Posted by: Sam Olsen | March 7, 2012

Diagnosis… Murder? Death? Fortunately not.

HKD 90,000; one overnight stay in the fanciest hospital in China; three courses of antibiotics; and a dose of radioactive glucose pumping through my veins later, and… we have a diagnosis! The affliction is not, apparently, just pollution. It may or may not have been pneumonia. It’s definitely not TB, or the dreaded big C. Neither is it a common cold. No, I am suffering from Sarcoidosis. Or Sarcoid, as it’s sometimes called amongst its aficionados on the web.  A strange affliction that you can google at your leisure and find an array of inconclusive academic papers, or even more confusing chatrooms. This is a shadowing in the lungs and the consequent nasty cough, some swollen lymph glands (not that I’d noticed), and fortunately I have avoided the other common symptoms of scabby shins and dodgy vision. It’s getting warmer so cannot wear tights and the lack of scabby shins is a huge relief. Anyway, the upshot is that I have to take some steroids for a while, which will hopefully knock the sarco into submission. No-one really knows if it goes on its own or if I need these drugs to get rid of it, but being HK, they like a prescription.  So I’ll take them for a bit before I go all hippy and try something alternative. The organic veg box arrives tomorrow, it must be a step in the right direction.

I had already decided that whatever I was suffering was not going to impinge on my day-to-day life any longer, so yesterday evening I took the plunge (quite literally!), and joined the Football Club Swimming Society for a training session. Ooh the pool was swarming with athletic young things! I just about managed to keep up although it felt like there were a few tadpoles in my airways. Generally had a great time but was slightly put out to hear that I’d been doing front crawl, well, wrong, my entire life.  Thanks for that, Jordan of the Virgin Active at Bank in London, and thanks too to Mr Evans of St. John’s School, Marlborough c. 1993. Turns out you all had it wrong. Anyway, after an hour of sheer concentration trying to get my arms to do something completely different, I know what it must feel like learning to swim. Butterfly next week.

It was quite refreshing to be in the water, anyway, since we’re now at 100% humidity AT LEAST when on land.  Sam was dispatched earlier to purchase another de-humidifier, there are black marks coming out all over the walls, and the washing doesn’t dry for days on end. Everyone feels a bit sort of ‘tacky’. Forget ‘cleanse, tone and moisturise’… here in HK you just cleanse, tone and step-outside.


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