It was almost 4 years since I had had a BUPA health check up. As I was rising 74 I decided it was time I had another one. I wasn’t too concerned as I was in pretty good shape I had been going to the gymnasium for the past two years, three times a week, for one and a half hour sessions and as a result (or, at least so I thought) had got myself down to a trim 10 Â½ stone.
My consultation was with a young female doctor – who was very charming but who is not as thorough as I would have liked. The problem was, that although I booked the consultation some two or three weeks earlier none, of the necessary appointment papers had arrived (this despite three separate telephone calls requesting the papers) and when it came to the consultation the doctor had to spend some considerable time completing the questionnaire which I had been unable to finish myself between the various tests. As a result, she did not carry out a muscular and skeletal examination. Had she done so she would have noticed severe muscle atrophy as well the fasciculations (under surface muscle twitching) which should have alerted any knowledgeable doctor to the possibility of a neurological problem.. However, her conclusion, from this particular health check-up was that I was in pretty good shape. A BMI and body fat, both of 21, an excellent waist to height ratio, good blood pressure and a better than ideal chance of not having a heart attack for someone of my age.
During the consultation I mentioned two particular concerns. One was a burning pain in my groin, on the site of the scar tissue from my artificial urinary sphincter operation. I told the doctor that the burning pain usually arose after I had been exercising (playing golf, for example) for a couple of hours. This she put down to a hernia and referred me to a general surgeon.
This evening I had a consultation with a general surgeon who concluded that I did not have a hernia.
The second problem, I had mentioned to the doctor was a slight weakness in my left arm. Again, I pointed out that this weakness only seemed to come on after some period of exercise. She tested my muscle strength and decided to refer me to a rheumatologist. I questioned this at the time and respectfully asked if I should not be seeing a neurologist as I suspected the problem may have emanated from a nerve in my neck ( from the 4/5 cervical fusion I had had some years earlier after being struck in the back of the neck in a polo match, smashing four vertebrae) but she was adamant that the rheumatologist was the correct consultant I should see. The Dr. was not particularly concerned about this problem and as I was about to go to Australia I almost left further investigations until I returned at the end of March. However I did then follow it up and saw the rheumatologist today.
He carried out a blood test and immediately referred me to the London Bridge Hospital for a nerve conduction test.