Yesterday afternoon I went to post an important letter and my lungs felt like lead. They haven’t felt like that since I had pneumonia a long time ago. But I felt alert and interested in life, whereas with pneumonia one is listless and passive.
I got home and phoned my medical practice. They had the duty doctor phone me and he made a home visit. This meant that if I needed to be admitted to hospital, I could go straight to a ward rather than through the ED.
My doctor (I have known him since my daughter was four as our children attended the same schools) recorded my tachycardia, respiratory rate etc and then gave me a double nebulizer. It worked well, and I was no longer gasping in between words. To be on the safe side, he prescribed more antibiotics and more steroids. This concerns me but I need to trust and know I am in safe hands. This doctor has won my trust, which says a lot. The last doctor I trusted retired early about 18 months before my Dad died. I was angry at him, and it was a bereavement.
It took me until after 4am to sleep because of the trembling and stimulus to my nervous system. I’m told that salbutamol does not cross into the brain, but boy, it does make me high. I usually resort to drinking some alcohol to bring me ‘down’ so that sleep can come.
My friend fetched my prescription for steroids, the antibiotics had been delivered earlier by the pharmacy as I need some in the house at all times. I slept late and rested with my friend in the garden with a cup of tea, chatting. This afternoon, friends came and we did gardening, though I mostly supervised. I now have some solar lights for evenings, decorative ones, and a water feature that gives that relaxing sound of water running…
I am tired, but so grateful for a good day without wheezing or gasping. I am learning not to be so spontaneous about gardening, a little at a time and stop. Weeds can be beautiful too.
I am sunburnt, stingingly burnt. Medication has already changed my hair, and now it is changing my skin. I am learning a new me. A frailer, but still pushing on, grateful for the help and love of my friends. Being delighted with what I see everyday.
Mostly, I am learning to ask others to spare me exerting unnecessary energy. It’s a hard lesson.
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