I called my friend Andy Derrierre, a gastroenterologist, to make an appointment for a colonoscopy.
A few days later in his office Andy showed me a colour diagram of the colon a lengthy organ that appears to go all over the place, at one point passing briefly trough Alice Springs.
Then Andy explained the colonoscopy procedure to me in a thorough reassuring and patient manner.
I nodded thoughtfully but I didn’t really hear anything he said because my brain was shrieking ‘HE’S GOING TO STICK A TUBE 17000 FEET UP YOUR ARSE!’
I left Andy’s office with some written instructions and a prescription for a product called ‘PicoPrep’ which comes in a box large enough to hold a microwave oven. I will discuss PicoPrep in detail later; for now suffice it to say that we must never allow it to fall into the hands of Australia’s enemies.
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My apologies for the delay in writing this update. As you’ll see, its quite a difficult post to write, and this is my third attempt, after aborting and doing something less distressful. Like killing some pigs on Angry Birds. The first part is based upon my understanding of what happened, and the remainder is based upon my recollection.
In my previous post, I described how I was diagnosed, in my early 30s, with a Pituitary Tumour causing a one-in-a-million condition called Acromegaly. It is referred to as the Shrek Disease on the Internet after French wrestler Maurice Tillet (upon whom Shrek was based), although I call it a Condition as you can’t “catch” Acromegaly. In my case it was identified, by chance, by a student nurse in an ER ward; and then confirmed by simple blood test which showed that my Growth Hormone levels were over 30 times higher than the safe maximum for a healthy adult male. That night, I was given four years to live unless I was treated urgently.
In this post I describe what happened next.
Well, its taken me a few years to get around to writing this post. Partially because I’m still learning about it, but also because I am also hearing of other people in Australia who are going through similar episodes (either themselves or of a loved one), and are suffering similar difficulties with finding out more about this.
I also want to get the truth out there. Particularly to people who work in the HR, Recruitment and OH&S fields, because when I come across their radar, they get excited, scared, or both. I also work in Risk Management, and I also believe in being up-front with my medical condition so my employer/client can make their own decision. I believe that any decisions that are made must be made rationally, based upon accurate, proven information and not based upon an initial, knee-jerk reaction, on emotion, nor on fear, uncertainty or deceit.
I do have a rare form of cancer in the brain, that has caused a condition called Acromegaly. It is an increase in growth hormone production in the body, and whilst it makes me look like Shrek, its being extremely well managed. I am very likely to survive, because its been caught so quickly and whilst I am so young. It – nor any treatment – is not a danger to anyone I work or socialise with. I am not on chemotherapy or any other medication that would cause risks to anyone else, if I ever do end up going down that path, you will all be the first to know.
It all started in my early twenties, about twelve years ago.