Making a Difference

I taught two sessions today with this as the theme.

The first was a rehearsal with a Yr12 student, working on the phrasings and dynamics in her Mozart piece. The second was the weekly Pastoral lesson with my 7th Grade form class. Of course they swung the ball into their court, and we discussed the issues of school uniform and litter. Hugely important in the lives of 11 year olds. But not, I would imagine, as important as the performance markings in that earlier Mozart session with my sixth former.

Today though, what has made a difference to me has been the huge psychological impact of my getting by, pretty well, on just 3 tiny little red pills.

Yes, after two really erratic breathing nights and a rather larger degree of Air Trapping than I am used to, I decided I’d get on and bite the bullet, or rather swallow 15mg, thus continuing with my taper at a time when many would have had me increasing my dose back up to 40 mg. I see this as a huge positive actually, something truly making an emotional difference.

So what is it with these pills?

They’re only tiny red dots, chalk, flour, a bit of colouring: and the prednisolone! How do they make such a difference?

I have never been of the frame of mind that they change anything but the level of inflammation in my lungs, but apparently I am a monster on them. Apparently I grow horns or antlers. Apparently I snort fire and scrape my right front ‘hoof’ on the floor…(Toréador, en garde!) I suppose on a larger dose, maybe, but as I taper the milligrams, I also return to normalcy, those antlers shrink, and I regain a less befuzzled head, and become little, sweet me again.

We all battle with this drug, some more than others. I am very lucky that I do manage to get off of it for whatever periods of time between big flares and the inevitable 40mg courses of it. I had been surviving for a period of time on a maintenance dose of 10mg but the melting snow got to my lungs, two weeks ago and the breath of life needed the scaffolding, encore.

Incredibly I must be on a high. It is Friday, my working ‘week’ is done, and went so very well, and, I have again, incredibly managed a swim, breathing pretty securely and rhythmically. On just 15mg?! It is bizarre.

I plan to mind over matter the rest of this taper. I have 4 days now to rest and recoup some degree of lung strength. I should also be using my oxygen more in the evenings-I’ve been very SOB recently even before these last two evenings of out of control hyperinflation. We’ll see…..I can but plan. Protocol can take a hike, if I feel I can cope, I will do anything to make a difference in this lung journey of mine.

Throw away those text books!


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