For life's little ups and downs.

A rather quirky, funny and sometimes daunting look in to the life of someone who has a lot of health problems but does their best to keep positive. Punctuated by guinea pigs, anime, superheroes, transforming robots and cross stitching.

I started this blog to tell my story, about who I am and what I do. On top of the health problems and raising awareness for those, I also use my blog as a way to help promote other causes, particularly ones which affect the most vulnerable. I live with a number of different and complex health problems but I refuse to let anything get me down. I know how it feels to be discriminated against or thrown aside. This is me. This is my life. I live it and do what I want with it. Nature sets the limitations. We set the boundaries.

About Me:

A blog about life. I live with Type 1 Brittle Asthma, Bi-Polar Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder as well as Various Allergies, Neutropenia, Crohns Disease (my IBS was rediagnosed as Crohns), Osteo and Rheumatoid Arthritis, PCOS and Osteoporosis and Heredetary Spastic Paraplegia. I have recently also been diagnosed with Sleep Apnea (which makes me stop breathing in my sleep) I live with these conditions, but I refuse to let them keep me down and out. I still try and make the most of my days despite being so poorly and having to rely on my wheelchair, nebulisers, nearly 50 pills a day and 2l/min of oxygen and CPAP.

I'll flap my broken wings and erase it all someday... You'll see.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Another Close One...

I think that sometimes, my asthma likes to toy with me. It's not anything really horrible, but I start becoming more and more aware of my symptoms and I become so exhausted that I wind up sleeping most of the day. It's what we know as "Pre-attack" where we know it is going to hit, but we can't always pinpoint WHEN this is going to happen. I hate this phase as it makes me feel very on edge and more than a little bit scared. It's during this phase that I just want to get it over with, have an attack and then get it sorted so that I can feel a bit better for it.

People around me do make it easier to deal with and on those really BAD days. When things are unimaginable, I do have people who I can rely on for support and friendship as well as vital lifelines so that when things do go wrong, that there is someone who is there. In the times when things have gone to the worst, that can be not only a comfort but it can actually make the difference between recovering well or not recovering at all and winding up back in hospital within days.

My asthma is tricky at the best of times, one minute I can be alright and content to do what I'm doing, the next I can be seriously struggling and require hospital treatment. It is a pain and it does sometimes prove frustrating, not only for me, but the people around me. I am thankful that Becky and Jace are patient and caring and that hospital doesn't provoke fear in me anymore. Fear of being shouted at or punished because of it. Last time I was in, Becky was keeping my spirits up by making me smile and laugh by dancing and just generally being Becky. She's a fantastic friend and soon will mark a whole year since she moved in with me, and a whole year since Jace and I started our beautiful relationship.

The next few months are set for more change, but it will be a good change. Hopefully, soon we can move to a 2 bedroom place, although we do cope well as we are when Jace is here but it will be good for us to have our own space. Don't get me wrong, we love our little nook, but it would be nice to have a bigger place somewhere, perhaps a bit more private and in a different area. It would be nice for the animals as well (we will always want a garden for the guinea pigs).

It finally gave in on Monday afternoon. I was really fighting for breath and I couldn't even think. I called the ambulance and when the paramedic came (admittedly she seemed to think I was alright despite the fact that I was breathing so fast just to keep my sats up at 97%, when I slowed it down, I was down to 89% and she still refused to do anything... but such is life really) and I was taken to A+E triage. I didn't stay there long and I think the doctor initially took me to minors before getting someone senior to come and take a look. I was rushed right in to resus on a trolley without delay and an ABG was taken... at this point, I was on a o2 driven nebuliser and my sats were only 92%. Once the blood was tested, it quickly became very apparent that I was seriously unwell and my Po2 was just 7.7 (normal range is about 12-14), about just half of what I needed. My PCo2 was way down at 2.97 and I was really exhausted and fighting just to keep breathing, an ITU doctor came to see me and they were seriously considering intubation if things didn't improve. It really didn't look good.

Lucky for me, after rapid treatment with IV Mag, IV Hydrocort and a hefty IV dose of Co-Amoxiclav and Clarithromycin and high flow oxygen, I started to pick up and start recovering a bit. I think I must have slept for a while after Becky had to go home because I don't remember anything between her going and her coming back and the consultant came to see me, it was a consultant I had been under before so he knew what I was normally like, unlike what he described as lethargic and a complete polar opposite to the Wendy he knew. I couldn't even move so he could examine me, but I had been lying on my side. He was really nice actually and he just looked at me and said "You are really struggling aren't you... the good news is we can definitely confirm your asthma at least, but I think we'll get you to the ward and let you recover there..." I then dozed off only to wake up on the new Respiratory Ward, in one of the High Care beds.

All I'd wanted to do was sleep. By the time I managed to settle myself down and get to sleep, it must have been about 1 in the morning, after some more IVs and being allowed to swap from a non-rebreathe mask to nasal cannula, I think by the time I fell asleep, it was like I didn't want to wake up the next day. I managed to talk my way to getting allowed out (against the advice of the doctor, but my sanity was grating as one of the people in the bay was SO demanding all the time, I will spare the details, but people like that get on my nerves with the whole "look at MEEE!! -I- NEED it..." and the nurses were doing all they could to look after another patient who needed suction to clear her airways frequently) and by the time I got home, I was so happy to just sink in to a nice warm bath, get in to some clean pajamas and snuggle down in to my own bed, Sephy clutched tightly (even while I was there, after Becky brought him to me, I didn't want to let go of him) and I think I fell asleep pretty much straight away.

I suppose the moral of the story is that I need to stop trying to leave it too late before getting help, its a combination of pride and pure stupidity really because I didn't want to cause a big fuss or be in everyone's way, I guess that kind of worked the other way round. If I ever see the team of doctors who looked after me, I will have to give them a hug and thank them, had it not been for their speed and excellent care, I may not have been alive now to tell the tale.

Wendy xx

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