Easter comes late this year. Frenetic Brexit politics – the Westminster establishment fighting to overturn the ‘popular vote’. So sad.
Last week I gave a lecture at an ‘immuno-therapy’ meeting in Madrid. Three hundred attendees, including representatives of the Spanish patients’ APS Society. The atmosphere was fantastic. So many doctors (and patients’) wanting to learn more about our syndrome.
February is the month for the Barcelona ‘Ten Topics’ meeting – an outstanding annual event – and this year was no exception. A brilliant two day meeting, this year attracting 230 trainee doctors.
The atmosphere was wonderful – a packed auditorium and a mega volume noise level in the coffee break. As in previous years (the Barcelona Ten Topics meeting is 21 years old this year) there was an emphasis on Lupus and Hughes syndrome, and the meeting was enlivened by a series of “pavement consults” (an idea borrowed from America I think, in which difficult cases are discussed by a small team of experts).
Professor Graham Hughes, Head of the London Lupus Centre at London Bridge Hospital, has been selected to receive the Hamdan Award for Medical Research Excellence in the field of Rheumatology.
My colleague and friend Munther Khamashta gave me a wonderful book of quotations of Dr. William Osler. Such an inspiration – a doctor who combined day to day clinical practice with teaching and clinical research. His papers include one of the early descriptions of systemic lupus in 1895.
One of his quotations concerns stroke – the subject of today’s ‘patient of the month’. “The chief difficulty in deciding upon a method of treatment (of stroke) is to determine whether the apoplexy is due to haemorrhage or to thrombosis.”
The year 2018 ended with a whimper – mild and grey. No snow in London thank goodness. For me the medical highlight of the month (and the year) was the awarding of The Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid al Maktoum award for medical services – an international medical prize awarded by the Dubai Royal family every two years – for me an immense honour. The prize was presented by Sheikh Hamdan in an impressive ceremony in Dubai.
It was awarded for the description of Hughes syndrome – “one of the two most important disorders discovered in the late 20thcentury” according to his Highness.
You can imagine how touched I was to be awarded this truly international honour.