Amid all the hullabaloo (gotta love that word – never thought I’d use it here!) surrounding L4L, I have actually been looking after myself, too, you’ll be pleased to hear.
In fact, I was booked for a check-up at clinic today. I popped along, with K in tow for waiting-room entertainment, and saw all the necessaaries, who all seemed to be buzzing about my appearance on Radio 4 and/or the upcoming gig. It was almost like a taste of celebrity…
But most importantly, things went really well. Off to a cracking start when I weighted in at 52.6kg – the heaviest I think I’ve ever been at clinic. According to my notes I’ve put on a kilo and a half in a month – pretty good going! Especially considering a week of that was spent in hospital, where eating enough calories in a day is more like a carefully managed game of skill than a diet-plan.
While I was up there, since I was due to start back on my TOBI neb (a nebulised form of the antibiotic Tobramycin), I asked them to do a check on my lung-function before and after, as the last couple of months I’ve had of TOBI (it’s taken on a month-on, month-off basis) I’ve noticed my chest getting tight after a dose and I wanted to check it out.
Sure enough, my before and after L-F showed a drop from 0.7/1.4 to 0.6/1.3, which doesn’t appear overly significant, until you work out that actually what shows up as a 0.1litre change on paper calculates to a 14% drop in the “real world”. And I challenge anyone to lose nearly a 7th of thier lung capacity and not notice.
So after a quick conflab, the powers that be (that’s my CF nurse and Doc B) sent an order to pop me on a ventolin neb to see if it would relax my airways back from the TOBI.
I haven’t taken ventolin in years, and even then it was only as an inhalor, not nebulised, so I don’t have a great deal of experience with it and didn’t know what to expect.
What I didn’t expect – at all – was to find that after a single 2.5mg dose, my L-F jumped to an eye-watering 0.9/1.6 – a scale I’ve not reached in over a year!
To say I was happy is to do understatment a disservice – it’s unbelieveable that a quick 2 minute neb can make such a difference to my breathing. But more than just the numbers on the page, I really noticed it in my freedom and ability to breathe and walk and just generally not feel breathless.
In fact, there’s a good story that will show you how good it was. When I got up to leave the ward after the trial, I switched from the hospital-plugged oxygen supply back to my walkabout tank and wandered up the corridor to Pharmacy, from where I then walked back to the car with K, had a 5 minute telephone conversation, walked back to pharmacy, returned to the car and then popped quickly back inside for a pit-stop before we left.
When I finally got back to the car and switched to my “driving cylinder” (long story), I discovered that I’d forgotten to turn my walkabout cylinder on when I left the ward. So I’d spent the best part of 45 minutes walking up and down and all over without once noticing a shortness of breathe and questioning my oxygen supply. What’s more, I actually remember noting to myself how I seemed to be walking faster than I normally would without noticing any adverse effects.
You don’t get much better than that. Consider me not only well chuffed with my day’s activities, but on a personal high both physically and mentally. Things have a way of turning themselves on their head – it only takes a bit of positivity and something to add a bit of meaning and purpose to your life.
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