Medical MADSAM

I had my boxing gloves on as we set out for another out-patient’s visit to the Neurologist in Ronda hospital miles away over the mountains of southern Spain. Yes. I had it all planned. Briefed Debbie, my interpreter, thatΒ  I wanted no more tablets, as I was only depressed when the Neurologist kept saying that I was depressed. No more tablets. I want to try hypnotherapy (walk around clucking like a chicken) or acupuncture (she can pin me down).

I had it all planned. Focussed forward thinking. Ready for action. How wrong I was ………..

I looked like this when I left for Ronda hospital yesterday (Ralph 1950)
I looked like this when I left for Ronda hospital yesterday (Ralph 1950)


I aged a bit by the time I arrived at the hospital (Ralph 1952)
I aged a bit by the time I arrived at the hospital (Ralph 1952)


A long time in the waiting room (Ralph in Cyprus 1971)
A long time in the waiting room (Ralph in Cyprus 1971)


Eventually seen by the Neurologist (06 Nov 2013)
Eventually seen by the Neurologist……. (06 Nov 2013)


.... with my interpreter Debbie
…. with my interpreter Debbie


I decided to plug myself into the Spanish National Electrical Grid to cure me
After an hour of tests I decided to plug myself into the Spanish National Electrical Grid to cure me of all my ailments…….


And ended up with a new hat !!
…….. and ended up with a new hat !!


Into the Neurologist’sΒ  office we went. Shock !! A different doctor !! She looked about 18, but in fact is 36. These Spanish women wear well !! I told her, via my interpreter, what I wanted to do and before I knew it she gave me a thorough going over (I should be so lucky). Completely new tests. Hammering my joints. Sticking a pin in my legs and feet while my eyes were closed and the same with a tuning fork. *Pinnnng !!*

I was prepared to sell tickets as she wanted me to “walk the line” not in her tiny office of three staff but in the corridor with hundreds of waiting patients standing or seated everywhere. So off I went, my wonky balance so pronounced. I would have been arrested for DUI without having a drop. (I am very cheap if you wish to buy me a drink).

She thinks I may have a rare condition called MADSAM (you knew it all along that I was mad), CIDP or Lewis-Sumner which means brand new tests. A Spinal Tap or lumbar puncture (yuk !!) for excessive protein. Nerve and blood circulation tests.

At least a 6 month wait for Malaga clinic to suck some juice from my spine (Yukky Yuk Yuk !!)


The last year of Sumial & Mysoline tablets a total waste of space as the previous Neurologist did not do any sensible tests. A year wasted !!


Have you made plans that went tits up ??


Ralph xox πŸ™‚


126 Comments on “Medical MADSAM

    • Vielen Dank Wolfgang. Haben Sie einen schΓΆnen Abend. Ralph πŸ˜€


  1. At least they are looking into it rather than fobbing you off with more drugs. My daughter had a lumbar puncture when she was a year old. They are not pleasant 😦


    • Hi Alistair πŸ˜€ That’s awful for a little baby. I hope she is better now.

      Yes. No more drugs … yippee !! Ralph πŸ˜€


  2. What a good sport you are maintaining an upbeat attitude about your “medical ordeal”. The pictures are an amazing description of what you went through, I hope you are well, my friend.


    • Hello PD πŸ˜€ I have learned to live with my condition for months now. I know what I can and can’t do so have to live with it and enjoy it. Luckily I am in no pain, just a walking jellyfish sometimes. πŸ˜‰ hehe Ralph xox πŸ˜€


  3. At least now you might have doc who knows what she is doing and there is a plan of action, just a shame you have to wait so long for tests…


    • Yes. You have hit the nail on the head. Knowing is 90% of the battle. The future tests should confirm this. I hope they do. Ralph xox πŸ˜€


  4. I hope your new doctor can steer you on the right course and get you the help and treatment you need, Ralph. Those pictures of you are gorgeous! Amy xoxo


    • Hi Amy πŸ˜€ She is so sweet and I fell in love with her. I will do anything she says πŸ˜‰ Your avatar picture is gorgeous too. Ralph xox πŸ˜€


  5. ROFLMAO!!! I don’t mean to be rude but you can make the most stressed filled event seem like a comedy show. You are too funny! I hope all goes well with your tests. Take care, Ralph.


    • Thanks Frank πŸ˜€ Comedy is the best medicine, both for me and the reader …. you. Ralph πŸ˜€


  6. Ay Dios mio Ralph!
    You always have a way of bringing a smile to my face with the way you share your life with us.
    I must say that you were a cute kid & quite a handsome young man too. So nice of you to share pictures from your time waiting & waiting to be seen by the doc.
    Good to hear that you are now drug-free. Hope this doc will be able to help you be pain-free too. I’m sure that day can’t come soon enough.
    Take it easy dear Ralph.
    xx Saludos y Abrazos xx


    • Hi RoSy my friend πŸ˜€ Maybe once treated I will revert to becoming that “handsome young man” again …… so watch this space and watch out πŸ˜‰ hehe Ralph xox πŸ˜€


  7. A new doctor , a new love for you Ralph. It is good to have new ideas, still I would research a bit myself, about what she says. If whatever she does helps, it would be wonderful for you, shame everything takes so long in Spain.
    You pictures are lovely on here!


    • Hi Ute, dear friend πŸ˜€ I have googled all about my problem and the only thing I understand is ……. google πŸ˜‰ The rest is way beyond me !! Let’s see what happens over the next few months. Ralph xox πŸ˜€


  8. I didn’t really want to hit like for this post, but I thought it might cheer you up a bit, so I did. πŸ™‚ I do hope that this new young doctor can sort out your medical problems. I loved those pics of you. I bet you had the girls in Cyprus fighting over you.


    • Hi Sylvia πŸ˜€ I hope you didn’t fall off your hammock while reading this post πŸ˜‰
      PRESS LIKE. LIKE IS GOOD. I am cheered up no end !!
      About the girls in Cyprus ….. let’s say that some of the Aer Lingus stewardesses on stop-over in Famagusta had a fun time …. oh, and the …….. πŸ™„
      Ralph xox πŸ˜€


  9. Dear friend Ralph,

    Your positive (and funny) outlook on life always makes me smile.

    Hang in there my friend!

    Sending you hugs across the miles.



    • That is a really sweet comment from you Nancy, my friend. A Big Hug back to you. Ralph xox πŸ˜€


  10. I always face my problems T first, MFR, and so do you. You face them, and that’s the important thing. Now I’m going to have to look up Madsam. It looks like it is treatable by prednisone. That would be really horrible news if you were 4’5″ instead of 6’5″. The prednisone plumps up up a bit, but my mom took it for a bit, and it does make you feel good. BTW you look adorable on the horse, and your waiting room pic – WHEW! I like your new hat, too. A bit too small, but a nice addition to keep your head pointed in the right direction – up. πŸ™‚ Lots of love to you, MFR. πŸ™‚ xox


    • Wow MVBFM. You can be my medical advisor as I haven’t a clue about what it all means BUT I have learned to live with it. Knowing what I can and can’t do. When I can do things and when I can’t. All without drugs and worry.

      My analogy of the drugs that they tried to feed me on is : If my body is a plate of polished steel and my disease is rust, drugs just paint over the rust, not get rid of it and the rust will poke through again. I need rust remover !!

      I see that you and many others enjoyed the pictures. hehe Ralph xox πŸ˜€


  11. Love love love the photos quite dashing then and now my friend..Sure hope you don’t have to wait that long for test I would be such a nervous nellie until the day then pass out from fright yet you seem to handle it all well unless you curl up in a corner some where andlet loose . Anyway wishing you love and prayers…Hugs


    • Thank you for your love and prayers dear Len. I just can’t curl up worried sick about all this. It’s not me. I was a bit apprehensive about my hospital visit yesterday but what the heck. It had to happen.

      It’s a shame that the photo of me wearing a capstone didn’t come out too well. I had left my sunglasses in the car and the hot sun was straight in my eyes, so hence the squint.

      My love and prayers go to you as well Len. Ralph xox πŸ˜€


  12. Hi Ralph. Ha ha, you are really giving us the feel for the time that passed! But seriously, are you going to get any treatment during the half year until you have the tests? heila


    • Hi Heila, my new friend πŸ˜€ I enjoyed writing this post and seriously… … treatment. Only your kind, caring words are all I need. Ralph xox πŸ˜€


  13. Yupiii! New post!:D

    With all this craziness, I think you should forget it all, and switch your mind to “I’m perfectly fine” mode. That’s what I did. Truth is, they’re more likely to kill you with all the theories and drugs they are giving you than to diagnose you…
    It’s been years that I was searching for someone who’d finally help me defeat my allergies. Many medications, even vaccines. No results. Test show I have no allergy after the vaccination, but I do. I’ll say more, ever since my vaccines I even developed a skin allergy! I see no change at all to be honest. Until about 2 months now that I stopped taking any medication at all. All those pills seem a useless placebo that doesn’t work with me. The real medicine is in my brain. The one that can or cannot decide to say that I will or even am fine. I know allergy is maybe a silly illness, but I just wanted to share my medical history and its pointlessness. Drugs kill you more than they cure you. Many doctors admit it. So if you are doing well, besides feeling some pain once in a while which we all do, stay away from drugs, and just live life happily.

    As for the photos… worth waiting for!! You were so adorable!! Such a little gentleman! And a mighty handsome soldier!

    I wish you mostly health today. And I hope you’ll lighten up and worry less. Big hug!


    • Hi Julita πŸ˜€

      *faint* What a long comment !! Where do I start ?

      I agree with you. My friend David (in the Land Rover photo) is taking a mixture of drugs, some of which are countering the side effects of others. Pain killers are a necessity especially for migraine sufferers and chronic pain. While at school and in the Army I was pumped full of vaccines, anti-this, anti-that and anti-the-other but since then I have only taken the odd aspirin. When I found out the side effects of Sumial and Mysoline I stopped taking them straight away feeling better for not taking them. I would take a cure tablet but not a masking one.Thoughts are things. So being positive must be a helpful healing aid.

      Haha. I bet you have my soldier photo as a pin-up by your bed πŸ˜†

      I really do hope that your brain power is working on your allergy. May I send you lots of hugs and get better !! That’s an order !! Ralph xox πŸ˜€


  14. Good luck with the tests, Ralph.
    Your smile hasn’t changed in 63 years! πŸ™‚


    • Thank you so much HD, that is so kind of you to say that πŸ˜€
      I promise my smile isn’t botoxed into place. πŸ˜‰ Ralph xox πŸ˜€


  15. Loved the pics Ralph. It is a frustrating thing – the medical world, but having faith and a sense of humour – well laughter is THE best medicine. (I will try to remember that on the plane ok.) Seriously, best of luck with all the tests.


    • Thank you so much my friend. I am sure that your flight will be fun as your seat allocation will be the pilot’s knee πŸ™„ Ralph xox πŸ˜€


  16. Hi Ralph!
    I love the photos! And how wonderful to hear not only that you don’t have some terminal illness, but that you have found a doctor who can and will actually help you. At least the year wasted is not going to cost you your life, and I’m certain I’m not the only person happy about that πŸ˜€

    Hugs to you, dear friend!



    • Thank you for your kind comment Lyann. I have just heard that this young doctor has been going all out for me and has managed to get me squeezed in for tests of my blood flow in Malaga in the first week of December. It’s great news that something is happening at last. Big hug. Ralph xox πŸ˜€


  17. The young versions of Ralph look so handsome and cute. OK, that does not mean the current Ralph is not handsome.

    I think this might be a good news with the new young doctor to think for other possible cause. I hope things will go well. I know it is not going to be a fun process but it is for better.

    Take care.


    • Oooh. YC !! Cute eh !! You now have friend for life πŸ˜€
      I can’t wait to see what this young doctor finds πŸ˜€ Ralph xox πŸ˜€


  18. Well, everyone has taken the comments right out of my mouth, Ralph. (Pouting photo needed here.) Sono innamorato con le tue foto!!! That MADRALPH condition sounds, ummm, mad. As your consultant nurse, I’ll do some more reading about this.

    Your wonderfully optimistic spirit shines like a zillion watt candle!! Now, I’ll go back and click on “Like”, because you like it when we like your stuff! Baci e abbracci da Australia.


    Florence Nightingale.


    • Hi Yvonne aka Florence Nightingale aka my Italian nurse aka pouty lips πŸ™„ πŸ˜† Oh I do like it when you like my stuff, so thanks for the Like my friend. Hugs from Mad Ralph xox πŸ˜€


  19. But Ralph, remember we are in Mercury Retrograde where every plan goes belly up. I prefer ‘belly’; it’s gender neutral .. πŸ˜€ Glad your new doctor is gorgeous, and will ultimately be helpful.. In the meantime, hugs from here. When you said you were going to take another photo of yourself in another hat, I didn’t expect this hat!!!!


    • Hello Gallivanta πŸ˜€ Mercury was the cap badge of my army beret (see photo). If it’s in retrograde then I will plan and plot no more. I expect you will see my other hats in future posts …. oh dear ….. is that a plan ? Have a lovely weekend my friend. Ralph xox πŸ˜€


      • Well, your cap badge explains everything….hide the photo till Monday!!!!!! Does this mean you were in the Signal Corps?


  20. love the pics and the story. went for an oil change, less than 20$, left with front end suspension, more than $800. day went badly quite quickly.


    • OMG Beth !! I could have sorted out your front end suspension for a lot less than $800 …… oh, you are talking about your car …… silly me !! πŸ™„ Ralph xox πŸ˜€


  21. Shame you have to go back to them Ralph, but in the mean-time you could keep your spirits up by drinking lots and lots of water, and taking lots and lots of Vitamins and minerals ( via Complan ) and amino acids, via an athletes powder they take to boost their energy levels.
    You’ll probably be a box of birds by the time you go back to them !!!!.Violetta


    • Hello Viola πŸ˜€ Thank you so much for your advice. The trouble is that living on my own I eat what I like and like what I eat. I really need someone with a big stick to force feed me these items πŸ˜‰ I hope you are well and happy my friend. Ralph xox πŸ˜€


  22. My last 2 doctors have been extremely young, but so insightful and in tune to the newest kinds of medicine my parents never heard of / nor would they entertain! Good for you! A new path to pursue … may it be well with you!


    • Tina ??? Hi πŸ˜€ I love the avatar of your children in the snow. Yes this young Neurologist and my young case doctor are really switched on. Just have to see what they come up with. I hope you and your family are well. Ralph xox πŸ˜€


    • Hello little Pawkissing Binky and Granny πŸ˜€ I hope she is amazing. Just have to wait and see. Thanks for your lovely comment. Ralph xox πŸ˜€


  23. I’m so glad that you have a fresh set of eyes looking you over. πŸ™‚
    Love the pics!! Never seen a walking jellyfish before. πŸ˜‰
    Take care my friend. 8)


    • Hi Katie πŸ˜€ Whew. Lots of comments to reply to which is a bit difficult when wobbling around the keyboard πŸ˜‰ But you are the last to reply to which is my pleasure. I am so glad that you are keeping your eye on me. Ralph xox πŸ˜€


  24. At least you got a great hat.

    Hope you’re feeling better

    Actually, I have avoided some tests that I thought would be a waste of time. To much detail to go into.


    • Hi Georgia πŸ˜€
      πŸ˜† LOL. Yes, a cement hat !!
      Maybe I should explain what’s wrong with me. My hands tremble, can’t use them for writing, doing up buttons etc. My balance is wonky and my feet are so sensitive that I gave up driving and gave my car away. Even treading on a stone through my shoes is not nice. Eating in public is embarrassing for me.There is no pain.
      I was ready to go the New Age route until this young doctor came on the scene. I’ll give her a go and see what happens.
      I don’t blame you for avoiding some tests and treatments. It’s your life and your decisions.
      Ralph xox πŸ˜€


  25. Hello, my sweet friend… πŸ˜‰
    Well, weren’t you a little cutie….. and still are..! πŸ˜‰

    What a brilliant new doctor she is; taking the time to investigate your little body more thoroughly – 3 cheers for her..!

    And that hat, Ralph; it’s a stunner – as is your interpreter friend.
    Here’s to good friends, cats and Bluefish Way… xoxoxo πŸ™‚


    • Wow. Here’s a sight for sore eyes !! Hello Carolyn my sweetheart πŸ˜€ I just checked your blog and you are still not back posting yet. I hope everything is okay.
      Little body !! Hey I’m 6’5″ and it’s cloudy up here !! πŸ˜‰
      Thanks for your lovely comment and support. Big kiss. Ralph xox πŸ˜€


  26. So sad that it takes so many mistakes until the right one comes along, be grateful for tender mercies and we shall pray for you. πŸ™‚


    • Hi Debby πŸ˜€
      Mistakes !! In spades !! My GP thought I had Parkinson’s. The ward doctor thought that I was depressed. The original Neurologist thought it was genetic, no hope of a cure. I thought I was stressed. The only two doctors, Gonzalez, from day 1, (my case doctor) and Ortiz (my new Neurologist), both young, think it’s an excessive protein problem which can be treated. I hope they are right πŸ˜€
      Thanks for your prayers my friend. Ralph xox πŸ˜€


      • So glad you are finally on the right path, do keep us posted, and I’m sure you will! Have a lovely weekend πŸ™‚


      • I don’t want Bluefish Way to turn into a medical blog, but I may do the odd post if something odd happens ….. odd with me is normal πŸ™„ Happy days Debby !! xox


    • This award is a sweet kind thought my friend. Thank you so much. I will accept your generous thought but not the award as I don’t do them. Have a happy weekend Sheri. Ralph xox πŸ˜€


  27. Nice hat, Ralph. It’s good you’ve got a doctor who is competent. So many aren’t these days. As for the spinal tap…I hope it’s over quickly for you. I’ve heard about those and really hope I can get through this life without having one. Warm Wishes – Julie


    • Hello Julie πŸ˜€
      Ooooh. Yuk !! That tap is the one test I am dreading. Hold my hand !! Ralph xox πŸ˜€


  28. Hi Ralph, you are fortunate that you have a young πŸ™‚ doctor and you are in good new hands ! These lovely photos of you on the pony and when you were a soldier, what a handsome man, and you still are πŸ™‚ Wish you a wonderful weekend and see you ! Xoxo


    • Oooh !! Another friend for life with such a handsome comment Shiro. You are pretty good looking yourself πŸ˜€ Ralph xox πŸ˜€


  29. You rode that pony all the way to the hospital? Anyway, I feel for you Ralph! I’m sorry that you have to deal with all this medical grief. I’m sending lots and lots of happy thoughts and good vibes your way!!! Celeste πŸ™‚


    • *clippity clop. clippity clop* The doctors will either put me in a field, send me to the knacker’s yard or my favourite ….send me to a stud farm 😯

      Thanks Celeste my friend for your caring words πŸ˜€


  30. Oh Ralph, I am so sorry to hear about this latest adventure and certainly hope this new neurologist is on the right track. The not knowing seems the most frustrating piece. I am sending positive energy your way dear sir. On another note, you are quite the looker! πŸ™‚


    • Thank you so much for your uplifting comment my friend. The younger doctors do seem to be more switched on with the latest techniques and really want to help. Of course, being eye candy helps as well πŸ˜‰
      The not knowing was very frustrating for me. It’s still not proven yet that excess protein is my problem but I should know once the results of the next batch of tests come in.
      I do hope you both are improving. Ralph xox πŸ˜€


      • Great !! I shall delete you from my “pain in the butt” list then πŸ˜‰ xox


      • Good to know I am no longer on that list, for many reasons! πŸ™‚


      • Are there more than 2 reasons ?? Tell me more ….. all the juicy bits. No one reads these comments, not enough juicy bits ….. until now !! πŸ˜‰ xox


      • You are crazy, and since no one reads these comments, that is why I love you! Don’t tell my husband, ok?! πŸ™‚


  31. Hola Ralph, I am thinking of you and sending you lots of prayers for healing and hugs too. Your attitude is contagious and I am happy that you are drug and pain free. Sorry about the wonky legs ~ so sorry about the yukky tests that you have to wait for! Phooey ~ just enjoy every moment in your life ~ you are special, you are loved and you have a lot of support here! Abrazos!


    • Hi Claire πŸ˜€ Love your comment. My madness is untreatable unless you know someone who has a talking ceramic cow who can advise me ? πŸ˜‰ Ralph xox πŸ˜€


  32. You know what Ralph… You are adorable! For sooo many reasons. But most of all, YOUR SPIRIT!
    Love, love, love the pics! The military one could easily be the cover of “Life” magazine at the time…
    I am sure you will soon have all the answers you need for this battle… and armed with knowledge and your spirit, victory will be yours )
    Take care my friend; Kisses*** & hugs \( * – * )/


    • Hi Pelly, my dear friend πŸ˜€ I wish there was a “real” key on my laptop so that I could give you a big hug and a kiss for your lovely comment. You take care as well amiga. Ralph xoxox πŸ˜€


    • Hi Mary πŸ˜€ I am going to have to read your blog from Day 1 I think !! Are you still looking for your swimsuit ? πŸ˜‰ Ralph xox πŸ˜€


  33. Hey Ralph, not sure what your diet is like, but may I encourage you to try eating a whole food plant based diet (fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans) for a month or so to see how you feel. Pineapple, ginger, tumeric, garlic, onion etc.. are great to include in your diet. Stay away from animal based foods, as meat and dairy are pro inflammatory. Sugars, oils, trans fat, alcohol, refined grains, and artificial additives all spur inflammation. Inflammation is part of the body’s immune response; without it, we can’t heal. But when it’s out of control, it can damage the body. Foods high in sugar and saturated fat can cause overactivity in the immune system, which can lead to a list of health problems. Please know that I’ll be thinking and praying for you. Btw, I love your photos, what a good looking fellow πŸ˜‰


    • Hi Abby πŸ˜€
      Thank you so much for your advice, thought and prayers. You are really switched on concerning my diet. Valerie also gave me dietary advice. I could do with someone like you in my life. The doctors have not mentioned diet at all.
      I have a young Spanish neighbour who has been cooking a three course meal every night for over a year now. She has a slight medical problem which means no red meat but we eat white meat and fish. Because she cooks the same for her family I do not wish to be an extra burden on her by eating differently. I published this post soon after she began cooking for me:
      You are so sweet and caring my friend. Ralph xox πŸ˜€


      • I understand. I’m glad you have someone like your neighbor to help with your meals. Maybe you can ask her while she’s there to just chop some extra fruits or vegetables for you to munch on during the day. Some fruits and veggies don’t even require chopping like grapes, berries, apples, pears, bananas… Also cooking whole grains and beans doesn’t require the use of knives. All you need is water and a pot to cook your grains (with spices of course and no oil). The beans you can soak the night before and cook them in a pot also with water and spices. A crockpot is a good kitchen tool to have. Hope I’m not bothering you too much. I care about you even though we’ve only gotten to know each other for a short time. There’s something about you that is just sweet and contagious. We need more people like you in the world, Ralphie πŸ˜‰ So take care of yourself!


      • Toni will be here for a couple of hours on Sunday cleaning my apartment so I will translate your two lovely comments into Spanish and I’ll let you know what she says. Thanks again Abby for caring and NO you are not bothering me by any means. πŸ˜€ xox


      • Hi Abby. Toni read your comments and we will work something out this week. Thank you so much for caring. πŸ˜€ xox


  34. This was hilarious and so appropriate to use your darling pictures of yourself all through the years or the day, as it were!


    • Hehe !! Thanks Robin πŸ˜€ I had a lot of fun drafting this post and I am so pleased that you enjoyed reading it. Ralph xox πŸ˜€


  35. Not having Parkinsons is at least a bit of good news since that is progressive and incurable. Hopefully whatever ails you is not nearly as bad.


    • Thank you for your lovely comment LB πŸ˜€ I will soon know within a few months one way or the other. Please keep posting as I do enjoy your blog. Ralph xox πŸ˜€


    • Whah !! Panic !! A week to go ! I do hope you are right ! Ralph xox πŸ˜€


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