Smile Through It II: The Next Chapter

Chasing dreams, because I can

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On me

Posted by Oli on Thursday 1st March, 2007

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.


6 Responses to “On me”

  1. Jax said

    Yippeeeee for ventolin nebs 🙂 Fantastic news.

  2. Jac said

    wow – I hope they are going to prescribe you some regular ventolin nebs now! I know for me the difference between 0.7 and 0.9 is really significant – 0.7 involves a major panic when a parking space is not available within 2 feet of the door. 0.9 reduces it to a minor panic. Minor panics are better than major ones 😉

    Hope you continue to feel a bit better, and that the L4L goes super well on the night!!


  3. suzie said

    Whooo, vent nebs rule!!

    They did for Chris too Oli.

    All the very best for the show chuck, well done to all involved in making it happen, would have loved to have been there.

    Sue x

  4. Peter Sharp said

    have a great night on Sunday!

  5. Frizzymum said

    1 sleep to go!!!! See you tomorrow (Sunday) x

  6. Toria said

    Hehe wow that’s SO cool, because it’s a bloody long walk up to pharmacy!

    I’m suprised they have never gone down the ‘asthma realted cf’ treatment route with you before. I must admit a very large proportion of the time with me it’s the asthma making me feel more breathless and shit than the actual infection.

    Word of warning though if you take too much ventolin it makes you go shakey and your heart all fluttery and is quite horrid!

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