Smile Through It II: The Next Chapter

Chasing dreams, because I can

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Posted by Oli on Saturday 16th December, 2006

For all the forward motion I’ve been making recently, the pendulum was bound to swing back.  I’m sure someone far more intelligent than me said something once about equals and opposites and all that kind of thing, but I have better hair than him, so I can’t be bothered to quote him properly.

Still, after confidently striding forward and warning myself strictly against doing too much too soon, I spent this afternoon in bed after, well, doing too much too soon.

I hasten to my own defence to say that a) I spotted it early and nipped it in the bud and b) actually the hour-or-so I spent in bed on Neve (hmmm… maybe not such a clever idea to name the NIV after all – that could get a little confusing) and the extra session of physio have done me the world of good and this evening I feel top-notch.

Yesterday I went to Oxford to finish IVs – that’s a grand total of 5 weeks all together, my record for recent times.  My chest is a lot better and my lung function was hitting the 0.7/1.4, which is about as high as I go these days.  For those of you who work in percentages, that’s very roughly 20%/25% predicted.  More encouragingly, my SATs were running at 93% on 2 litres O2, which is unheard of for my since around August.

I’m coping pretty well off-oxygen now.  I’m still using it almost all day, but I can cope with wandering around shops (ok, Borders) without it for an hour or so, which is good.

I try to justify it by saying that it makes shopping a whole load easier not having to lug a cylinder around the shop with me, and I reassure myself that I’m good and have it in the car when I’m driving and wear it all the time at home, but if I’m truly honest with myself, it’s still very much a vanity thing.

K and I decided we wanted to cook dinner tomorrow for Mum, Dad and my bro, who’s home for Christmas, to thank them for putting up with me for the last few weeks (well, not my bro, ‘cos he’s not had to cope with me invading his life, but it seemed a bit mean to cook for everyone else and not him when it’s in his home…).  So we had the cunning plan of hitting Tesco’s late last night to avoid the crowds.

At 8pm we thought we’d got it right and BOY were we wrong.  It was still heaving and in one despairing moment of realisation I stood at the threshold of the store in Kingston and realised that it was WAY too huge for me to wander round, especially at the end of a long day.

It’s always a little dispiriting to have to acknowledge your limits – especially when things are looking up again.  But I’m proud of the fact that I didn’t just try to “soldier on” through the shop and completely wipe myself out, but instead called it a night with two bars of Toblerone and headed home.

I think, actually, our late-night jaunt is probably the crux of what lead to my energy shortage this afternoon and, again, I’m pleased I spotted it and took action (or rather, in-action) to combat it without trying to soldier through.  I feel much better for it physically and it’s given me a boost in my mental confidence to know that I’m learning to listen to my body again.

So tomorrow I’ve prescribed myself a day of rest, doing nothing all morning and afternoon and plenty of physio so that I’ve got energy enough to help K whip up a storm in the kitchen and give Mum and Dad a proper thank you.  And my bro, I suppose…


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