dementia.

Then said that as Lewy Body Dementia is linked to Parkinson's, he would need to make changes to how the  antibiotics are prescribed, when I receive them. 

This will happen when it all kicks off around October /November time, until April /May when it stops, due to better weather. That is unless I get an infection any other time. 

He said that chest infections were quite common in people with Parkinson's, so he had a choice of putting me on long term antibiotics, or just organising the new prescription next time it was needed.

I told him that I had been on them for three months, and ended up feeling much worse, so I had refused to take anymore. 

He agreed with this and said it was because the antibiotics do extra damage over time and this  causes problems with the immune system, 
 
So it would be better to change the dose, as well as giving me something else at the same time to ensure my throat is kept clear. 

This is because we lose control over our muscles in places like our throats, so this medication would allow the throat to remain fairly clear

He thinks it will also prevent the distressing cough on a morning and during the night.

I had also noticed problems at times when drinking, or eating certain foods, which apparently is also common in this illness

I am also being sent to see a speech therapist, who can give me ideas for keeping my throat clear, and will also help with my speech, as I have now got an occasional stammer.

After this we left and got the bus home, to mull over everything the consultant had said.

 I confess that I missed quite a lot of what was said, but my wife went over everything again until I understood it. 

I suppose we had learnt quite a lot in that two hours, because most if it was related to my illness, but how was it that we did not know anything about it, surely this is all common knowledge where the professionals are concerned.

I am seeing a Parkinson's consultant next week about my balance issues, so perhaps it will all be explained a little better then.


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