I’m sat in A&E with Chris. January 2016 from memory. He’s injured himself playing football for his school earlier in the day. Eventually he’s seen, prescribed painkillers and I take him home.
I’m sat there in agony too. I’d played badminton for the first time in 35 years a couple of days earlier. My left shoulder aches. I’d been a little over-enthusiastic. But then a horrendous pain in my right chest area. Surrounded by medics I say nothing. Over the next couple of weeks the pain dies away.
If I’d opened my mouth in that hospital at that time, would I have been diagnosed with lung cancer? Or, as happened three or four months later when I presented to my GP with middle back pain, would I have just been sent away with painkillers? By the time BUPA referred me for physio for lower back pain in June I was already a dead man There had already been a short window to save me. Missed.
Its hard to know what would have happened. It’s frustrating to know that I missed an opportunity. But I was so sure that it was just an over-exertion on my part that bothering the busy Saturday evening staff of the NHS didn’t seem good form. I knew the cause. I knew it would go away. Good job I’m not medically trained!
Who knows if the doctors would have spotted it? Who knows if they’d have acted fast enough to lop a bit of the lung out? Who knows if I’d have died in surgery?
I can’t honestly say I have massive regrets over my lack of action. But I suppose there is a lesson that getting your worries across to a doctor are probably a better idea than not bothering. I should have bothered. I’m just not 100% sure the outcome would have identified lung cancer quickly enough. I’ll never know.
Please donate to Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation who supplied the attached symptoms chart
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