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   Author  Topic: A Scandinavian tale  (Read 1249 times)
FrankW
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A Scandinavian tale
« on: Dec 30th, 2003, 10:55am »
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The start of the day
 
I woke up at 3 am with full blown K10 headache, a long miserable hour before more sleep - woken again at 8 am by a cheerful 11 year old voice announcing his mother had given him a pass to come and see me after school. "Could Orjan pick me up?" he asked hopefully. I said I guess so, I would try and arrange that.
 
I then discovered the power was off in my apartment - I had a shower in the dark and crossed 50 metres to my office in time to receive a call from a customer getting seriously pissed off with delays on starting an 8 million dollar contract.
 
Looked up and saw Orjan standing nervously by the door - good guy, if a little disorganised, landlord and friend. He said "umm ahh - bit of a cock-up with the power bill for your apartment" - I said I had noticed, he then launched into a complicated explanation about how the connection to the apartment was mixed up with some other connection in his complex and the bill was quite large - 44,000 crowns large - a bit difficult to pay till next month and Swedish power authorities won't negotiate again.
 
OK - stay calm, I thought, that's just a 4000 dollar power bill! - I shall simply have to move in with my girlfriend for a while.  
 
10 minutes later a call from girlfriend - "Meet me tonight for a glass of wine, I think we need to talk about 'the relationship'" she announced ominously. Uh huh? I responded cautiously - "Yes", she said "You seem to get a headache every evening when you should be meeting me".  
 
"But I have explained about cluster headaches and about alcohol" I said rather weakly. "Yes I know" she said, "but I have never heard of such a thing and I have been thinking about it and noting the times - it must be something to do with me".
 
Next call from my sons mother - "Will you kindly ask Orjan not to do police turns with his new Volvo in the school parking lot!" she said rather coldly  "The kids love it, but the teachers do not."
 
Next call from the company's chairman explaining investors here had demanded we outsource manufacture of our latest design to Asia or somewhere. I said rather snappily "Bad idea! Design is too new and too complex to start that way".  He replied, rather snottily, that the investors consultant had suggested it was the best way and the consultant was an ex Ericssons manager and therefore should know - I asked rather acidly whether that was the same Ericssons whose shares went from 200 crowns to 4 crowns recently, thereby creating an army of unemployed consultants - he slammed down the phone after announcing the need for an urgent directors meeting to resolve the issue.
 
Another director then called and cheerfully announced we were back in the high court the next day for the fourth hearing regarding the latest attempt by a local operator to take over the company and designs - our lawyers were optimistic though.
 
I sat for a while trying to decide whether these headaches were really just stress headaches and I was imagining the fact I have had them regularly from childhood. I decided to call my GP - nice guy, I had registered with him a few years ago when Sweden allowed General Practitioners to operate again after years of total state controlled medicine. He was one of many that walked out of the system and set up practice for himself. Not many patients for a start but now he was busy and had not been taking new patients for several years. We had never talked of headaches.
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FrankW
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Re: A Scandinavian tale
« Reply #1 on: Dec 30th, 2003, 10:56am »
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The rest of the day
 
Damn! I thought, 10 past 11 and they close the phone off at 11. An earlier vague shadow was developing fast to a real K7 HA and my patience was wearing thin. I was surprised when a real human voice answered the phone - I guess she answered before looking at the time. "Need to see the doctor" I said - "What's your person number?" she demanded.  
 
Damned impersonal system I thought while quoting it. "Not registered here" she announced with a self satisfied tone - "Damn well am" I snapped. Silence for a while before she came back and and said "Well you haven't been here for a long time - what's wrong with you?"  "Seriously painful headache" I said  "Can't fit you in before 2:30" she said. "Today?" I asked incredulously - "Of course today" she snapped back.
 
Christ! I thought - if I hurry I will just have time to print some supporting data from this clusterheadache site to help try and explain to yet another doctor what this is about, and then cross the city to get there. Almost 10 years since I had even bothered to try and explain.
 
Just 10 minutes after appointment time, with just a shadow left, I was ushered into the doctors rooms - "What can I do for you?" he asked cheerfully. "I have these headaches" I replied  "English speaking world call them clusters - I have brought some information about them... "Won't be necessary" he interrupted, staring at my face "We call it Hortons and it's on your left side. How long have you had it?"  
 
"Since childhood, around 45 years" I replied. "No No!" he said  "I mean this cycle".
 
"About 4 weeks" I said. "Frequency?" he asked. "Moved from one 2 or 3 hour attack in the evening to 1 at night and 2 a day about 1 hour each" I answered
 
"Usually around November?" he asked - "Not for a few years but normally the same time of the year" I answered.
 
"Pace about or lie down in the dark?" he asked - "Pace around" I answered.
 
"Triggered by alcohol?" he asked - "Rapidly and dramatically" I answered.
 
By now he had found and opened one of the many books he had lining his office.
 
"Must be at or past the peak" he muttered "We will try these for a start" he announced while writing a prescription for Zomig and Isoptin - "I don't think we need bother with a scan or a neurologist - you must be familiar with the pattern and the diagnosis is quite clear".
 
"I will call your girl" he then said (also a patient of his)  "We can discuss handling and treatment - Hortons doesn't always respond the same but, according to this book, these are a good start. It's also quite rare so she probably won't understand it or just how severe the pain is"
 
I strolled back to the office in the crisp December air via the pharmacy - most birds have flown south for the winter but the sun was still shining this day during our six hours of daylight and I didn't have a care in the world.
 
 
Frank
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Re: A Scandinavian tale
« Reply #2 on: Dec 30th, 2003, 11:04am »
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laugh
 
I just love a good story
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Re: A Scandinavian tale
« Reply #3 on: Dec 30th, 2003, 11:20am »
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I LOVED that story!!!!  Sent shivers right through me!
 
 Grin Grin Grin Grin
mel
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Re: A Scandinavian tale
« Reply #4 on: Dec 31st, 2003, 10:34am »
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Frank,
 
Although I have been reading the posts regularly, I haven't really signed on to add anything to any of them.
 
After reading your posts, I just HAD to log on and say "thanks" for the story.  Wow.  Are things working out with the lawsuit, the outsourcing, and the girl?
Gotta' keep us posted on the latest!
 
Happy New Year to everyone!
Mike
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Re: A Scandinavian tale
« Reply #5 on: Dec 31st, 2003, 3:22pm »
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Great story Frank!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
Thank you.
 
EDNA   Smiley
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