I had an appointment with the big cheese in London: Professor Martyn Caplin. He runs a neuroendocrine tumour clinic at The Royal Free hospital. He is highly specialised in his field. And people are referred from many different countries,and travel great distances to see him. My mere 400 miles, is starters orders for some. I have a lot of faith in our Prof Caplin. He is very thorough, takes time to listen to what you have to say. And most importantly remembers you are a human being and have feelings. I know when I go down to see him I will most likely be seen later than my appointment time. This is because he gives every patient the time they need and deserve.
For my appointment in April I need to get myself organised. Firstly we need to book a hotel for a night before and a night after the hospital. I’m not your average human than can just jump fly down to the smoke, get seen at at the hospital and then travel back. I tried it once. It took over a month to recover from the exhaustion. Premier Inn Booked. Now time to sort the train tickets out. It’s great that you can book everything online. Train booked, and we can get the tickets at the station right up to the day we travel. Cases are packed. Lots to go in my case, feed pump, giving sets, feed, dressings, creams, medicines, clothes, etc. Nurse has been to change my dressing,etc. dogs are looking at the cases suspiciously.
There has been a slight hiccup with the dogs boarding. They were scheduled to go stay together with Sally whilst we were in London. Sally has Buddy and Bella’s son Harley. The week before we are due to go, Bella goes into season. Both Bella and Buddy only have one thing on their mind and it’s not walkies. We have to put plan B into action. Our friends, Louise & Keith look after Bella and Sally look after Buddy. For both our dogs this is the first time they have stayed away from home. Anytime we have ever been away one of our sons have looked after the dogs. This was a big deal for both the dogs and Steve & I. I have to say both dogs were looked after impeccably. They were walked several times per day, played with. And when we came home we could tell although they were very happy to see us they had enjoyed their time away.
Our train journey was eventful. We met a very gutsy lady and her 7 year old son. They travelled from York to London every Sunday. The young lad attended Great Ormand Street Hospital for an injection. He was under a trial drug scheme. He has muscular dystrophy. We chatted, shared stories, laughed.
When we got to the hospital we used the self check in. Before I could take a seat in the busy waiting room the nurse called my name. We walked down the corridor and into the room. She took my weight. she said. The Prof wants to see you, if you just take a seat along this end. Steve and I parked our bums on the seats and waited on Prof Caplin calling me.
Fifty minutes passed my appointment time the familiar gent calls my name. Prof Caplin kindly waits till both Steve and myself are in the consulting room. We take a seat. There is a lot to discuss. Since I saw him last I’ve had my gastrostomy tube fitted, been hospitalised several times with sepsis/infections, had feeds, cream and meds changed. After we talk, he helps me up onto his couch, he examines my belly and has a good look at the peg site. Listens to my chest, feels my neck, under my armpits. He says quite a lot of granulation there. The general all round site and your skin is healing well but you do have a long way to go yet. I take a seat back beside Steve. Prof mentions my last 5HIAA test was elevated. The result was 175. A tad higher than he would like. He says he would like me to get a scan. Steve pipes up, will that be a gallium scan. The prof immediately answers us, I can organise that for you, no problem. You will only wait a few weeks on the scan. I will book it now whilst you are here. He then goes into the drawer in his desk and takes out a card and hand it to me. This is the number for our specialist nurses. Once you have had the scan and the result is in the nurse will phone you and discuss the results with you. And what happens next.
We were back home in Scotland three days later. Two days after we arrived home the telephone rang, it was the nuclear medicine department of The Royal Free Hospital in London. My scan was in eleven days time. Certainly cannot complain about the quality of the service I am getting.