Not time for a chest shave yet…


The annual check-up, an event to get even the roughest and toughest GUCH to have a few collywobbles…

As I said last week I was 99% sure that everything is ok, hell it’s a year where I’ve run my two fastest marathons, my second fastest half marathon and done other mad stuff as well.  But paranoia is a great friend, and yet again my cardiologists are being sensibly paranoid about my pulmonary valve.

It’s a known weakness in those of us with Fallots, and various doctors have been paranoid about mine since I was 16… So whatever the outcome of the next six-months I’ve had a damn good run.

So there is some evidence that my pulmonary is weakening, and that my right ventricle is expanding a bit.  Is it a problem – not right now.  The exercise test (boo hiss on a bike), is form rather than function – when the cardiologist sits there and almost goads you with “you’ll probably beat everyone in the hospital, including the staff” you know it’s going to be fun.  It’s the MRI that’ll give the main chunk of data on what’s going on….

Possible outcomes – 1) I’m still within range, bugger off and come back in 12 months; 2) On the cusp, see you in 6 months 3) might need to do something about it…

3) is the odd one, clinically I’m nowhere near the point where something needs t be done – but thinking has changed and they’d prefer to things earlier these days to maximise strength for recovery.

If it is 3) then there’s more options depending on my quirky cardiac physiology a) traditional open heart b) transcatheter. I do so hope b) is an option… but if not, and there may be other reasons why not so be it.

If this all sounds cold, its because I’ve worked through these scenarios many, many times in my head.  And fundamentally nothing has changed from Wednesday night to Thursday lunchtime – none of my activities are restricted, I’m just another GUCH having a few tests to keep things plodding along!

Even I needed a distraction though, and this was provided in spades with the CHF Dinosnores sleepover.  The Natural History Museum is where my love of science started, on a trip following a check-up to Great Ormond Street as a kid of about 7. In my mind’s eye I can see mini-Paul looking up at Dippy and smiling in wonder.  That wonder is still there, topped up by my years at Liverpool Museum, enhanced by the friends I’ve taken around and (probably) bored with my tales… I also have gotten to use the collections at NHM, lingering over Darwin’s specimens of my bugs (literally true, hemiptera).  I’ve also bumped into Dawkins there, and heard him speak on science, rather than the stuff he gets muddled up in these days…

So, twenty odd young adventurers… a gaggle of volunteers and a night at the museum… I got 4 and a half hours kip, with a couple of minor interruptions… But the kids (and me) got to chase around the dinosaurs with only torches, made t-shirts (kids only), learnt about giant squid, sharks & angler fish and saw live animals from around the world as well as all of the great fossils.

And in the very early hours, if anyone else had been awake they’d have seen maxi-Paul standing looking at Dippy, and saying thank you very quietly.





For the kids, I hope (and know) that it was a magically night, life as a junior or full blown GUCH can be full of the dark side of life.  But if events like this one add a bit of lightness then they are worth the hard work, and as I've said on many occasions its a privilege to be trusted by the kids and their parents to do this sort of thing.  That it was at somewhere I think of as special is even better...


So, I have runs and walks to sort out – Beat the Reaper 10k is next and then I need to start planning.  I know I have one thing to do, the 40 miles to celebrate the 40 years anniversary of my surgery… Now, where’s my OS maps…

TTFN

Paul

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