Downhill Ski-ing on this Journey

I realise that my blog posts about my health are getting farther and farther apart. This is partly due to the honesty I invest in telling my truth, and also because it’s just plain harder to say, as it snowballs with negative facts. Fortunately, I don’t let those facts overcome me, in my everyday living.

So, last Saturday, well ten days ago, I woke at around four a.m and found I could barely breathe. My chest felt like a brick and my windpipe was whistling. So my carer called the NHS number we need to call, and before I could protest, an ambulance arrived with three paramedics. I qualified for three. (I don’t know why there were three. They were all very nice. One was obviously very senior in rank.) It all goes to make these visits, which are becoming more and more frequent, more interesting and good humoured.

I had to go through all the reasons why I now try very hard to stay out of the Emergency Room, which they accepted and after some discussion, they nebulised me. I found it very hard to inhale the stuff as my breathing was so irregular, and felt only slightly better afterwards. Then I was given another nebuliser. That was a surprise. But apparently they can keep giving them. I get the shakes as a side effect,  but I don’t care that much if I can breathe better. Then I was asked if I had ever been intubated because of my breathing? I felt alarmed. No. (And let’s not start now, I thought.) But this question was part of amore in depth discussion of my breathing problems and the cause, the treatment, and photos of the senior guy’s little girl.

A call was made to the On Call doctor, and a lengthy chat was had, most of which I missed because the other two paramedics kept asking me things. Then I was told the duty doctor would visit within two hours and prescribe antibiotics and that from then on I would need to have antibiotics in the house at all times. This will avoid waiting for scripts to be written and filled, especially at weekends.

The duty doctor did come and write a prescription. My carer got it filled and I started the course as soon as I could. Each day there was one dose of six tablets, plus three more single tablets spaced out over the twenty-four hour day. I soon experienced side effects,   like nausea, clamminess, and loss of appetite. At almost the end of the antibiotics, I spiked a temperature and was wheezing again, which made me a little nervous, but it passed. I slept a great deal and am now recovered.

That was actually the second ambulance that attended me that week. A few days before the events I’ve described, my carer called the non-emergency number because I’d had increasing pain in my chest. That one arrived with siren as well as lights. Now I understand that some of the pain I get in my chest and shoulder is referred pain from my diaphragm, which is a bit out of place and somewhat stressed. An ECG showed that my heart is somewhat stressed too, but that what it shows is normal for me. This makes me think that there’s almost nothing normal  about me. But I’m okay with that. I like to be outstanding.

As I write, I’m expecting a call from my own doctor. To chat about events and how to go forward. Nothing I haven’t mentioned here, though. I find all this palaver tedious. Why can’t it just be input into a computer and updated? I’m no expert on my health, I’m only expert at what seems to work for me and especially at what doesn’t.

I’m so looking forward to my daughter’s return from her holiday. I’ve missed her so much. I’m enjoying looking at Instagram and seeing all sorts of fascinating and beautiful photos and videos from around the world. It’s really brought me joy and wonder. So there are many ways to stay happy and cheerful. And with a dog like mine, laughter is never far away.

By Chrisssie Morris Brady

I've read poetry since I was nine and have written creatively since I was fourteen (probably long before that). After writing book reviews and social comment, I decided I wanted to write poetry. I have no formal training, but I surround myself with poets and their writing. I am honing my craft.
I have two published collections which I don't feel good about, but have been published by and other publications. I live on the south coast of England with my daughter. I am seriously ill.

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