Monday, 30 September 2013

Blood Test Results

A few weeks ago I went to the doctor because I had been having bowel trouble for the past year and, while I could function (only just, sometimes), it just didn't feel right. I told the doctor my symptoms and she scheduled blood tests and prescribed anti-diarrhea medication while I was waiting for the blood tests. I showed up at the surgery again for the blood tests and the nurse on duty took about 5 or 6 samples for the various tests. She scheduled an appointment with the doctor again for today to get the results.
I showed up and the doctor read out the results. Vitamin and Iron levels were, as she put it, perfect, cholesterol level was normal, white blood cells normal, thyroid function, liver, kidneys, all absolutely fine. I was actually going to be a bit disappointed if nothing showed up after all that and some days feeling weak and drained because of my bowel troubles. She came to the final blood test result, which was a test for coeliac disease and, lo and behold, a result! It came up positive.
One of the first things she pointed out to me when going through probable and possible effects of this, was that it can effect the function of the spleen. But she said there was nothing for me to worry about because, as I mentioned, my vitamin and iron levels were fine on the other blood test. She did say that one of the reasons I felt week some days was because my body wan't absorbing enough nutrients from food because of the diarrhea. But she said that I will have a normal and healthy lifespan once I completely cut out gluten from my diet, so I have nothing to worry about as a result of this diagnosis.
The doctor gave me a leaflet to explain what the condition is. It's an autoimmune disease where my body mistakes gluten for germs and produces antibodies to fight it. She said it's very common in Ireland. About 1% of people in the UK have it, but the percentage is far higher here in Ireland. So I have to cut out gluten from my diet completely. It's the only way to treat it. It's a bit of a problem at the moment. I bought pasta for my dinners for the week, I have rolls for my sandwiches for lunch and the Aldi weetabix I eat for breakfast has gluten. I have to eat all that before I can start the gluten-free diet. Gluten binge!
The doctor will refer me to a dietitian for the moment and check up on me herself in a couple of months. It isn't long ago that I was giving out about so many people going gluten-free in what I thought was just the latest health fad. "Why is everyone allergic to wheat all of a sudden?" I'd be saying. I've learned my lesson the hard way.

Friday, 27 September 2013

A Visitor

I had a visitor in my bathroom last night. I got out the measuring tape just to give you an idea of the size of him. He looked a lot bigger than he was because of his leg span. His body was quite small in proportion to his legs. The yokes sticking out of his head were quite big in proportion to his head too, so if that's where his venom is, a bite would be painful I'd say.
I got a pint glass to get rid of him. I put it over him on the wall and he jumped towards my hand when he couldn't drop to the floor. But if he tried to bite in defence, it would've been useless against the glass. I slid a paper on to the top of the glass to stop him getting out and opened the bathroom window. I turned the glass upside down outside the window and released the paper, thinking he had dropped out the window sill... but no!. As I brought the glass back in he dropped out of the still upside down glass on to the inside sill and ran on to the cistern, where he paused again. So I popped the glass over him again, blocked him with the paper on it and took him out of the apartment, down the stairs.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Internship Update

If you read my earlier blog post you will know that I'm in a company that designs and manufactures solenoids. I just want to continue on from that and fill people in on my progress, since I haven't done a blog in a while. My current project is updating bills of materials for all the products. But I got another task today which means I have to put the BoMs on hold for a while. A drawing for one of the assemblies needed a revision to update a specification. It turns out that this spec. is on a number of different drawings that have the same type of assembly. So now all these drawings need the same revision. It's only a small revision, but the number of drawings makes it a time consuming task. This means my main project is put on hold briefly.
It's not too bad though. I still find it fascinating and I got to physically hold an actual sample of an assembly to get a better idea of what the drawings and bills of material represent. I keep it on my desk. I like that my projects keep me thinking of the structures and build processes of the products. It could get a bit boring in the early days because of waiting for what to do next. But these days, with my main task and the occasional extra side projects, it never gets boring despite sitting in front of a computer for most of the day.
I'm made to feel like a normal member of staff and I will soon have a bit more pressure because there will be deadlines to meet. But it's a good constructive environment to work in and getting up to speed to be able to do certain things within certain time frames (with leeway for unexpected delays) is all part of the learning process.