Smile Through It II: The Next Chapter

Chasing dreams, because I can

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A long last 36 hours (Updated)

Posted by Oli on Thursday 30th November, 2006

Quite before the media maelstrom that’s been hurtling around today, I spent almost all of yesterday feeling absolutely awful.  It’s remarkable when I look back with all the things I’ve done today that I wouldn’t have been able to even touch on today. 

In all since 7am this morning, I’ve done 3 phone interviews, 1 studio interview, 1 photoshoot and written a 700-word article for the Guardian website.  This time yesterday I was sat on a ward in Oxford hoping to goodness that the docs weren’t going to put their foot down and keep me in.

Yesterday morning I woke up with the worst headache I’ve yet experienced, all thanks to the veto-ing of my NIV due to the pneumo scare.  Not only that, but the CO2 levels in my blood had obviously started to cause havoc elsewhere and I found myself lent over a toilet bowl 5 minutes after waking up depositing whatever was left in my stomach from last night.

I haven’t been sick in a very long time, and I’d forgotten how unpleasant it was.  not only that, but without oxygen on, it left me gasping for air. 

I manged to find my way back to bed and do my IVs, which took a lot more effort than usual, and got pain killers down me with a banana to try to settle my stomach and help them absorb better. 

We had to leave the house by 9.30, so I forced myself up and out of bed, but my head was swimming.  Of all the things I’d meant to do before heading out, I accomplished at most 2 of them, and then only half-heartedly.

At Oxford, I had a session with my physio which saw me bringing up some of the nastiest stuff I’ve seen come out of me for a while.  Not only that, but my headache was refusing to go away and my exhaustion was creeping up fast.

The docs came round after my physio session and we discussed the pneumo/chest pain.  Considering I had a good night’s sleep (barring the morning doldrums), and the pain seems to have gone away in my chest, it would appear that it wasn’t a pneumo after all, just me jumping to not-entirely-illogical conclusions on feeling more acute than usual pleuritic pains in my shoulder.

We decided that the IVs clearly hadn’t done the job they were meant to, and so I’ve been put on an additional drug to marry with my Colistin, Meropenem.  Usually, Mero causes me severe joint pain, but we discovered last time I took it that combining it with steroids was usually effective in taking that element away. 

The only draw-back being once steroid leves go over 10mg (I’m now on 20mg) transplant becomes less likely, for various medical reasons too detailed to go into here.  But it’s only for two weeks and it’ll hopefully improve my lung function and exercise tolerance, so it’s got to be worth it.

Eventually, after a supervised first dose to make sure I wasn’t going to have a massively adverse reaction to the Mero, I got away from Oxford (chauffeured by Dad) just after 2pm, getting back home around 3.30pm in time for some shut eye before heading out again to stock up on portable oxygen cylinders from my stash at the flat.

After a “who’s got the keys” palaver of indeterminate length, we eventually got back in around 7 pm and I was shattered, completely exhausted and good only for sitting on the sofa and wiping out.

Although I did get a bit of a second wind in the evening, around the time Em phoned me to talk about the news and the reactions on the message boards, I was still in bed as early as I could be.

The most important part of my day, though, was in the change of stance on Neve, now that the pneumo had been discounted.  Going to sleep with her on, I drifted off into the land of slumber and only woke on a couple of occasions before my early-morning radio address.

It was remarkable and wonderful to wake bright and alert and with no discernible left-overs from a proper night’s sleep – no headache, no sickness, no nothing.

It’s paved the way for a wonderfully busy day, all of which has taken place within the confines of the house, with the exception of a quick trip up the road.  I’ll be back on here later, with a bit of luck, to outline where else you can see my distinguished self discussing life with CF and other interesting topics of the day…

Updated 01/12/06:

After a breathless day-and-a-bit of media storms, between myself and fellow CF Trust Ambassador Emily we have notched up 4 print articles, over half a dozen radio interviews and she bagged all the Telly attention (but then, she is prettier and much more of a draw than me…), not to mention the rest of the CF community’s coverage, which has included local news country-wide, This Morning, Newsround and forthcoming features in the Daily Mail other weekend magazines.

Articles featuring Em and/or I are available at the Guardian, Herald, Independent and Mirror and Emily also gets a mention on Nick Robinson’s blog on the BBC website.

Articles have also appeared in the Scotsman and Evening Times for our Scottish Brethren, thanks to work from Anders, a North-of-the-boarder friendly-type.

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One Response to “A long last 36 hours (Updated)”

  1. Ben said

    Woah, sounds really hectic!

    I thought of you when I heard about Gordon Brown’s son. The news even gets to France! Stick a link up when the article is on the Guardian.

    Ben x

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