Smile Through It II: The Next Chapter

Chasing dreams, because I can

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Revelations and play

Posted by Oli on Tuesday 28th November, 2006

I finally put my finger on what’s been bugging me about my chest over the last couple of weeks (apart from the obvious lack-of-performance, obviously).

It’s the illogicality. (Yes, I know that’s not technically a word, but it fits and it suits and you know what I mean.  Plus, I think it’s quite a good word, actually)

I like everything in my life (except my thought processes) nice and linear.  This progresses to that, which results in this.  Start-middle-end.  Nice, steady progression along a linear frame-work where cause-and-effect are easily identifiable.

What’s bothering me most about my chest at the moment is that it is entirely impossible to predict what’s it’s going to do from one moment to the next.  To say it’s changeable is to say that England’s chances of winning the ashes are a little bit on the low side, or that Andy Robinson is “quite” likely to lose his job; the biggest understatement since the brand manager for sliced bread muttered, “I think this could be quite big.”

If I could chart the course of a day and how my chest would be feeling at any given moment – breathless, free and easy, clogged, clear, painful – I think I could cope with the ups and downs better than I am at the moment.

But when I slide so seamlessly from fine-and-dandy to gasping-for-air within the space of 10 minutes having done nothing more than reach for a glass of water for the last hour, it passes all levels of expected fluctuation.

Of course, that’s not going to help things improve at all, but it’s nice to have at least identified part of the problem.

Today’s been pretty good, really.  I woke, as expected, with the most terrific headache first thing this morning, and it took a good hour of sitting doing nothing at all, plus copious quantities of water, tea and painkillers to rectify, but it did go away.

No sooner had I wrestled myself from my bed than we were joined by K’s tiny niece and nephew (aged 18 and 6 months respectively, give or take a few) who cheered the morning up as only lovely, smiling, happy, playful little children can.

A morning of playfulness resulted in an early afternoon of sleepfulness, followed by a later afternoon of not-entirely-awakefullness, and a visit of my CF nurse from Oxford.  That’s not to say playfulness = nurse visit, that bit was merely coincidental, but the rest of the day’s tiredness was precipitated by the morning’s exertions.  But you knew that.

I’m off to Oxford tomorrow morning to see my physio and check what my lung function’s like.  I’m due to finish IVs at the end of the week, but I’m not sure that that’s necessarily going to still be the plan as of tomorrow.  We’ll have to wait and see, but a further course of a week or two may well not be out of the question, seeing as I have yet to notice any kind of significant improvement in lung function, sats or exercise tolerance.

It may be that I’m now at a stage where increases are unlikely and it’s more of a preventative measure, so I may be hoping for a little much, but I’ll grill my team on it tomorrow and see what I should be aiming for.  I think goal-setting is going to be important in the big-picture recovery process from here, and I want to make sure that they are realistic.

Tonight calls for another night on the sofa in front of the telly, relaxing and letting my b body do as it pleases, marshaled by physio and nebulisers.  It’s undoubtedly going to be quite hard to take myself to bed tonight as it’s never easy to sleep knowing that when you wake up you’re going to feel 100 times worse than you do as you settle down, but maybe I can take some comfort in the fact that I at least know I’ll get some sleep.


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