My 2nd Blogiversary!

January 11, 2012

…..So I’ve just realised, I’m celebrating 2 years of this blog!….

A lot has happened in the 200 posts I’ve written. It would be interesting to track back and re read. But the story continues. I’m a musician and a teacher with rather spurny lungs. Hence the title!

So what’s been happening recently?

Well this is my 2nd week back at school in the New Year too. I’m still saying Happy New Year to people as that’s how I am, and I am still hanging onto that feel good Christmas spirit even though the decorations are now down and packed away in the loft.

Today I’m in recovery from a nasty 24hr sickness bug, no doubt brought home from the germ factory, and my lungs are twitching away merrily. The weather is ridiculously mild and we could really do with a cold snap to kill of the lurgies.

My thoughts for 2012: To try and get that oboe played more. I’m cracking on with my reed making, have about a half dozen in the finishing stages-I’d like to get my oboe serviced and ship shape-it has gone a little to pot sitting in it’s case for the past 6 years. But that all depends on my lungs, which have been rather grotty lately. We’ll see.

And in a couple of weeks, we will be celebrating having had Anna-Bell for a whole year. Wow! That WILL be special!

…..Off to school now!…..



Happy New Year, 2012!

January 2, 2012

…..The Year of the London Olympics.
The Year of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Will you make it a year to remember?
I hope so!…..

2011 in review

January 2, 2012

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 19,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

A Cracking Christmas, 2011

December 30, 2011

…..It’s been the most amazing Christmas Period. Let me tell you why….

  • Julian and I have seen every single one of our relatives, close and distant, on both sides of the family. My cousin Mark’s wedding on the 10th of December brought together my Mum’s long lost brothers, their children, my cousins and their new babies. I haven’t seen such a gathering of my mother’s extended family since my Gran’s funeral a few years ago. And on Boxing Day all of Julian’s brother’s family-plus their au pair-came. Again we seldom see them! We have had several visits with Aunt Margaret-106 years old and still going strong, and on Thursday, Auntie Trudi arrived to stay with Kizzie for a days, from Portugal. It’s been an amazing and emotional gathering of all the various factions.
  • I’ve managed to stay pretty well. Well, no dashes to the hospital for Bipap, at any rate. And no horrendous chest infections like last year. And even though my neb and O2 usage is still greater than normal, I’m coping with my increased SOB, and I am getting out every day and walking the doglet and I have managed a few swims.
  • I’m seemingly playing my Oboe again. Spurred on by a new friend over the pond with a similar lung situation to mine, and an oboist with it! I even knocked up Jonny a couple of reeds and had a blow with him on our Fake New Year’s Day on Thursday!
  • We’ve laughed and laughed. So many funnies. Mum’s paper games were ace. Pomegranates anyone? Jonny’s F1 helmets quiz-OMG. I missed out on Oliver’s Simpsons quiz, but I’ve heard it should be on Mastermind. And I did fairly ok in Julian’s Film Posters quiz at our luncheon.
  • Anna-Bell has continued to make us proud and prove that she really is one of the family-the dearest sweetest little doglet, all dressed up in her Christmas finest. Everybody adores her , and has had a long cuddle with her, and we’ve now had her 11 months.

And just to prove it, here are a few photos from Rounds 1, 2 and 3. New Year’s Day is still to come, but you can bet it will be a blast!

…..What a brilliant time we had!…..

Happy holidays!

December 24, 2011

…..Anna-Bell just wanted to say…..

((…..You will not believe how hard this photo was to take-She kept nodding off!…..))

Surviving With SOB

December 19, 2011

…..So many people remark they are SOB, but I think we all deal with it and suffer from it differently…..

Whilst there are varying degrees of any symptom, there are also some pretty uniform ways of self helping your SOB. I do not profess that any of these truly work for the most severe of symptoms but on a day to day basis this is what I generally try to do to cope with mine. If like me you have a COPD element to your asthma then these steps will make sense and you may have already been taught them and/or PLB techniques.

  • I get myself in a comfortable position with the medicines I need to hand, and take them, an extra dose or two is not an overdose in this example!
  • I try to calm myself down and prevent panic. I reassure anyone I’m with so that they don’t panic and set me off. I always let them call for help if I feel I’m not getting my breathing under control. ((You can always cancel the call if you don’t need assistance.))
  • I find I like to go outside, or anywhere where the air quality is different-by a window for instance. I know that even if I’m gasping for air, there is still some oxygen going into my lungs. I tell myself I will be okay.
  • I try to relax shoulder and neck muscles. ((When we panic our muscles tighten and make it more difficult for the diaphragm to do its job of drawing air into our lungs.))
  •  I also know that I can’t draw air into my lungs if I already have stale air in there. So I stop trying to breathe for a moment-I actually practise breath holding for as many seconds as I can manage to slow myself down, it helps to relax and calm me.
  • I also slowly squeeze all the air out, using my stomach muscles as well. I try and breathe out for about a count of 8 to really empty my lungs before  I inhale as deep and as slow as I can manage. If it doesn’t feel like the air is going all the way in, I don’t worry about it – I know to just breathe out slowly, and breathe in slowly again.
  • Hopefully, after a few regulated breaths, I should start to feel things  are calming down and my lungs are “opening up” “better” and the air  is getting to where it’s needed. Remember this is how I deal with SOB episodes and not asthma attacks as such-I’m not talking about coping with the tightness, just the horrid air feeling of “air hunger”.
But please be wise and seek help and advice from your Doctor. I’m not a Doctor these are only my first hand ideas of how I get through the tough SOB times.
…..Peace of mind is worth a lot, and if your shortness of breath is caused by illness, early detection is your best bet for dealing with any problems that arise, oh, and maybe a trip to the ER for BiPap….

Hark, the Herald Angels Are Singing “It’s the Last Day of Term!”

December 16, 2011

…..The Christmas Holidays start TODAY!…..

The Newsflash!

  • I made it!
  • I’ve only had one day off sick this term!
  • I am actually more pleased with my teaching than I have been in recent years-(thanks to my lovely supportive department & colleagues)
A distant memory!
  • This time last year I was sick for 5 1/2 weeks-thankfully no repeat!

The Big However!

  • I still have a rotten sinusitis and earache and am rattling away here.
  • My lungs are struggling to keep up with my head, at around 40% and I’m finding the slightest thing tough.
  • It’s just started sleeting outside and snow is forecast for later today (Luckily the doglet has snow boots!)
  • All I want is a duvet day! (Tomorrow-legit!)

And if I have any puff left in these rattly old bellows, here’s an alternative carol for today:

Asthma Boys, Asthma Girls,

Wheezing all the way

Oh what fun it is to take

Loads of Pred a day!

Asthma Boys, Asthma Girls,

Coughing all the way

Oh What fun it is to take so

Many nebs a day!

….. Congratulations to all my Teacher colleagues for surviving another gruelling Autumn Term and for all my pupils for surviving my broken sentences!…..