Sunday, 3 February 2013

Health Prep - Blood Results Are In

OK so I have some issues with my health that I am trying to address before I go back to EBC. Here's the sitrep...

Back - After the fall in Phakding last November my back is slowly healing. I've been going to the Back Clinic at my local hospital for treatment. I'm not too convinced that it's helping much. I think what's making it get better is just time and gentle exercise/stretches. I'm told by the guy that my L5 S1 is damaged. Who the hell knows? I think they are all shysters but at least it's on the NHS. Anyhoo, I went climbing with some friends on Friday and I'm really aching all over so I think I'll try to incorporate this into my weekly routine to build core strength. It was good fun and it's cheap enough plus I think it's a sort of natural progression from the hiking thing.

Crohn's - Thanks to my friend Ivan (who has a promising future as a Jewish Mother), I have been nagged into yet again seeking treatment for my Crohn's. To this end I made the journey to East Acton to meet with a specialist from Imperial College London at Hammersmith Hospital. He ordered blood tests and I am scheduled for some nuclear investigations to check my bile and (oh joy) a colonoscopy (the less said abot that the better).

So far only the bloods have been done but the results are interesting with a CRP level of 7 (VERY high), and low iron and Vitamin D. The Vitamin D thing is probably because it's winter time and I've been working from home plus I'm fairly careful about wearing sunblock. My trip to Marrakech next week should sort that out. The low iron is of more concern, particularly with a return to altitude looming. Low iron translates to low oxygen levels in the blood, a problem that will cause fatigue at sea level and will only be exacerbated at altitude.

I haven't yet had any feedback from the doctor about supplements or injections or whatever the anaemia but at least in this household red meat and liver are going back on the menu (we had cut back out of environmental concerns).And I will keep a bag of frozen spinach in the freezer so I can nuke some to accompany my dinner each evening.

I guess what I'm saying is that it might not be a bad idea to see your doctor and get your bloods done as part of your prep for a trek of this type.

Smoking - The big elephant in the room is my smoking. I've downloaded an app that's supposed to help me wean myself off the fags by tracking my smoking. Not sure precisely how that's supposed to help. ::shrug:: What I need is something that not only tracks my smoking but gradually extends my time between smokes, sounding an alarm when I can have my next one. If anyone feels like finding or making one of those for me it would be much appreciated. I haven't found one and wonder if there could actually be a gap in the market? In the meantime if there is any progress on this front then I'll post it here.

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