The Boy’s Mysterious Affliction

DSC04411
My chest x-ray.

On a rainy day this week I had to leave the comfort of my attic and visit the basement of a building where I was made to remove my hat and shirt and then, while my gauntness was compassionately regarded by a medical assistant, asked to put on a most curious robe two or three sizes too big for me which flowed to my knees and which moreover tripped me as I walked, and then turn round and wait patiently as a curious protective belt was girded round my waist. That done, I was more or less pushed with my nose and shoulders against a cold, opaque surface, told to stand still, and then, alas, beamed with x-rays in the chest. The x-ray showed that…

I don’t have any noticeable tumors in my chest, lungs, or thereabouts. Now you may think that is good news, but wait until you hear my symptoms:

  • Progressive weight loss during the past 12 months and especially this year. I now weigh 55 kilograms at a height of 1.72 centimeters. Almost all my clothes have become too big. I must have lost at least 6-7 kilograms.
  • Tiredness, not all the time but almost every day.
  • Two tiny swollen lymph nodes in my neck. Methinks I can feel a tiny one in my nape too.
  • A swollen, mutant-looking left tonsil, about twice as big as her sister. Nothing particularly wrong about her appearance, though, according to the E.N.T.s. Certainly not tonsil cancer.
  • For two weeks I have also had a mean, itchy rash on my lower body, especially on my shins and calves and around the ankles.
  • Diverse other minor symptoms that come and go – such as a light dizziness as if I am in a boat and light coughing.

As to my blood tests, they are great, save that my calcium level is slightly elevated.

According to my research, I may have some kind of lymphoma, probably non-Hodgkin’s that resides either in my tonsil, or alas, somewhere underneath my hat, though I cannot complain of headaches, nor have I vomited in recent years, at least not since that tragic Christmas when I was 12 and ate a whole box of chocolates.

My M.D., a young and open-minded fellow, doesn’t think me terminal. We decided that for the time being we will wait and see what new developments will occur and then I will be sent to make friends with a hematologist.

Other than that, I’m thinking about purchasing eyeglasses and cannot decide which lens shape to choose.

Which do you propose?

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58 thoughts on “The Boy’s Mysterious Affliction

  1. It’s such a relief to hear that it’s not as bad as you anticipated, although it is better to be safe than sorry! Some of your symptoms make me suspect that you might have some form of iron deficiency, but of course I can’t diagnose anything; I’m not a doctor!
    You could try changing your diet a few times and see how you get on, but I wouldn’t recommend any changes too drastic without first consulting your doctor.

    As for the glasses, you could put them into your hat, close your eyes and draw one at random. 🙂

      1. I’m good thanks. I’m moving back into Cork for my Crawford fine art course this week!
        When I can, I’ll try to post on my blog sometime this week, but it’s going to be my 100th post and I’m really not sure what to put up. Would you have any suggestions? 🙂

    1. I am by no means out of danger. Only that running between doctors is in itself stressful and can have a negative impact on one’s health. I will visit a hematologist in the weeks to come.

  2. I’m so glad things aren’t suspected to be as bad as once feared, which isn’t to say it mustn’t be taken seriously until they know just what’s wrong. I hope that happens soon.
    In view of you losing so much weight I don’t think you want big glasses. I’d choose Ben or cat I think but you’ll know yourself as soon as you see them on befoe you buy them.
    All my best wishes.

  3. Definitely round..hugs kiddo….you’ll be alright…watch out for doctors, they can make you very very sick. Consider eating really really good for you food for a month. Betcha you’ll feel 100 times better. Your body is an awesome machine that will heal itself if you give it just.what it needs, which is round for sure, totally not oval 🙂

  4. I’m so glad that the visit went well for you and things are not too gloomy. Sometimes salespeople are helpful with choosing a look with eyewear. For weight gain fresh vegetable juices are healing…if you’re into that. Best wishes-I enjoy reading your blog.

    1. Thanks Susie. Can you be more specific please? I’m doing lentils and brown rice now, as well as vegetables. I’m avoiding sugar, wheat, and in general all food that raises the blood sugar levels quickly.

      1. I have a brilliant idea for you to try.
        For ONE week, pretend there is nothing wrong with you and eat whatever you want. My guess is as soon as you stop thinking about it, you’ll feel better. You aren’t eating enough calories to gain weight. Eat protein three times a day, fruits and vegetables. Make a roast beef or pork and load mashed potatoes with gravy. That’ll put meat on your bones. Bake some biscuits. Everyone here is gluten free since we have GMOs and many are allergic. The same people go to Europe and can eat all the bread they want. Stop by a fabulous bakery and splurge!
        I bet you’ll feel a lot better and gain a few pounds.

        1. I’ll think about it. But Susie, you know what’s more depressing than eating moderately and progressively losing weight? Eating a lot and still progressively losing weight. It’s as if the body has forgotten its logic.

              1. Do you take vitamin D? It’s an immune system booster. My oncologists suggested I take when I don’t get out in the sunshine. Otherwise 20 minutes in the sun without sunscreen will do the trick.

  5. I was scared for you as I read. Good to know it’s not terminal. You’ve got a good sense of humour. I like that. Everyone should have that. If Hitler had had a bit of humour about him, maybe the world would not have proceeded to World War II.

    *wears black shades and walk out of room like Don Corleone*

  6. Cat. Do you ever search online for symptoms and their possible cause? If yes then don’t . I’ve convinced myself of terminal illness more than once while doing so.

  7. I did some research, however not on symptoms, but on glasses. I have to say round.
    Once you’ve made up your mind and need a new distraction or company on possible waiting room marathons, I recommend Mitch Albom’s ‘5 people you meet in heaven’. -Sounds a bit morbid, I’m well aware of that, but I haven’t seen it on your list and I think it’s an amazing story beautifully written.

  8. I’m no doctor, so I can’t say anything on your symptoms – but the x-ray being clear must surely be good news! 🙂
    Maybe get yourself checked for food allergies (esp. gluten – it seems to be all the rage these days to suffer from gluten intolerance (people are strange…), but those I know that have been really ill and finally gotten their coeliac diagnosis have gotten so much better once they’ve been able to adjust their diet). I do suggest stopping googling symptoms, though! Hope the docs can figure it out and help you feel better!

  9. I’m glad that nothing has happened (as of yet)…and it has resulted in a healthier life for you! I’d recommend the classic glasses, I wear glasses myself, and it seems like the type of frame that fits all face shapes…maybe.

  10. You have to be your own advocate when it comes to your health…believe me…it took five years for doctors to make me all better…because i gave up at times because I was tired of fighting…Push until you find out what is going on…I will be thinking of you and wishing you well.

  11. I’m new around here, but I have complete faith that you can overcome this medical “thingy”. Sucks that it has to be done, but it is amazing what one can achieve when pretty well forced. Sending healing love your way. As for glasses, for a long thin face, go with the bamboo or the classic. Although they are trendy, don’t do the ben because they don’t cover your whole field of vision, and are therefore annoying as hell.

  12. Go to an optic, make photos in the glasses you like and also dislike, and then send them to me. I’ll tell you which one’s look best. Trust me, I’m really good at this! 🙂

    I’m glad you are ok, besides all your mysterious symptoms. Perhaps you shouldn’t focus on them so much. JUst enjoy every day and make those days busy.

        1. I think I’ll wear them only at home. I have a prescription for -0.5 lenses in my right or left eye, not sure which. The other eye apparently doesn’t need a lens. Anyway, if I want to see Julie I need not eyeglasses but a telescope. Of the kind astronomers use for gazing at stars. By the way, everything I buy these days is made in Poland. Polish invasion!!!

          1. It’s not an invasion, it’s signs from the stars.

            Perhaps you should invest in a telescope then? The sky is much more mystic and beautiful than life often.

            Even if it’s only at home, and you are the only one who will see yourself in them, be sure to look good. You have to like what you see. Probably most importantly.

  13. I have a long thin face and definitely look best in the “Ben” shaped glasses. Also, I like wearing hats and these glasses go well with them.

    Eat oodles of sheep’s milk yoghurt. It’s easy to digest, very nutritious, and has helped me put some weight on. Don’t mind that it contains calcium, as there’s a solution to your excess calcium in my next paragraph.

    Re the raised calcium levels, do you take calcium supplements because, if you do, stop them. You need vitamin D with vitamin K. The latter, helps prevent any vascular problems related to excess calcium. Ask your doctor about it.

  14. Hey Vincentiu, I have been reading your blog for the last 1 year but didnt get a chance to do so in the last 2 months. Me and my room mate used to read your posts at night after our classes.. and u made us laugh, cry, think and debate. (You both have such similar thoughts!.. She secretly believes that you are her soulmate 😀 ). Medicine has come a long way and whatever it is you will be alright! don’t be afraid.. It will all be fine.

    Coming to the glasses I vote for Ben!

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