So, my first post from the list is in honour of both Cushing's Awareness and TSHoma Cognisance. And in fairness, I strongly suspect that awareness of thyroid-stimulating-hormone-producing pituitary adenomas is even lower than awareness of Cushing's Disease...
I like to think I am a fairly optimistic and sunny person, so instead of going down the depressing route, I have decided to start with a post focusing on the awesome aspects of being sick. Presenting:
5 THINGS HEALTHY PEOPLE MISS OUT ON
Or: Why It Is Great To Be Me and Be Ill
1. You always have an excuse.
"Excuse me, madam, but you would appear to have inadvertently stabbed this man".
"Oh, I'm so sorry officer, it must be my brain tumour playing up again. Forgive me."
"Not at all, my good woman. Please continue about your business. And get well soon!"
In fact, I never have stabbed a man, but I fondly imagine that were I to do so, this is roughly how the conversation with the policeperson would go afterwards. Having a tumour in your head is rubbish, but it's one hell of an opportunity to get away with doing what you want.
Want a seat on the bus? Mention the tumour.
Late for a deadline? Mention the tumour.
Want to freak out a stranger? Mention the tumour.
2. Improved and terrifying knowledge of medical terminology.
You know, if I didn't have a pituitary adenoma, I would never have heard of adrenocorticotrophic hormone, let alone be able to pronounce it. And now, not only do I have an expanded vocabulary for actual words, but I know the abbreviations too. I know that my form for TFT bloods will check my TSH, FT3 and FT4 - plus usually my endocrinologist requests SHBG and alpha subunit. Because that is just how he rolls.
3. A warm and fuzzy glow about UK taxation.
You know what I don't mind? When, at the end of the month, my paycheck is shrunk by several hundred pounds thanks to paying tax and National Insurance contributions. You know why I don't mind it? Because one monthly dose of lanreotide costs more than twice what I pay in tax. And that's not including the costs of my regular visits to the doctor, the nurse, the hospital, my other prescriptions, my MRI scans, my surgery, my blood tests.
I can't imagine how horrendous it would be to have to pay for this stuff in a country without a decent national healthcare system.
4. Joie De Vivre
It sounds pretty cheesy to say that being ill gives you a newfound appreciation for life. That's because it is a cheesy thing to say. However, it is also true. The feeling of achievement when, after pituitary surgery, you manage to very slowly walk the ten minutes to the nearest pub is as satisfying as learning to play the tuba. Probably more satisfying, in fact. After all, I've never met a happy tuba player.*
5. Writing this blog
I would never in a hundred years have managed to keep up writing a blog this long (since last August… that's ten months!) if I had not been ill. No matter what topic I picked, it would surely have lapsed, just like every other diary I've ever attempted to write has lapsed, usually within about a week. But writing so often has been really good for me; it's improved my style, it's made me more comfortable with just sitting down and typing - and searching for Interesting Medical Facts of the Week has taught me a hell of a lot. And being ill is what has made me keep this up. I can't ever lapse for long, because there's always going to be something I want to complain about.
*Disclaimer: I have never met a tuba player.