Posted by: madkentdragon | January 10, 2012

A Health Problem – What Would You Do?

This is going to be a mixed up blog because I’m not sure where it’s going even as I start writing it – but I need to get it down –so sorry if it jumps from one subject to another. – You have been warned!

I have three sons as those who have read earlier posts will know – there was a fourth but that’s another story…

All of them are as disparate as possible which doesn’t surprise me as they didn’t have that good a start in life, I was far too young – eighteen when my eldest was born and their father became an unreliable, violent alcoholic. I’m not making excuses – but looking back at their beginnings it can’t have been that easy.

My eldest has PTSD and has ended up in prison because of it – he’s now 45 – is it my fault? I don’t know – could I have done more to help – probably, but because he had learned from me how to keep all the bad things hidden from the world – it was difficult. He now has angina and I have encouraged him to study for a degree in History and he’s doing quite well.

My youngest is more of a success story than the others, basically because by this time his father was more disassociated from us and I was able to bring him up by myself – I was twenty two when he was born and although he was badly bullied at school – enough to develop a real phobia, I managed to get him a tutor for eight hours a week which wasn’t enough really for a severely dyslexic child, but he coped.

He has only been unemployed for six weeks in his twenty five year work life and currently drives one of those road sweeper machines for the local council. He has inherited my temperament which means he has a placid nature unless something really upsets him and unlike his brothers he made an important decision – he would not get married at a too young age. – See my blog on wedding cake for the results! He has been happily married for eleven years and I will admit that I am proud of him, he also writes.

My middle son has always been a problem! Within six weeks of being born he was back in hospital for “failure to thrive” and within a couple of months was diagnosed with hypogammaglobulinanemia – something which prevents the development of white blood cells and makes you susceptible to all and any infections.

Very little was known about this and many hospitals had no information on this and, at the age of nineteen I didn’t take a lot of this in, especially as I had a lively two year old to cope with. However by the time he was two it seemed that the hospital had made a mistake or it was a “temporary problem” as the blood tests which were not very pleasant – taken from the neck – came back with an increased count; my third son was not diagnosed with it until the autopsy – he died when he was seven months old and apart from the chest infection it was noted on his death certificate. But no-one was interested in my “what happens next” – especially as I had health problems at the time.

My middle son continued to have health problems, but because it was skin related no blood tests were taken – the treatment for the skin problems resulted in an allergic reaction to UVA and UVB so he has to wear sunscreen even on rainy days. What six years of prednisolone steroids did to him is now being investigated nearly thirty years later!

You see, he is his own worst enemy because after several failed marriages he sunk into depression and alcoholism, he has been dry for some time now, thank the Lord, but his liver is badly damaged and the split in his gullet that caused a haemorrhage was a Godsend! It has healed, and the numerous blood tests have revealed his old problem – yes hypogammaglobulinanemia has reared its ugly head again – so apparently I may be a carrier after all and if it is not caused by one of the multitude of tablets he is taking, we will now have to contact all the grandchildren and persuade them to have blood tests. But none of the doctors will confirm that this is the cause until other tests have been carried out; so, in the meantime do we ring round and cause panic or do we hold tight and hope nothing goes wrong?

Until he gets all the results and they have experimented with his medication we are in limbo – what would you do?



  1. I was very moved reading your post Pat that’s a lot to deal with and to take in. My inclination would be to hold onto the information until and if it is confirmed. I can see no good panicking people if it’s not necessary. It’s pressure on you and your son I know but I think it would be for the greater good x

  2. Thanks, that’s what I’m doing – partly because I’m a coward and don’t want to cause panic until I have to x

  3. Pat I can think of lots of adjectives to describe you but cowardly isn’t one of them! 🙂

  4. Pat, I was moved too… Such a lot to contend with and yet you retain such a calm, selfless spirit. Amazing woman!!!

    I think I’d hold fire too until the tests confirm or otherwise. Then take it from there..

    Thinking of you. xx

  5. Thanks, Nikki – I’m hoping that one of the pills may be the problem, fingers crossed xx

  6. My goodness, first, seems very brave to share all this and while I’m not sure I have very much to offer, ‘cept to say basically I think I agree with Babs and Nikki. In the meantime, sounds like those who know you would already be worried about you and the rest of your sons, so don’t have much to add. Take care. xx

  7. Thank you, it helps to get it written down because I gain some perspective through it – stops the panic!

  8. Pat. My attitude is waiting until a bridge comes up before worrying about how to cross it. That said, you might feel it is worthwhile gettin your ducks in a line by writing down various ways to convey the message if, Heaven forbid, it needs to be done. It sound as if you might need different explanations and reassurances for each sibling. Hope this helps – even if it just provide a release for a bit of swearing as being useless!

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