Medical Screening – Good Or Bad?

 In Health, pensioners

I have lived an active life and that means a healthy and enjoyable one. As a runner I have watched other runners peel off with hip, knee and other problems. Somehow, I am still running and I am over 70 years of age. Yet that three score and ten marked a change in my health and it leaves me wondering; medical screening – good or bad?

Liability to the NHS

For seventy years, I cost the NHS very little. A piddling irritation as a male child saw me lose a ring of skin. Then, I was 55 before a GP at Cardiff decided my blood pressure, on the high side of normal, needed medication. After I retired, I took up organic veg growing, ate the produce and had a stress free lifestyle. Even so, I had to demand to come off my medication and my BP has been within an acceptable range ever since. Then I reached 70 and men’s problems came to the fore.

Testicle Irritation

I am sorry to have to focus on the nether regions; there lies my weakness. On holiday I noted a testicular irritation so booked to see my GP. I had been checked previously for increased peeing at night, usually once and sometimes twice. My GP at Croydon had a pointed diagnosis. The gist of it was, “that’s nothing, I have patients peeing seven times a night.” Anyway, my blood was tested regarding the prostate and the PSA was a little high. Subsequent scans confirmed that my enlarged prostate was the appropriate size to match my PSA reading. Good news. Well not quite, there was something unexpected lurking in the blood.

White Blood Cells

The leukaemia (CLL) diagnosis was a shock, as I noted in a previous post. The strange thing is that after all this screening, I am not on any medication. To all intents and purposes, I am fine and dandy. The advice is try to maintain fitness, avoid infections, eat well and the CLL might not bother me for decades. Mentally, though, it is rather more challenging.

Medical Screening – Good or bad?

Had I not been screened then my leukaemia would remain anonymous. Now, I have to balance my natural decline due to age with the potential for the CLL to awaken. Repeated infections, a loss of weight or night sweats would be an indicator. So, I keep going and focus on what matters. I still pass the alzheimer’s test most days, on the bike. The sudoku’s don’t beat me.

The message

You would expect a message and there is one. It’s to all men, the ones who ignore the embarrassing nether regions. Get the piddling things checked! Knowing what you have is a challenge, but pushing it away whilst also worrying is even worse. It’s not good for your health or those around you. If it’s that damned prostate, eat tomatoes and buy a bike. But ensure you fit a prostate relieving saddle!

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