All last week Adam was grumpy and rather down, not surprising as he had a rotten cold. I was really dreading catching it, but the days ticked by and as they passed I slowly relaxed and came to the conclusion that I had been lucky and had escaped it. All day yesterday I was fighting with my lungs, there was no comparison between how they were when I woke and how they were when I was sat watching TV last night. The morning was almost normal, just a bit of pain that I kept putting down to the fact I didn’t seem to be able to keep my posture right. In fact, that was how I spent nearly all of the first half of the day, catching myself beginning to crumple and having to pull myself up from my core, over and over and over again. By lunch time I had developed the feeling that my chest had compression bandages around all of it but still the word “cold” didn’t enter my head. Nor did it when I started suddenly drinking gallons of liquid as though it was going out of fashion. By the evening, I couldn’t find any position in which I could sit without incredible pain in the back of my lungs when hunched forward and when sitting back, I simply couldn’t get enough air inside me. I didn’t feel anything that would suggest it, or that it wasn’t just my COPD and PRMS working together. I was totally delighted when bedtime came around, even when I found that the simple vibration caused when just taking a step was enough to have me dreaming about a booster pill. I knew I was a mess and I had had enough for the day.
I woke in the middle of the night, all that fluid that I had been wondering where it had gone, had suddenly decided it wanted to leave. As soon as I pulled myself up I knew I had a headache and clearly had that taste in the back of my throat that said phlegm. I now know it is coming from my lungs, the occasional cough is enough to prove that, but there isn’t any wheezing or anything like that. Once actually on my feet I could feel that ache all over me, on one hand not odd, but somehow different. By the time I woke this morning, all my glands were welcoming me by reminding me of their presence and position. It still doesn’t feel like a cold, but I don’t need any doctor to tell me that I am not well.
I have spent a lot of my life with different lung problems. Firstly, Asthma, which hasn’t bothered me that much since I became housebound. Just the occasional breathlessness when active, if you can call it active. As long as I keep myself warm, well fed and dry, I can keep my other friend bronchitis at bay. Put me in a cold or damp room for just one night and I won’t be able to breath the next day. It is another condition that is on my personal list of chronic conditions, as most winters brought at least one bought, often many more. I, like a lot of other people, found that just having the flu jab, for some reason to keep both bronchitis and colds at bay. Being housebound of course means I can’t attend the doctors to get the annual jab, it also means that I don’t come in contact with sick people as Adam is normally healthy. When I was told that I had COPD and that on top of that my PRMS was doing its damnedest to stop me breathing. I went through a short spell of paranoia about Adam bringing something home. Luckily, he gets the jab due to his work, so I have remained free of any extra lung problems for many years now, but I have always been waiting for it. Being ill on top of a chronic condition isn’t funny, one of the reasons why I fought so hard to stay fit while my body would let me, as when I got ill, I was really ill. When your immune system is busy destroying you, it isn’t that interested in fighting off some bug. Half the time it just ignored it and I have managed to land up in hospital three times with bronchitis that changed into pneumonia. Trust me that’s a condition no one wants to have.
No one ever wants to be sick, but when you are living with other lifelong conditions you actually begin to fear it. The idea of what having a bout of bronchitis on top of my COPD is something I had avoided thinking about too deeply. I do worry about the fact that I spend more than half my life flat on my back, is the perfect position for fluids to congregate in my lungs and to do damage. Like many other things, you never have the correct discussions with doctors when you have them to hand. I never even thought about asking what do I do if I get a cold or have bronchitis? Should I call and get help straight away, or do I wait to see what happens? They aren’t a question I would need to ask if my COPD was further developed than it is, I would have already called a doctor, but I no one can stop my PRMS from constricting my lungs. I really didn’t need an example that should have been in yesterday’s post, in fact, it’s rather ironic this should appear today. I have always said that there should be well-written guides for everyone when they are first diagnosed. Within that literature, I would insist there were flow charts, ones that take away all those doubts and questions as the would be clear if this happens, do that if that, well do this. I am totally convinced that a lot of people land up going through things that could have been avoided if they just had a guide to help them.
The plan for today is to have my shower this afternoon, the way I feel at this second, well I can’t see that happening. What I can see with total clarity, is as soon as I can, I will be going to bed.
Read my blog from 2 years ago today – 12/06/13 – NHS roulette
I so love the British weather, last week it was out to kill me and this, well it’s returned to perfect conditions again. I wish there was somewhere that never got warmer than here, or colder either, well apart from a few days of snow per year, I would be so happy to live there. It seems to be a large part of being human that we are never totally happy with……