A Non Specific Virus Strikes Me (AGAIN!)

March 31, 2011

….and specifically of the nausea, vomiting, stomach like water and head exploding type….

Oh, and did I mention the fever?

So our trip to Charing Cross Hospital on Monday for Julian’s biggie Endocrinology consultation had me picking up more than I bargained for. I guess two tube trains, two buses and 4 hours of trudging from multiple rooms to pharmacies to blood tests around a huge hospital is way too much to ask of my immune system which is already semi knocked out by the steroids.

Plus I have an Achilles stomach.

And by that, I mean my stomach does not function in the way an ordinary person’s does-I get very stomach sick very easily. Maybe it’s the whole gluten intolerance thing or the whole I’m a migraine sufferer thing, or just that my stomach is weaker than normal and if there’s a bug in the air, I’m going to get it.

….and here’s a picture especially for ‘Tasha!

I actually haven’t had full on definite Norovirus since December 2008, and when I picked that up it was following a trip to RBH-so ok, tubes, hospitals and the general public throwing germs at me. But I have had countless scouring out stomach upsets/bugs/ or really, Non Specific Viruses. And the last one was only 2 weeks ago.

And I’ve currently got another one.

So this is now my 2nd day very much in bed armed with the alcohol hand gel, antibacterial wet wipes and bleach sprays in the bathroom I am using. Julian never gets my bugs, it’s just a ‘me’ thing-but I am a germophobe and a cleanaholic at the best of times, which makes it even more unfair that I’ve picked up another bug. Luckily the doglet can’t catch human germs, (or so the Vet said!)

And I feel just rotten. It’s the headache that floors me. The nausea can be controlled once I’ve stopped physically projectile chucking up. The stomach can have doses of ‘revolting but pink’ pepto bismol thrown at it, and I just have to wait for my body to fight the lurgy and regain some semblance of order in my digestive system and recover from the extreme weakness and horrid, horrid malaise.

If it wasn’t for my iPhone I would lose touch with the world. So Ok, today I am semi lying on the spare bed with my compter, but yesterday I could barely lift my head off the pillow, and hardly answered or sent texts/tweets as I was sleeping so much and my eyes just hurt. Sleep heals. I am very short of sleep as my lungs have been twitching alot at night recently.

And the most worrying thing about having yet another sick bug is that I absolutely have to keep my meds down, especially the steroids, and jokingly, my antisickness tablets-which even I can puke up, so I challenge any chemo patient taking metaclopramide to stay nausea free on them!

Interestingly, my last bloods at RBH in February showed that my white cell count is low, at 0.9, and they wanted my GP to keep an eye on things. I guess this is probably another steroid side effect, and is surely the reason I pick up so many of these bugs.

….Plus the fact that public transport, hospitals and schools are all whacking great germ factories and on Monday and Tuesday I’d ticked off visiting the whole list. So really, did I have a chance?!….


Pieces in our Medical Pipelines

March 29, 2011

….Things are rather fraught in the Tow-Hunt household. We both have pipelines of medical appointments that are backing up, and I still have 2 more weeks of school to get through, although I’m clearly running on empty….

I seem to be collecting Royal Brompton Hospital appointments at the moment like some people collect stamps. And this is all the more irritating after having arranged in my last big clinic appointment back in February to collate all of my appointments onto Mondays and Tuesdays to make it easy for me to travel up to the hospital, and not have to miss school. But I have now been sent two Monday appointments and two Thursday appointments both of which were on days when I was due to be at school. And the Thursday ones are with my Dietician-somebody I really need to see! In changing one of the Thursdays to another date I then realised I had double booked myself with an important day at school. So today I decided to take the bull by the horns and e-mailed my consultant to say ‘enough is enough’ and ‘please can you somehow arrange for all of these different clinic appointments to fall onto one day and I’ll come up for a mega session of appointments’.


Such  is my wonderful Team, that they have already e-mailed me back to say that they are working on it and they’re hoping I will have a major series of appointments on April 19, a Tuesday, in the Easter holidays, which would suit me very well. I also today managed to track down my long awaited blood test results from 25th February. My Aminophylline is a little lower than they would like, at 9.7 and my potassium level is still too low at 3.4. I have also managed to e-mail my Specialist Asthma nurse at the hospital with these results and she has told me I need to stay on the horrible Sando-K for the time being. Ack. I didn’t need to hear that.


So that’s my update from the Royal Brompton Hospital regarding my asthma and clinic appointments.

Julian’s health, however, continues to be a source of concern for us all. He is now having a series of investigations at Charing Cross Hospital in London. He is under a top Endocrinologist but they still do not actually know what is the matter. He has been found to have a raised metadrenaline level which is possibly stemming from some sort of benign adrenal tumour. The next week will be a tough week for us both, with his many appointments, tests, scans and procedures to be carried out: hopefully reaching some sort of diagnosis for Julian in the next few weeks. But it’s likely he may have a Pheocromocytoma.
I thank you all for the many messages of support, prayers and well wishes you have passed on to me. Your support is immeasurable.

….Please bear with me-I am more than a bit rattled by all this that we have going on….

A Gastronomic Delight!

March 27, 2011

…..Last night we were taken out for a beautiful evening by Julian’s Mum. She always likes to spoil him for his Birthday (which was a week ago!)…..

We went to Hawtrey’s Restaurant at the Barn Hotel in Ruislip. And were wined and dined like Royalty. The food was French in essence and so elegantly presented with 2 different ‘Amuse Bouches’ in between courses. We drank a pink pro secco which was perfect for all the delicate flavours, and lots of sparkling water. I feel fine this morning, although our clocks sprang forward so we have had an hour less sleep. It was a really smashing evening to remember for many moons!

….Thank you, Kizzie….

Prescription Prepayment Certificate (PPC)

March 22, 2011

….Today I need to renew my Prescription Prepayment Certificate, PPC, for another year….

I know my friends in the US will freak out to know this-but all my prescriptions, food stuffs and weight gain supplements cost me the price of a 12 month PPC. So in converting to US$s,  that is about $200 to you. I actually take home about $2000 worth of medical supplies a month but pay $200 a year for them. That is probably why we are now such a recession hit nation-our socialised medicine has drained the system dry.

However-if I were to live in Scotland or Wales, prescriptions are now FREE!

There is a huge amount of controversy currently about this system. Particularly as some long term, life threatening illness, namely diabetes warrant you having free prescriptions for life. There are many campaigns currently running to try and include severe asthma on the list of illnesses warranting free prescriptions, but as asthma is so variable and volatile, some people have asthma but hardly so much as require even their little blue inhaler on a daily basis. Therefore how can we warrant that the whole gamut of asthmas be given free prescriptions?

The fact that  I pay just £104 a year for my whole truck loads of prescribed medicine is quite incredible. I’m not complaining. I often feel guilty that this silly illness of mine requires so many expensive drugs.

….Sadly, the whole US system of Insurance and c0-pay is what keeps us living in the UK. I don’t know how we could afford it!….

A Wibbly Wobbly Week!

March 20, 2011

….This week I have not been very well, and even crashed out of two days of school….

I’d been feeling off colour and under the weather since Tuesday. My stomach was so tender and making grumbling and growling noises like it had a Tsunami of it’s own sloshing around inside. I went to school on Wednesday and said to Sue how decidely off colour I was feeling and that my stomach was sore and bloated-not in the distended sense of the word bloated-just really uncomfortable. I kept having to find moments for trips to the loo-250m away. Even on scootie, I had a few mad dashes there!

But I didn’t know ‘the bug’ was going to hit me until 1am in the next morning. Up down, up down like a yo-yo, I was. My poor tummy turning itself head over heels. Plus I had the stonker of all headaches-not a migraine though,-plus a high for me (99.2f) temperature.

So that was that. I phoned in sick on Thursday, barely lifting my head off the pillow as that was how wiped out I was. I stayed on the sofa under a blanket all day-and just yards luckily from the closest bathroom.

I did manage to eat-dry crackers, dry toast, dry rice cakes, mashed potatoes for supper-and had loads of fluids and gatorade and sweet tea.

Unfortunately though, I was similarly crushed-well, maybe the tiniest bit less so the next day and had to phone in sick again-a double whammy of a non-asthma absence-almost unheard of for me.

But on the Friday I also had to get myself in to school in order to leave cover work. Something that required Herculean efforts from me to not keel over, need the loo or flop in a heap in the car. But I did it!

And although I spent virtually the whole of Friday in bed asleep, I still felt ropey for Julian’s birthday on Saturday which was a shame. I dont know any one else who has had this bug. It doesn’t seem to be doing the ropes at school and J has not come down with it either-phew! Friday Night Chinese was distinctly unappetising and I had a bowl of chicken soup!

….At the time of writing this on Sunday I am feeling very thirsty and have just finished my 3rd cup of lemon tea at 8.30am. I guess I still need fluids. At least the headache and stomach troubles have finally gone!….

12 of 12: March 2011

March 12, 2011

…. So here follows my series of 12 photographs taken throughout today, the 12th of March, 2011….

And with February having been exactly 4 weeks long, March’s 12 means it’s another Saturday. We have now had Anna-Bell 6 weeks and she is more than settled in to our life and routine. Daddy Julian, alas, started his week of Nights last night: so whatever photos I take, they will be silent ones as he will be sleeping all day. It also means I have to alter my day’s routine slightly, as shown by my 6am excursion to do the Groceries in picture 2!

Anyway, enjoy my diary day!

1  ) 5.40am I watered the dog before throwing my long coat over my PJ’s and heading off to Sainsbury’s.

2  ) In the Fruit and Veg section at 6.10am!

3  ) 7am The hungry pup got fed-and wow! is she scoffing a whole lot at the moment. 5lbs 3oz now-and clearly having a growth spurt!

4  ) 8am A parcel arrived for Anna-Bell. It was her new harnesses. One is for when Daddy Julian walks her on his own! I wonder which one!

5  ) 9.40am Julian arrived home from his first Night of the 7 he has to work. A-B decided she wanted to play Tug of War with him!
6  ) 10.30am This is Julian’s supper before he went to bed. Hot milk and a toasted, buttered Hot Cross Bun!

7  ) 12pm Gardening Time. Whilst I was weeding, Lady Muck assumed her Royal self on my kneeler!

8  ) 12.30 pm ish! This was the first area of the beds I managed to clear of weeds and hand hoe. 30 mins to do this much! This will be my herb tub and mint tub with a big Zebrano grass bush behind.

9  ) 1.00pm Quick break for a cuppa soup and a few kibbles for A-B then back to it. This is the sunny back right hand corner which will radically transform itself into my vegetable plot during the Easter holidays. I need to keep hoeing fertilizer and mulch into this patch now.

….And, after all the weeding, at 2pm I came in cleaned up and changed, put A-B down in her bed for a long sleep, and legged it in Falcon up the the Club for some sort of a swim/soak/sauna. My muscles were aching and my lungs were twitching and the pain in my side was needing heat and rest!
10  ) 4pm On the way back from the Club I stopped by Graham’s Pet Shop in Ruislip to pick up the bag of new food I had ordered in. (BTW: She had some for dinner and loved it!)

11  ) 6pm My Dinner: I had a TV Dinner: Shepherd’s pie, roasted tomatoes and a salad with piccalilli rather than dressing as that was what I fancied!

12  ) 7.30pm The little pooch is already asleep for the night, totally out for the count….on top of me! What’s new!

((And at 7.45pm I woke Julian up to have his breakfast and get ready for work, poor guy!))

Hope you’ve enjoyed my diary day, 12 pictures taken on the 12th of the month. 

Night, night from us here, and see you next month!

….If you’d like to read other bloggers’ 12 of 12′s, go to Chad Darnell’s Blog.

Slightly Defeated Sus

March 10, 2011

….We just had these new doors fitted on Tuesday….


I’m hoping that any dust in the air has now cleared. We were scrupulous with our cleaning,washing down surfaces, dyson-ing, washing down more surfaces, etc etc. And all that after dust sheeting to kingdom come and sealing up the rooms we did not need to go in down stairs.

Then add to that fact the weather-yes, low pressure, high pressure now a really windy day-and it’s no wonder my lungs are in disarray.  There’s particulate galore blowing around outside even if I think we are on track with the dust and air again indoors.

Most people love an excuse to not be at work and be sick or take a duvet day, but this is really awkward for me. I’ve got a full on day, plus detention duty, and a Parents Evening. Make that, I was due to have….. But here I am in bed coughing and wheezing and feeling absolutely shattered after a bit of a bad night with the old asthma. And my rib pain is just extreme now. Nothing will touch it.

I can blame a whole host of things like the above, but I’m also feeling a bit overwhelmed by work. I guess a day out of it, genuinely off sick doesn’t really hurt, althoughI have this immense sense of pride. I’m also not a skiver. Ack. Sometimes this happens. I have this illness. Sometimes it flares up like this, randomly, sometimes it wins more than I can cope with.

….I guess that’s also why I feel defeated and deflated by this sudden reality check…..