I couldn’t believe that when Adam came home at lunch time yesterday he picked up a letter that had arrived during the morning. I knew from the envelope that it was from the hospital, something that filled me with dread, it was a feeling that was totally correct. Once again they had moved my appointment to see the chest specialist, we had booked the return visit as we left after seeing the doctor at the end of June having been given the news that it was COPD and all that went with it, the originally had been booked for October. I received a letter in August, shifting my appointment to the 23 December, I did try then to change the appointment there and then as it was for a late morning slot, something that from experience I knew would be a problem due to the Ambulance service. The only alternative appointment they could offer that was in the morning would have meant waiting until February, I reluctantly accepted that December it would have to be. My new appointment according to the letter was to be on the 14th February, I just couldn’t believe it, another shift and even further away and with the way things had been in the last week, I just couldn’t accept I was to wait even longer.
Even as I wrote yesterday, I was running through the possibilities of managing until December. I had for the whole of the last week known that the only person who could help me is Dr Andrews, my GP could only give me more morphine to get me through the time in between and as you know even that isn’t something I want to do. It may be all that the my consultant can do, but at least I would know then that there really isn’t an alternative. Rightly or wrongly I have pinned my hopes on him as the person who will already be aware of all the options. I kept looking at that letter again and again yesterday, trying to work out what I could possibly do to get through 3 months with a pain that is destroying me daily. I just couldn’t even imagine how I would be by that point, especially as I had been forced through yesterday into taking two morphine boosts to get me through just one day. I know that letter hadn’t helped as it was distressing me and as we all know stress just increases pain of all sorts. I did anything that I could think of to take my mind off it, I even went to war with my bed, locating all the straps for the elevator and putting my entire weight onto the end of each to tighten them as much as possible. I can report that after two full uses of the elevator it hasn’t stuck or shifted itself off the side of the bed, fingers crossed, I might have made a difference.
I know it’s because of the damage done by my lesions, but I can’t help getting wound up but things like that letter, it has the effect of making me more and more tense and emotions that aren’t just on the surface, they are worn inches beyond that. It isn’t the job of those who make appointments at the hospital to see a doctor to know these things, but I can’t help feeling that there has to be a better system some where, rather than blank form letters appearing and causing distress. I also think that it is unacceptable to keep changing and shuffling appointments like that, moved once, well that happens but to move it again, is going to distress anyone. I have found it distressing enough, I can imagine that many especially the elderly may fine it devastating. With so many years of living with poor health and pain, I have I supposed learned to live with things like this, even if I don’t like it. If you were someone who have just one condition and you had been diagnosed with it as I was with the COPD in June, the diagnosis is highly distressing alone, as your lungs are very much needed, but to have your follow up appointment moved and moved again, whilst having to go through all that my lungs have done to me in 4 months, well I can clearly see it being just too much for many to deal with.
Thanks to my medication I slept fine, but when I was awake despite what should have been a placid zombie sat there, I was doing things I shouldn’t in an attempt to calm myself down. It didn’t matter what I did all that kept running around in my head was how was I going to manage all the way to February, I felt as thought I was being forced even more so into doing what I didn’t want to do. By the time Adam came home I was more settled but I still wasn’t happy, my boosts had worn off and I was relieved to find that the pain was actually much reduced from where it had been in the morning. I don’t know if by calming it as I did had somehow acted like a dampener to the over all causes of the pain, but something was different. I had felt all day the spasms still happening but the worst of the pain and most of the discomfort was reduced as I expected, yet for that to continue all day didn’t quite add up. I am guessing that the morphines relaxing qualities had managed to break the cycle, resting it far enough for it to have settled down a little.
This morning I once again have a raised level of pain from where it was last night, but lower than previously and I am managing again on my normal meds, a small mercy to rejoice over. I decided that I would phone the hospital and see if I could at least get a better time of day for the appointment, I had this fear that I was simply going to given an appointment that would be even further away. I had been play through in my head what sort of range I would be happy with and if it meant getting a morning over an afternoon, well what difference would one more month make. I dialled the number ready for disappointment similar to the one I have every time I call them. I was surprise to find that the person who answered the call was human and not the normal robotic creature with out a personality, she was so nice that when I explained my situation, she listened and then set out to find a cancellation for me and she did, I am now going to be at the clinic on next Monday the 25th November. I was totally astounded and once I had thanked her I set off to book the ambulance, which is now done as well without out a hitch. Yes I am happy and yes I can make it through to next week!