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Still asking for responses to managing difficulties…

When I encounter someone with a problem they find hard to manage, I ask how they can break it into ‘bitesize’ pieces. One lady found it hard to do her vacuuming, so eventually she decided to vacuum one room at a time.

With my breathing problems, I need to sit often and stay calm. I have always enjoyed gardening, but now I must use patio planters and pots, though a small flowerbed I made with help is flourishing. I am filling it with perennials in shades of blue, purple, pink, and white with a bit of ivy to trail out. It will jostle with flowers from early spring through summer. But now, new neighbours have been making a nuisance by drilling holes into public land to hold their back gates open. (What happened to wanting some privacy?) This has affected my access through my gates, deliveries, collections, tradesmen etc. Sam, my lovely friend, hurt her back by having to close their gate nearest to me so she could take some paving slabs.

So I am less relaxed in my garden on my own, and today after I had planted two plants I was hearing my neighbour making lots of noise in their garden and my chest became tight. I had to go to my doctor’s practice to be nebulised. My doctor asked if I had any anxiety, and when he returned to me I told him about my neighbours . He expressed his dismay and incidentally suggested a new medicine that helps prevent allergies exacerbate inflamed lungs.

I am a good self manager, I just need an intervention now and then and more in summer.

How do you manage your stresses? Do you have good strategies or are you still looking for new ones? I’d love to hear your thoughts please.

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Sunburnt but coping.

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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