So under the advice and concern of my girlfriend I went to the local medical centre straight after work one evening and saw a general practitioner whom I’d met once before.
This particular practitioner was different to other doctors I had encountered in the past. He was gentle, soft spoken and spent more time with his patients than others I had known. He also explained the problem to his patients in a way that didn’t baffle them with medical mumbo jumbo. If I had to see a doctor at all, then this is the one I would always choose.
So when I told him my symptoms he said “we’d better check if there are any nasties there.”
“Nasties?” I’d never heard that expression before and I assumed he was referring to parasites. That made sense! If I had somehow ingested some kind of parasite and it had been sharing my food with me, or worst still feeding on me from the inside, this would certainly cause weight loss.
The good doctor recommended I undergo some tests: Chest X-ray, ultra sound, blood tests. A bit extreme I thought. Anyway, I booked it at a local centre and underwent those tests. The following day I returned to work as usual.
A week later I returned to the doctor. He went over my blood test results and pointed out some the results that were over the normal range. He indicated there was a “nasty”. By this time I realised this no longer referred to parasites but to something else altogether. He also said my X-ray showed emphysema.
I was in some kind of a daze, and the first thing that came to my mind was “Well, I’ll get to travel to the other side and discover what’s there!” The “other side”, life after death and reincarnation were all topics I had taken an interest in, and had become part of my graduate studies. I was referred to two specialists: One was a haematologist, the other an oncologist. Both these specialists concurred there I had some kind of “nasty” and that more investigations were necessary to determine exactly the kind of nasty it was. A day was set for my admission into hospital.
At this stage I thought I’d take a break from my job. I remember it had been more difficult to gather the energy to get into my day’s work. On a few mornings I’d sat in a nearby park after my bus and train ride to absorb some sunlight in the hope of absorbing some energy. I remember the weather having been excellent. It was bright and sunny, and early enough in the day for it to not be too hot.
Staying home offered little relief. I didn’t have to contend with the public transportation, which I suppose was a good thing; but then I was there with that underlying feeling of malaise, the confusion between hunger and lack of appetite, and the weakness.
Next week: Part 3. “The Hospital”