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.
It’s wonderful when one gets to a meeting or a conference which is both outstanding, and at the same time, somewhat outside ones own circle of expertise or experience.
So, a while ago, I found myself in a conference on metal allergies. Organised by my good friend Dr Shideh Pouria, one of the UK’s leading experts on allergic diseases. Pressed by Shideh to attend, (and being free on that particular Friday) I was hooked. So many lessons. How many of my more ‘difficult to diagnose’ patients attending my Lupus, Sjogren’s and Hughes Syndrome clinics have similar clinical pictures to those discussed in this meeting – the headaches, the aches and pains (and ‘fibromyalgia’), the fatigue.
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