It’s The ‘Pepper Nose Feverish Coldy’ Time!

December 14, 2011

…..I have a cold!…..

But not that you’d really notice, I just feel utterly crap as opposed to those who sound coldly crap or look it with their noses running down their face. Mine never does that. It’s the low grade fever and headache and my itching peppery nose that makes me feel so  bleugh!

Having survived almost the whole term dodging germs of all sizes, we went to Mark and Kate’s wedding on Saturday and it seems I’ve brought more than memories away with me. Somebody I hugged or air kissed has breathed the lurgy of the moment over my persona and I’m now riddled with a pepper nose (feel I want to sneeze all the time), ear ache and a fever.

Oh well, nothing I can do really except take the Lemsip to school with me and keep warm-fat chance in our ‘practically below the legal limit music room that I’m teaching in first thing!’-and drink loads to wash it out of me. Doesn’t feel like this is anything more than a head cold, so I shouldn’t be fussing, but it’s already got me in a quandary over my Pred reduction. I’ve been struggling on 30mg-and already so SOB that things are really tough and very uncomfortable-and to think, the plan was I was actually going to go down to 25mg on Friday-big problem there, me thinks that may have to wait. I’m racked with aches and pains as it is and feeling yeuch from the less Pred, how simply dare a cold now show it’s ugliness. As if I haven’t got a big enough case of the reduction blues already.

…..Oh well, off to school to mingle my germs with those of approximately twelve hundred others!…..

Post Script: The second this hints at going south I’m bringing in the SAS!



World Asthma Day 2011

May 3, 2011

….Tuesday May 3rd 2011 is WORLD ASTHMA DAY….

So what is World Asthma Day?

World Asthma Day is an annual event organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) to improve asthma awareness and care around the world.
This year’s theme, “You Can Control Your Asthma” will focus on how asthma control can reduce visits to the hospital.

My Thoughts on this Year’s theme “You Can Control Your Asthma”

  • You are in charge of yourself and your medications. Never leave anything to chance.
  • Do not expect too much. Aim for the best possible control, ie the least possible symptoms.
  • Never be hit and miss about your medication. Take your controller inhaler/medication even when you are apparently well.
  • See your Asthma Nurse/Doctor if your asthma control is worsening.
  • Always be upbeat about your lungs and above all, truthful, never say you’re ok when actually you’re struggling.
  • Avoid your triggers if you possibly can.
  • Find what plan of campaign works for you and action it to achieve your best possible control.
Wow, how positive is this word  ‘Control‘. How wonderful that this years’s WAD them has a positive outlook.
Although, for some Doctors, controlled asthma means never using a rescue inhaler. For other medics controlled asthma means waking only 3 nights in a week. I think the Global Initiative probably ought to come up with a more clear cut guideline, something a bit more cut and dry like the British Guideline on the Management of Asthma.
Ok, so my story is a little different. My asthma is not typical of the little blue inhaler brigade and does not follow a text book definition. I have severe, difficult to control fixed asthma, as diagnosed by the Royal Brompton Hospital.
Firstly, for me, Control means I’m up and about and pottering around the house and although short of breath, I can walk up the stairs, maybe pausing a couple of times, but I can’t talk to you whilst doing it!
Secondly, I am very often Out of control and am most probably sitting bolt upright in bed unable to function even around the house.
Thirdly, Losing any semblance of Control is something I aim day by day to avoid happening, as this means I’m in hospital on IVs and BiPap.
The word control in asthma is therefore a very personal thing.

At the time of writing this, Tuesday May 3rd, 2011, I have semi stable asthma but an uncontrolled chest infection. How complicated is that?!
Yes, I am currently on maximum asthma medications, and have bumped up to 40mg oral prednisolone and am now entering a 3rd week on anti biotics. For some asthmatics this might be unheard of. Pred is something of a nightmare threat that luckily for them they’ve only had to take once or twice in their whole lives. But steroids keep me controlled and alive! So my  “You can control your asthma” bar is just set a whole lot higher-with the help of bucket loads of drugs and inhalation therapies, oxygen and nebulizers, I am upright and pottering in my house so I am probably, almost controlled.
Makes a bit of a mockery of the Doctors who say that control is never using a blue inhaler. Oh dear.
Have a great WAD folks-try and wear something grey to show your support. Terribly gloomy colour, I know. Asthma doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. Asthmatics should be able to live life to the full with the help of good technique, good action plans and good inhaled medications.
….How about you use the comments below to tell me how controlled you think your asthma is….

Pimping that Physio…!

April 28, 2011

….I don’t know if you’ve come across this on the internet yet, but….

((click the Watch on YouTube bit!))

It took us all by storm on Saturday Night on Britain’s Got Talent!

And last night when J was replaying it, had me laughing so much that it was the best lung physio I could be doing at the moment! Yes, Little blonde me was pimping that physio and doing the best drainage yet after laughing my lungs off!

So, what with taking 3 of these 500mg Cefalexin a day  for 2 weeks:

…and whacking the Pacific Ocean’s worth of 6% and 7% ((when it comes!)) hypertonic saline nebs, I’m going to clear my super deep Staph Aureus quickly-I hope!

….But until it goes, I’m pretty much holed up at home on bed rest, and I can’t speak for coughing….

Bad timing lurgy!

April 23, 2011

….So my cold went South….

Such an annoyance. I’ve kept J awake and he’s been on an exhausting Late shift for a few days. I’m hoping I haven’t passed this to Anna-Bell who has been sneezing A-LOT (mind you, the whole world has hayfever atm!) People are running out of sympathy and disbelieving me when I say I have a ‘rotten cold’ as they are all trying to tell me it’s ‘hayfever’.

S-O-R-R-Y! I know my lungs and I’ve had more than my fair share of lurgies to know this ain’t just a seasonal sneezing thing. Plus I have been running a temperature all week-very, very unlike me.

It’s the Easter Holiday weekend and with Easter being so late this year it’s pants that I’m feeling so rough right when I need to be “all batteries recharged” and ready for school again on Wednesday. I suspect much of this is to do with the fact that with ABs op I have been living off of adrenaline for the last few weeks, and was flat out exhausted from the end of term but didn’t really get to recover from that before we were dealing with our doglet. Never mind.

So it’s Action Stations here. I’m having to fire the “Added on Extras” to my regular “Anti Asthma Arsenal” now.

  • Whacking the Pred up to 40mg from NOW!
  • Whacking the emergency Antibiotics from NOW too!
  • Doing 20mins of Autogenic Draining twice a day (very boring and uncomfortable and exhausting)
  • Nebbing the 7% hypertonic saline that my Physio prescribed on Tuesday twice a day.
  • Sinus Douching twice a day with Montesol (hefty saline and Dexpanthenol)
  • Taking my Carbocisteine 3 times a day from now on, with the extra dose being the liquid form at lunchtime.
I knew this would happen. My Physio on Tuesday said to me I was crackling and sounded really nasal and I knew on Tuesday I had a cold. And like all  gravity, it went South.
And we have a smog alert over much of the UK at the moment, so what chance have I got of shaking this off easily?
….Bad timing lurgy or what?….

Rotten Ribs! (and pain again)

March 1, 2011

….Once again the whole of my left side is wracked with agonising pain and I hardly know how to cough….

So most of Half Term last week was spent in a cloudy migraine haze, and I guess because my head was exploding so much I didn’t realise quite how much lung and rib pain I had particularly on the lower left side of my rib cage.

And now I am coughing more without the headaches I really am in agony with this rib pain. I think it is possibly time for me to give in and because I have the time today, I could quickly visit my GP and get another chest x-ray done. Not because I think there is anything particularly ominous going on with my left lung but  because I’d like to know I’ve done nothing more than pull a bunch of intercostal muscles.

Rib pain is something I suffer from, from time to time. I don’t know whether it’s because I have a weakness in my chest area or if it’s just because I’m a bit of a skinny mini. My physio works with me to help me find ways of clearing my airways and coughing without pulling so many muscles and ending up in so much pain although currently I know I’m not coughing properly and therefore I have too much mucus rattling around. Whilst my asthma is actually in a good patch at the moment I’m ending up with more of a chesty cough and am concerned that on my return to school this week, I’ll probably pick up the first germs going. The easiest way for me to cough at the moment is to hold a pillow to the left side of my chest but this is not going to be possible when at school. Neither is breaking down into paroxysms of spasmodic hacking whilst writhing in agony! And in the classroom in front of my kids!

So my thoughts today on the matter are to get my chest x-rayed and happily be told I’ve just got to take a few more painkillers and stick a heat patch or two on my side and hopefully by the weekend this pain may have alleviated a little bit.

All is well with the rest of me apart from the recent wet, windy low weather pressure causing me to have been stricken with constant migraines over the last 10 days. Half Term is over,  school is back and I’m really looking forward to the challenges of new projects.

….I just wish I wasn’t suffering from such rotten ribs! ….

Lemony Lungy Lust and Love!

February 16, 2011

….I crave lemons! The taste the smell, the zest, the juice-pure Heavenly lemony bliss-and, it seems, they’re good for my Lungs too….

Right from the year dot, way back in my oboe playing days I was told to think of ‘Opal Fruits’, you know, the soft candy that was “made to make your mouth water” when my embouchure went all dry, playing in hot auditoria. And I still adore all citrus fruit now. Whether it’s because it keeps my arid mouth and throat moist or the whole Susannah psychology that the astringent effect of lemons is somewhat cleansing to my cough, snot, mucus and even maybe, asthma condition, or whether I just like them, who knows! My Mother, another migraine sufferer told me her mother, my late Grandma, used to give her a raw lemon to suck to induce vomiting when she had a bilious stomach. Interesting philosophy there, Granny! In fact, I like raw lemons and sometimes just suck one as they have such a lubrication effect on my mucosa (lining of the mouth!). We are all different. I don’t think though, that with my reflux condition I could even eat raw lemons if it weren’t for a 20mg dose of Nexium twice a day!

Lemons are just so refreshing, and even in the middle of winter. Cook a roast chicken with lemons inside-wow! Add lemons sliced finely, to a prawn pasta dish-such zing. Add some lemony syrupy slices to a plain Angel cake-delicious and refreshing. Start your day with a cup of lemon slices in hot water-very Zen Spa Hotel-ish! Or as I do, a caffeine free lemon tea with a slice of lemon in it!

But did you know, lemon essential oil is an expectorant and encourages the airways to expel mucus. It’s not just drunk with honey for a calming effect therefore, when you have a cold or flu type lurgy. It’s scientifically proven and is in just about every single cold and cough remedy, therefore, for a purpose! I recently read about a five year study of over 60,000 people in Singapore, which found that a diet rich in lemon fruit fibres discouraged chronic coughs. (Just imagine what I’d be like without my lemons then!) Researchers suggested that the antioxidant effects of flavonoids found in lemons may protect the lungs from inflammation and tissue damage.

Take Action Folks!: Make yourself some homemade old fashioned lemony lemonade, add lemons to your cooking-they are even delicious roasted with your winter veggies. Use zest and juice instead of adding salt for flavour. Inhale the vapour of lemons and their zest over boiling water if you’re really stuffed up. Much more gentle than the astringent eucalyptus oil type products.

….Let’s see my friends and readers positively lusting after lemons. Add a little to your life, they’re so lovely, and very good, it would seem, for your Lungs!….

Blown Away!

January 29, 2011

….It’s been a crazy week of emotions….

Last Friday I heard a good friend of mine had passed away. RIP Dear Bex.

Last Friday we thought we were going to adopt a 2 year old doggie then the owners decided to keep her after all.

Last Friday Julian started a week of Nights-the worst working week of his 7 week shift pattern.

But last Saturday after hours of internet searching I found us Anna-Bell and rushed to meet her and secure her with a deposit

School was tough this week-I felt exhausted, I was worried about Julian at work and I was also feeling coldy.

Today my cold has come out, and I feel pretty pants but I am being loved to bits by our new little doggie!

….I’m simply blown away with how when life can throw you a curved ball one minute, things can even out the next. I just hope my cold goes really quickly and I can really enjoy our newest little member of the family!….