Specialists are good
Posted by Oli on Friday 9th November, 2007
I am very much asleep when the alarm goes off this morning and I prize myself out of bed in a slow and careful manner. Drugs duely flowing, I try my hardest to stay awake while they run through, watching some Making of Toy Story DVD as I do.
Once the drugs are done I’m about focused enough to run K into work, but when I get home I take myself straight back to bed for another hour’s kip, which is rudely interrupted 45 mins in (just when it’s about perfect snoozing) by the postman, who can’t let himself in again (to the building, that is – he doesn’t try to break into our flat of a morning).
I decide it’s pointless trying to re-claim my 15 minutes and so head for a bath instead, then check my email quickly before Mum arrives to whisk me over to Oxford for my physio appointment.
My CF team in Oxford have recently reached a deal with the physio department whereby they can cross-pollinate departments – whereas I used to only be able to see chest-specialist physios (who are paid for under the CF-care banner) if I wanted to see any other type of physio, it would have to be a paid-for referral either from my GP (who’s in the wrong PCT) or the chest team (who can’t afford the extra fees). Charging issues ironed out, however, I am free to go and see a muscular-skeletal physio who is part of the Churchill team up the corridor from my usual clinic.
What a difference a specialist makes. My two regular physios sat in on the session too, eager to learn the basics of what they could do to help me (and others) out with my neck/back problems, all of which stem from the extra work my respiratory muscles are having to do to make up for the cruddy condition of my lungs. After half and hour’s poking, prodding and manipulation, I can already feel a difference, and the physio promises if I can get up there every week she’ll find 10 minutes to have another go and keep the main parts mobilized, with the eventual aim that I’ll be able to strengthen the muscles back up to pull more weight without so much strain.
After my neck session, I head down to the treatment centre with my regular physio for a regular chest physio session, at which we also do my L-F, which stands back up at a healthy (relatively) 0.8/1.5, which is good to see. Even more astonishingly, my weight has now hit 56kg on the clinic scales, and that’s without a thick jumper on. I’ve NEVER been this heavy before, and it feels like a real achievement.
Back home I feel terrible because K’s had a bad day at work and only been home half an hour but all I can do when I walk in the door is fold myself into bed and fall asleep. Rested an recovered after an hour or so, I try to make it up with Tea (which is usually a good place to start) and she appears not to harbour any of the kind of grudge I think I would given reversed circumstances. It’s times like these that my “frailties” really bug me – it seems such a small thing to ask to be able just to chill and have a cuddle after a bad day, but when I’m tired, especially from travel, I’m really not in a state to do anything. What makes K so wonderful is the fact that no matter what the situation, she never complains at all.
In the evening, an old school friend who’s recently moved back over from France pops round and we have a giggle-some night of pizza and board games. We discover, much to our disppointment, that Operation really isn’t that difficult if you’re any older than about 10. None of us had played it for years, but he’d had it at home and thought it was in marvelously bad taste to bring it round (which we both readily agreed). Naturally, they let me win, since otherwise it would just have been rude.
Another couple of games of Scene It (of which I won neither, let the record show – for those of you who think I must just walk it every time), and B headed off home. My drugs were due later than normal because of bad planning on my part so K headed to bed while I did my last dose, watching some Sky+’d Simpsons and the start of The American President, which I’d recorded a while ago before surfing the ‘net for a while during my evening nebs.
I eventually make it to bed about 1.30am, where I read Kevin Smith just long enough to make my eyelids heavy then settle down for the night.