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Differential White Blood Cell Count & New Exercise

Posted Aug 12 2010 10:58am

The latest medical meeting was fun. I feel strange sense of guilt when I said “fun”… But medical meeting shouldn’t be serious as I’m still getting benefit out of it.

Dr TL was cheeky. He tried to trick me to sing by saying singing will increase oxygen saturation. I believe there is a truth in it. And, yes I follow my doctor’s instruction seriously. He insisted that a patient must obey whatever doctor tells her/him.

“I’m your doctor.” He said it with a big smile.

We both know that patients have their own right to refuse doctors’ recommendations when there is a genuine reason. However, it was obvious that he was just playing a joke on me.

My temperature was still raised… I wondered if my temperature raises simply when I’m blushed. He disagreed with my theory. He checked other side of temple to convince I do have raised temperature. And he also checked it under my tongue. He told me that the most accurate method is to check it at rectum. I was relieved to hear that he doesn’t do it. Was he being cheeky again?

Anyway… The continuing temperature gave us opportunity to try Differential White Blood Cell Count. Dr TL has been wanting to check this for some time. According to his explanation for a medically challenged patient, this blood test can determine what kind of infection I have. And I optimistically believe that it could give me some treatment.

I’m assuming most of ME/CFS patients have already done this. Since my ME/CFS was gradual onset until I started antidepressant medication, it didn’t register in my mind that “infection” has significant effect on my suffering.

I have no idea how my immune system is doing. I don’t feel I get many bouts of flu or cold comparing to other sufferers. But, this could be so because I don’t see much people. Or, maybe…, I just don’t acknowledge it because my mind is so used to being sick all the time.

I managed to have blood taken today. So, I just wait and see what result will tell us.

I was given new exercise/rehabilitation at this meeting. The motivated doctor told me with confidence that he would make me better. I believe him, although we don’t know how long it will take.

I’m sure he’s been designing my exercise/rehabilitation based on the theory of Brain Plasticity. It explains that our brains are flexible and it could rewire itself to take over the damaged brain part. Medical Imaging, such as MRI, shows there are damaged or not functioning spots of brain. (We need to have ME/CFS savvy doctor/specialist to actually take notice of the spots, though.)

Brain Plasticity is neurology, not psychiatry. It is not the talking therapy or CBT that can do the re-wiring job. There are delicate methods to trigger the re-wiring based on the problem. If you are interested in the theory and examples, I recommend to read The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge. The author is psychiatrist, but he is explaining about brain from neurology point of view. (I’m not getting paid for saying it.)

Back to my case, the new exercise is to stand up from a chair without relying on my arms. Dr TL demonstrated how to do it. And the cheeky Dr TL showed off how much more he could do, such as standing on just one foot.

He let me to try it. It was mentally hard to initiate getting up. But once I got the balance right, rest was easy. We negotiated on the numbers I should try each day. Dr TL compromised to my reality and reduced the number to 5.

I was almost speechless to see how observant he is and how alert his mind is. I’m very interested in the new exercise. I know it will help me.

Now, I will focus on reading The Brain That Changes Itself. I want to finish it before returning to library on due date.

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