Friday, 4 June 2010

Lessons in life

My OE consisted a stint up in the Islands, Western Samoa as it was called then to be exact. I had visions of eking out a career as a well paid international agricultural consultant and a stint as a volunteer wouldn't do me any harm. That didn't work out as I planned and now it seems that I may have brought back something more than the interesting experience of living and working in a very poor Pacific Nation.

From the first winter I returned to New Zealand I have been afflicted by a form of dermatitis, something that sometimes looked like ring worm or at other times itchy dry and flaking skin. Over the years I have been prescribed all kinds of anti fungal and dermatitis creams and latterly have actually found more relief from over the counter anti histamines than anything else.

While experiencing generally rude health, I have always had this lingering feeling that all was not quite right and wondered if I was carrying around some kind of nasty internal parasite. I exercise regularly and eat reasonably well and get out and charge around on my motorbike. But I always felt that I should feel a lot fitter than I actually did.

At times I have had different series of tests but all of them have indicated pretty good health although now that my knees are knackered I am carry a bit of weight that I can't run off.

The change of seasons always seemed to be the worst time for the dermatitis outbreaks, patches of skin would get dry and itchy and I would rub some cream on them and take anti histamines for a few days and they would go away. In recent years I have hardly noticed the problem.

A few weeks ago what I took to be the annual autumn drying of the skin and the usual itch wouldn't respond to treatment so off to the doctor I went. The same doctor I might add that I have seen for most of the last 15 years or so.

This time he prescribed an oral treatment (terbinafine). The relief from the outward symptoms of the fungus were almost immediate. But it is the other affects that are most interesting. I wouldn't call them side affects, though I guess they are.

I haven't felt as physically good as I do now for as long as I can remember. To quote a cliche I feel like a new man with a lot more energy than I seem to have had for as long as I can remember since starting this course of treatment. The sudden feeling of well being was almost immediate.

The disappointing thing is that on reporting this to my doctor he couldn't come up with a reason why this would be so. I have done some research of my own on what might have been wrong with me but it would be nice to have this confirmed. I guess I had better change my doctor but I will give him another chance.

My doctor like any other professional that society unfairly deems should be perfect is only human. All of us make mistakes and make decisions that in the fullness of time prove to be bad ones. The measure I think is how they or we recover and put these mistakes right.

I also have to admit being the enlightened new age man that I am. That instead of wondering whether something was wrong and being worried that people might begin to see me as some kind of hypochondriac I wished I pushed a little harder when I felt that things were not right.

No comments: