Have not written a full post since being in hospital. I went in on Sunday the 7th February in the evening and I have been home now for four days. I am recovering but still finding it hard to get about and still have got a terrible chesty cough to get rid of and steroids to count down on again!!! These stubborn chest infections are such a nuisance and if there was a magic recipe or plan I could put into place that would eliminate them, I would start it right now. However, this does not seem to be the case, no matter what I have done, I just can’t get on top of them.
On a brighter note I was definitely better this time I was in hospital than I have been during the last four years. I usually spend a period of time in hospital every year and its always after Xmas and before April. One year I was in twice but every time it has been for more than 2 weeks and I have been really poorly not been able to walk or look after myself at all. This time my stay was for only 6 days and I was completely mobile and independent. I could shower and get myself to and from the toilet even dragging my blinking drip there and back too and with no oxygen. The staff who know me by now commented on how much I had improved and they liked this! It must be a change from seeing people just getting worse all the time. Because of their care I was very well looked after, the staff are so wonderful, I just can’t praise them enough, they are so very busy but always have time for a chat when they can. I did miss the television as they do not have beside-the-bed TVs on the chest ward, so I would like to do some funding to help with a few luxuries for the ward. Also, the curtains around the beds were very basic they were the disposable ones that they have in A and E. The staff said it was due to funding and that the ice machine they always used to have has not been replaced due to cuts. But they were all smiling and adjusting to less.
I was there during the Junior Doctors strike and had a word with a few Doctors about it as they were in and out all the time checking on my oxygen levels. Anyone who has had their oxygen gas tested knows how long it takes to get it done; my wrists are covered in bruises. So to take my mind off the pain the poor doctor was inflicting on me, I would ramble on about the strike. Talking to them makes you see the great injustice that is being done to them. One Junior Doctor I spoke to came to put my IV in at two in the morning and he had been working for 48 hours. How many of us would put up with this, definitely not any of Cameron’s Hench Men, I am sure. They have lost a generation of voters for their next election because I doubt very much if any Junior Doctors will ever vote Conservative again.
Well back to what have I done to considerably improve my position in the breathing steaks? I think it has been partly due to the fact that I have gained a bit more lung function from stopping smoking (which was over 3 years ago now) and I have been doing that bit of exercise that I told you about in one of my recent post, need to exercise. It really surprised me when I could walk and not have to wait for people to take me to the loo, wash me, change me etc. And then I realised that it was that bit of exercise I had done that must have caused this transformation. Talk about happy!! I was totally brimming with smiles realising that THIS EXERCISE IS WORKING!!! I had not really noticed any pay back for all the hard work I had done and I must admit was feeling a bit let down by all my effort and no rewards. So, all I can do now is carry on and see where further exercise will get me, a long way I hope! The problem with this illness (combined with aging), you get very out of condition and very quickly if you do not keep on top of your exercises and you do not realise how bad things have got until you try to do something. So now I am older and wiser and will get on quickly with my exercise routine, I am also going to ask my Doctor to refer me to PALs which is a scheme the council run and you get cheap gym membership and more specialised help, more on exercise.
A new thing that has come into my life is the community matron, I am getting a visit from her today, I will be glad because of my cough worsening this morning. We have to be vigilant because it is easy for an infection to flare back up again when you are low.
Well, my Community Matron has been while I was writing this post and she is lovely. I will have her help for three months to help me get back on my feet. She is there to help me recognise when I need to take my antibiotics, steroids, manage my nebuliser and also help me work out a safe exercise routine. She also has all the contacts for help in the home etc as and when I need it. During the next three months if I am feeling ill I have to ring her she will be my first point of call and she will come out and listen to my chest etc. So this is really great am very happy with the arrangement. And will be really happy when I can go swimming myself, will keep you posted on that one!