Well woman?

I had the second part of my Well Woman health check this week.

Last week was the blood letting bit.

no leeches were involved.

This week was the analysis and further unspecified ‘stuff’.

To say I was concerned would be an understatement.

Any health issues where they liberally bandy about the word ‘woman’ generally means that you either have to get your tits out, or your lady garden, or both.

I am not fond of doing either of those things in public.

It wouldn’t be so bad if I could merely stand on a pedestal while someone stared and pointed (possibly with a professional pointy stick pointer) at the various attributes or lack thereof.

I mean it wouldn’t be my favourite thing to do of a weekday morning, I would feel like a cross between a life model and a prize cow, but it would be tolerable, and clinical and hands off.

Sadly, when it comes to the practice of women’s medicine there is no such thing as hands off.  It’s all getting in there like David Bellamy and shouting ‘Grapple me Grape Nuts’ and other things, such as ‘your cervix is on slightly sideways madam and that’s why it feels like my arm is about to pop out of the top of your head wielding a scalpel.’

As for the bosom end of things, just think of Paul Hollywood’s dough kneading techniques.

I can’t like that.

I arrived with some trepidation, and my legs firmly twined together as I sat in the waiting room.

I had that sweaty palm thing going on. You know the one where you think you’re playing it cool until you come to shake someone’s hand and your palm skids across their’s as your hand print actually slides onto the floor alongside their horrified expression as it melts off of their face?

That one.

Anyway, it was all for naught, as we got in there and it was merely an exercise in working out how likely I was to die of various things in the next ten years, by weighing and measuring me and asking me lots of questions and then poking it all into a government survey thingy – which is infinitely preferable to poking anything into me.

I have iron and B12 deficiency which explains the horrific tiredness of late (that and my ridiculous life style combined).  I have blood pressure which is on the high side of normal.


If you’d spent the previous three hours wondering why man hadn’t invented self warming, furry speculums and panicking about your forty third best bra, you’d have blood pressure on the high side of normal.

And I always have blood pressure on the high side of normal because normal life enrages me on an almost moment by moment basis. It’s a wonder I haven’t gone postal, frankly, with the amount of things that irritate the living crap out of me from day to day.

I am also heavier than I was in June when I went for my last appointment. I am not surprised by this as I have spent the summer reviewing recipe books and impersonating a basking shark.

I am however, still in normal weight levels – which is good news for my trousers.

Luckily my chances of a heart attack are very small, which is a relief and means that I have a bit more blood pressure lee way to play with before they start talking to me very calmly and showing me slides of Carol Vordeman advertising Benecol.

Apparently I have the cholesterol levels of a whipper snapper.

When we talked about my ‘lifestyle’ or the lack thereof, we were both rather puzzled as to how this could be, and agreed that it probably wouldn’t last.

I shall make hay while the sun shines by doing bugger all and continuing to lounge about poking biscuits into my face and having a permanently itchy bra due to crumb fall out.

In the meantime I have celebrated this clean bill of health by having a migraine of epic proportions which has meant a singular failure on my part to go to school today and two small children being overjoyed at inadvertently getting the day off.

I probably need more biscuits.


2 responses to “Well woman?

  1. B12 deficiency can lead to pernicious anemia, which may be called something else overthere, but is nonetheless something you don’t want. My mom has a deficiency and gets shots occasionally and that does the trick. However she only needs the shots because she can’t absorb from pill form. I hope some iron and B 12 solve your exhaustion, seems like there should be something extremely tasty that is high in both, that seems like a good research topic. Good luck.

  2. Apologies, but I cannot resist chiming in on the medical aspects. Feel free as always to delete/ignore. The B12 deficiency is worrying to me as you eat quite a lot of animal products (e.g. the meat recipe books) which is a significant (only) source, and the liver is capable of storing several years worth. This suggests an issue with absorption, as does the iron deficiency.

    One thing I suggest to rule out would be coeliac disease, as it causes general nutritional deficiencies (i.e. the anaemia), as well as having the potential for wreaking systemic havoc (depression, mood swings, fatigue, infertility, migraines, gastrointestinal issues/pain, fibromyalgia, etc.).
    As a starting point, the blood tests are : IgA anti-TTG levels (confirming total IgA is normal), which is about 95% specific, or the genetic testing for HLA-DQ2 + HLA-DQ8 which is very specific (99%) but may have higher rate of false positives. Gold standard is to biopsy, but if you have positive bloodwork, plus symptoms resolve on gluten-free diet, and return on resuming gluten intake, that may be enough to diagnose.

    Additionally, testing for intrinsic factor antibodies is important. Intrinsic factor is essential for B12 absorption; without it you will need to take B12 by injection. Injection would also be the quickest way to get your levels normalised right now so you can feel better. For iron supplements, I recommend Thorne’s Ferrasorb (On Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Thorne-Research-Ferrasorb-Veggie-Caps/dp/B004OENK4Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1380334698&sr=8-1&keywords=thorne+ferrasorb). It absorbs very well, and has less of a tendency to cause the constipation that most iron tablets do.

    Sorry, stopping the unwarranted advice now. Hope you get rid of the fatigue and feel great soon. xxx

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