Andrew Pattinson graduated from the Royal College of Surgeons, England in 2011 as one of a group of about 93 other dental technicians as the first registered Clinical dental technicians in the UK.
Clinical dental technicians are permitted to work directly with patients who require dentures and can work with them without the supervision of a dentist. Andrew also owns another branch of this business named Funkygums mouth guards, he makes them for many famous customers from rugby, mixed martial arts, boxing and many other contact sports across the UK and the world. Andrew loved his life and his successful business he shared with his partner Lesa until the date it began to come apart.
Approximately one week before the 24th of march Andrew began to suffer from painful and swollen hands and feet, he was building some decking in the garden and assumed that was the cause of this swelling and pain.
On the 23rd his pain in his hands was unbearable and he could not cope with it, his partner, Lesa, phoned his doctor and made him an emergency appointment that day. In the afternoon Lesa drove Andrew to the doctors and after an examination was told he may have arthritis, a big injection of steroid was injected into his backside and the doctor said it should get the swelling and pain down within 3 days.
On the early morning at almost 1am of the 24th, Andrew’s life was changed.
Andrew suddenly woke that morning feeling extremely strange, he awoke and was trying to kiss his arm and Lisa’s arm but he did not have an epileptic fit as he can remember these moments. He called for his mother but although he could think of language he could not speak it? he then got out of the bed and sat on the toilet but he could not get off it even though his legs were working, he could not tell his partner that he needed some help and that he was extremely thirsty for water, he sat on the toilet for half an hour and eventually he managed to tell his body how to stand up.
Andrew went down to the kitchen and lay on the floor, he could not get up, his mind was thinking but he could not speak and was talking gibberish.
Andrew was sure he had experienced a stroke and he had begun to regain his speech. He asked Lesa if he had a drooping face caused by a stroke? his face was fine, there were no usual symptoms of a stroke.
During those morning hours Andrew had not slept and experienced the worst night since he had similar events when he was young and throughout his life. His partner took him to the hospital after some very angry moments Andrew had against his family with his partially regained language.
Once Andrew arrived at Cumberland infirmary hospital he swore at the first person he met and behaved very verbally aggressive to them, he was and is now extremely apologetic for upsetting the staff, it was not in his intention but was caused by his undiagnosed illness.
During his two days at the hospital he had brief collapses and also had brief episodes of odd speech that made no sense, he signed himself out due the lack of sleep because of the noise of the other patients. For the next week he visited the hospital and had x-rays and CT scans of his head, saw a Rheumatologist even though his hands had healed, and had a discussion with a consultant. His results from the CT scan had come back and Andrew was sure that every person in the ward was sure it was all in his imagination. The CT results had come back showing that his brain had many patches of white matter. The staff were shocked but the consultant Andrew had spoken with told him that even with the CT scans of the white matter he believed it was all in Andrews head, this made Andrew very unhappy and as he stood up to leave, the consultant said he would refer him to a neurologist.
For the next week Andrew went back to work and carried on working. He began to have fleeting numbness in the tip of fingers of his right hand which would change from one finger to another and would numb sections of skin on his arm which was also fleeting, he also had very severe anxiety.
At the weekend and over the next week Andrew began to have paralysis in parts of his right arm which started over short time but over the week would become paralysed for longer only in sections, eventually the whole arm and shoulder was completely paralysed and it stayed that way for two months. His face, scalp and tongue became tingling and numb , he also continued to have full collapses that only lasted seconds and had hallucination’s.
Andrew could no longer work because of his paralysed right arm so he booked an appointment with a doctor at his the practice, he saw the doctor with his paralysed arm and all the other symptoms and the doctor told him he was 95% sure Andrew had multiple sclerosis and wrote him a prescription for when he was diagnosed. Andrew’s appointment with the neurologist had just come through also and he attended that two weeks later. The neurologist consultant then told him it was not multiple sclerosis but it could be a tumour, an infection or vasculitis and referred him to the Liverpool Walton brain and spine centre.
Once Andrew was admitted to the Walton centre for two weeks. He had lumber punctures which were tested and came back 100% clear of infection or brain cancer. The consultants then decided to do a biopsy on his brain to test for a type of vasculitis, he was told that they were confident that this would be his diagnosis. They then Put him on to a drip of steroids for three days before the biopsy and put him on 12 steroid tablets after the drip.
Andrew was then visited by a Consultant who knew some very rare diseases and sent him for an angiography, this is a process which is done on the machine in the picture at the top of the web site. The Dr feeds a long, flexible, fine hose into the artery in the groin and feeds it through the body to the part of the body suspected of location of disease and a dye is released which shows on a moving x-ray and it is shown as a 3D image on the screen, With Andrew it was his brain.
Andrew lay there admiring the image of his brain veins and the Dr, dressed in the black next to the machine in the picture, he came next to Andrew and said “Andrew, you have MoyaMoya. The only treatment is an operation and within two months it must be done, if it is not done then you will loose the ability to speak and understand it or you could die”
Andrew was, at this point, so happy that he had been diagnosed, his arm was recovering and he was able to leave the hospital and go back to work. About two and a half months later due to a speech affecting mini stroke he was given an appointment for his approximately thirteen hour long Brain surgery, which will be told in a new story……….