Just When You Think You Have Got It All Figured Out – You find you haven’t at all AGAIN!!
Now It is Addison’s Disease
COPD is the most annoying illness especially when you start getting other things that exacerbate it. I was thinking the other day if all I had to cope with was the COPD then I would be laughing. Very few of us just have this one illness to contend with. Mine first started with Asthma which developed into COPD and this past year I have annoyingly developed Diabetes type 2 from overeating carbs whilst I stopped smoking seven years ago! Well, at least I am honest and will admit that my diet was not perfect but crikey what bad luck to get that as a reward for giving up on the cigs! But is this so simple after all. Throughout the last couple of years I have had quite a few annoying symptoms which the doctors have been treating separately. When I was told last year I was developing Diabetes Type 2 and then palpatations and a high pluse rate none of this was investigated much I was just put on tablets. My immune system was out of wack and I had been over the past few years getting a lot of chest infections. Doctors seem to put on the blinkers if you say you are tired all they see is the COPD.
Hence the fact that I have not written as regularly as I used to do on my blog. I was definitely feeling very off it, to say the least! However, an insight to why I had all these problems came in a very odd way and I found that all my visits to Wythenshaw this year were not a complete wast of time and some good came out of the suffering I went through for my PIP claim.
During the time I was visiting Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester I had a lot of blood tests. Wythenshawe is an infection hospital so they were looking for reasons why I was not stable. AND while I was asking for letters to claim for my PIP claim I noticed on one of these letters that I obtained from my GP that in April my Serum Cortisol was less than 20 and it had been suggested that I needed a synacthen stimulation test to diagnose Addison’s Disease. Also I was very short of some antibodies and needed several boosters. I immediately contacted my doctor who did another Serum Cortisol test and gave me all the antibodies that were requested through injections. My Serum Cortisol test came back at about 71 which is still far too low it should be 400 first thing in the morning. I have now been referred to the endocrinology department and have been put on a small amount of Hydro-cortisone until I get to see them on the 23rd of November as there is a long waiting list. Apparently if I feel unwell with an infection or exacerbation I have to double the dose while I am ill. I really don’t understand much about this illness but I feel that I have been wrongly diagnosed last year with my heart palpitations and tiredness and swollen body because you can get a fast heart rate, fluid retention and tiredness with very low cortisol also you can get that very dry mouth that is associated with Diabetes and I thought mine was through that! In one article I have read it says that Addison’s can mess with your blood sugars and many people with Addison’s have diabetes type 2, so lets see what happens after correct treatment.
After enquiring at the hospital through PALS I have found out that I have NEVER had my cortisol checked before so goodness knows how long I have had it and it is a very dangerous disease if left untreated!
I will keep you all posted as I learn more about this disease so that you too can learn in case it ever happens to you. I must admit I have had a very stressful life and also being on steroids a lot last year will not have helped but it can’t be the only reason!
What worries me the most is what would have happened if I had not noticed the note in my letter from Wythenshawe how long would I have had to feel like this before anything was done UNBELIEVABLE!!!!
THIS WEEK HAS NOT BEEN ALL BAD –
My daughter and I managed to book premium seats to watch Westlife in Sheffield when they visit in June so I have something to work for there losing weight and trying to get fitter hopefully my energy will be back by Christmas so I will have 6 months to work with. Here is their performance in Manchester in 2012 hope it is as good as that my daughter has always been such a big fan so had to take her! She is 30 and has never seen them live before.
My Run-in with Diabetes Type Two – Which I thought was the final part of the Puzzle until now I really think the Puzzle is still ongoing now!
I was never aware that Diabetes Type Two could cause such a lot of problems. I had my yearly sugar blood test which is called a HbA1c and it was 77 which is quite high or higher than I would like it to be. I immediately started to read up about the subject and realised that this was not a condition to mess about with. I signed up to all the diabetes UK sites and read as much as possible about the subject. I had been used to dieting in the past but this was a completely different diet for me. Everything I had learnt in the past I had to throw out of the window. Living a low carb, low sugar life was going to be quite a challenge and a steep learning curve for me. And, I realised just how much I had relied on Carbs in the past. They had been my whole diet! I actually lived on Carbs alone no wonder my sugar levels were spiking. One web site which I find very useful is the Low Carb Program (this is a link for the site), you need to register with them it only takes a few minutes to complete and then you get loads of help via recipes and weekly targets. I also find that My Fitness Pal is very useful. I use this several times a day I put my food into it and it gives me a value for how much carbs and sugar are in the food immediately, I have changed the Carb and Sugar levels to suit my diet. Obviously, I put the food and amount in before I eat it to check it doesn’t go over the Carb and Sugar levels that I require for that meal. You find that on the diet you tend to eat a lot of protein and vedge. Fish is very good but I must admit I miss my potatoes and bread. Fruit can be difficult because it has quite a bit of sugar in but I manage to fit some in every day. My fluid retention has now gone and I don’t look like Michelin Man any longer, thank goodness and I am not thirsty constantly or have a dry mouth anymore so it is well worth sticking to and my breathing is also improved. It is too big a pay off to stray from the diet.
THE NEWCASTLE UNIVERSITY STUDY – To reverse diabetes type 2
At the moment a program is running on ITV called the Fast Fix – Diabetes. This involves eating just 800 calories a day from meal replacement shakes and soups. You also drink three litres of water a day.
The theory behind the diet, which is the brainchild of Roy Taylor, professor of medicine and metabolism at Newcastle University, is based on the fact that type 2 diabetes is often caused by fat clogging up the liver and pancreas, which are crucial in producing insulin and controlling blood sugar.
This is why weight gain is such a risk factor for the condition, particularly if that weight is carried around the belly and abdomen like mine! (probably due to the steroids I have been taking for the past few years). Some people seem to be disposed to accumulating fat in the liver and pancreas. When on a very low-calorie diet Professor Taylor’s studies have shown that it causes the body to go into starvation mode and burn fat stores for energy — and the fat around the organs seems to be targeted first.
This leads to the liver and pancreas becoming unclogged, and insulin and blood sugar levels returning to normal. I have been dieting now for 10 days but not on a constant low-calorie diet of only 800 calories a day. I will now concentrate on keeping my calorie intake down to 800 and let you all know how I get on. I won’t be able to use meal replacement shakes as they are too expensive so I will be doing the more economical way of cutting back carbs and sugar and keeping my calories below 800 a day using the My Fitness Pal App which counts your calories for you.
How do we carry on with this illness it can be terrible at times in those black times when you are in the middle of an exacerbation and you can hardly breathe, you cant walk, you cant eat and you can barely speak just remember not all days are as bad as this. It’s a bad breathing day or days, not a bad life. Love the songs from this lady who has breathing problems it is called Be Brave and that’s what we have to do!
There is no point in giving up with this illness!
SUMMER RESOLUTIONS –
STOP SMOKING!! MAKE IT YOUR SUMMER RESOLUTION. It is the one major beneficial thing that you can do for yourself. I have some posts on this and the following links will lead you to them and I hope they will help you to Quit like I have done.
FEATURED POSTS – SEE LEFT SIDE PANEL FOR OTHER POSTS
COPD – WHEN THINGS GET OUT OF CONTROL
How to Manage Your COPD Like a Respiratory Therapist – Part 1 and Part 2 this is a great piece by My COPD Team which is a social network for those living with COPD.
My trip to see the Wigan Warblers and the COPD Athlete – Includes reversing the downward spiral
MY PIP EXPERIENCE – A complete fiasco!
Lung Reduction Surgery, Valves, Coils and Further New Developments
The 10-Step Program – does it work? – GREAT BOOK
A Short Walk a Day Helps COPD Patients Stay Out of the Hospital
TVs Nadia Sawalha Highlights the Struggle COPD Sufferers Have Every Day
Keep fighting there is no other way with this illness. Don’t just sit back and think things will get better. The following is a link to a two-part post which I have edited from My COPD Team which gives you ideas how to do this. See – How to Manage Your COPD Like a Respiratory Therapist – Part 1 and Part 2.
NO MATTER HOW PAINFUL DO YOUR PULMONARY EXERCISES!!!
A bit of fun is always in order exercising to this song always cheers me up –
‘We Are Breathless, Not Hopeless’
WHAT MOTIVATES YOU ON A BAD DAY? – Some of my biggest motivators!
MUSIC – THIS IS SO GOOD FOR THE LUNGS
What keeps me going with this illness on my bad days when I am stuck in is MUSIC and my taste is very diverse. From the tacky to the classics. I discovered YouTube and all the free entertainment, just a click away. I have always loved singing even when I am told I can’t sing by my family (so cruel). Music has always been a big motivator for me, it has also been proven to be a great exercise for the lungs. Hey Google it, and see what you find! In the meantime sing along with one of my favorite songs below.
CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN I AM SO THANKFUL TO HAVE THESE LITTLE PEOPLE IN MY LIFE!
My children and my Grandchildren are my greatest motivators. They enrich my life so very much you just can’t feel sorry for yourself when those little faces are about. Its awesome when you think you have created all these people.
She has really given me some perspective over this illness she has pulled me up and yes at times ground me down However if it hadn’t been for her perseverance I don’t think I would have been able to give up the Cigs and stick to my diet and exercise. She showed me I could do it and I couldn’t let her down now could I?