A favourite quote and a way by which to approach life.

Today is the tomorrow that you worried about yesterday.

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Meal out

I have actually done a bit of study today, and have even made a (tiny) start on the play writing course material, although most of my time has been spent experimenting with Photoshop Elements for the photography course. I have a way to go until I'm caught up on all that I should be, but I am making a bit of progress now, thanks to my dawn trip to the coast the other day.

The highlight of today has been going out for a meal with friends at the Italian restaurant half way down my street, Peppy's. It is, in fact, the only restaurant in Newcastle where I can eat out, because of the stupid number of random things that I'm allergic to, but they're ever so lovely at Peppy's and haven't managed to poison me yet. Before the allergies really took hold I used to go to Peppy's relatively frequently so I'd built up a rapport with Vincent (the owner) and the rest of the staff already. After the dramatic increase in my allergies (and the immunologist's eventual success in working them all out) I stopped going out for meals, so when I bumped into Vincent on the local shopping street one day after this and he asked why he hadn't seen me at the restaurant for a while I told him about all my allergies. He said he was sure they could cope and we got into a lengthy discussion about all the things I can and can't have, and how carefully things have to be prepared. I don't think he really grasped the extent of the problem, but he was willing to try catering for me, and as I was missing the sociability of eating out with friends I was willing to give it a chance too. Apparantly I'm not their only customer with severe allergies and they do seem to be quite allergy-aware, without being so paranoid as to think that if anything did happen to go wrong that I'd sue them or hold them responsible and therefore be unwilling to let me through the doors. Quite on the contrary. Take this evening for example; I phoned up last night to make a booking for my friends and I, and then took the flour along at lunch time for them to make pizza dough for me for this evening (yes, they are quite happy to make special pizza dough for me!). When I arrived at the restaurant this evening one of the waiters (Vincent's son), who was around at lunch time when I took the flour in, said he just wanted to check what the flour was. when I told him it's just wholemeal (I'm allergic to the sulphur dioxide used to bleach flour to make it white) he said he thought it was, but he wanted to check because when the chef was making my dough earlier in the day he'd made it too sloppy so they'd gone out and bought some more flour for me. That is beyond the call of duty, don't you think? So then I had a lovely meal, poison-free, utterly delicious and having been cooked for me in a restaurant. I was just finishing my meal when one of the waiters came in with a large plate of freshly baked bread that the chef had made for me out of the rest of the flour they'd bought and that I was given to take home. That is so lovely of him and definitely fantastic service, wouldn't you agree? You so often hear the negative experiences people have, and so often people do seem to be out to get what they can from these, but personally I prefer to commend those who do a good job, those who do that extra bit for someone, those who remind us that people are essentially good, and to put negative experiences down to bad luck, provided they haven't been caused by clear negligence etc. Bad things happen, but then so do good things and these are the things that should be celebrated.

I'm going off on a tangent now so I'll wind up. It's bed time anyway.

Night all.

Monday, 29 October 2007

Sleepless night

I don't feel so grand today. My lungs were rather grumpy last night so I didn't get any sleep. In the scheme of things I wasn't too bad in that I wasn't desperately short of breath, but I couldn't stop coughing and was wheezy enough to keep myself awake with the noise. I'm scarily good (if 'good' is the right word) these days at sleeping through a very tight chest, but usually if it comes on whilst I'm actually asleep. Getting to sleep when you can't breathe to begin with is a whole different matter, especially when the old lungs are making so much noise that they wake you up at the slightest hint of nodding off. Needless to say I'm tired today. Most annoyingly, and as is often the way with these things, things picked up as the dawn approached, but by this time I was too mentally stimulated to sleep so I got up around 6:30am and went for a drive to the coast. St. Mary's Lighthouse is always beautiful, and to get there just as the sun was breaking through the morning cloud, giving a warm, golden hue to the sun and the sea was gorgeous. Unfortunately I was a little late with my camera to catch the sunrise on digital film as the best of it had past during my drive, but it was still lovely. Given that I wasn't feeling that great and was tired, I didn't go for much of a wander, but I did take a few photos of the sea. In the OU course that I'm trying to catch up on I've (supposedly) been learning about exposure and the different elements that can be adjusted to get correct exposure in different lighting conditions or to gain different effects. This morning I had a little play with ISO settings, though largely experimented with shutter speed. I haven't had a chance yet to see what the results were, but I'm not expecting anything great as I really was experimenting. I'll have a look in a bit and see what I got.

Since getting back home around 9:30am (it took ages to get back because of the work/school traffic) I've had a little nap, which has taken the edge of the tiredness. My friend JW came round for a bit this afternoon, and it was nice to have a bit of company, but I'm exhausted now and fit only for sofa surfing. I'm sincerely hoping that my lungs let me sleep tonight.

On the paragliding front, I'm still waiting to hear back from AirVentures to see if they can help me.

Friday, 26 October 2007

Uneventful days

It's been a very uneventful couple of days, which is rather nice in its way as life can be too eventful sometimes.

I had news today that my cousin has had another baby, born by c-section two weeks ago. This is their fifth child, but number four only lived eleven hours, which was heart-breaking, so I'm sure this latest addition to the family will be so very loved. It's wonderful to hear that both Mum and baby are doing well and that all are happy :o) I also heard today that one of my friends is pregnant or, as she put it, 'busy making a human being that'll be ready next May.' So today's been a day of baby news, and very lovely baby news too :o)

This evening I've sent an email to Air Ventures, which is a paragliding and hang gliding company in the Lake District. I've asked them for info and to find out if they can help me with my 'crazy idea', though that's not how I phrased it to them, because I can't imagine they think it's crazy at all ;o) Anyway, I'll have to wait to hear back from them, but I'm hoping that they'll be helpful, let me fly with them and take me on, though I can understand that there may be some reluctance to take me paragliding given my lungs' rubbish breathing abilities. I really hope they'll take me up ...

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Crazy idea

During my latest admission, in an hypoxic state, I came up with a crazy idea. I often have crazy ideas when I'm oxygen deprived and they're usually dismissed fairly rapidly once I get enough O2 in my system again, but I have to say that I was rather taken with this most recent idea. I was thinking about my list of things I want to do, and most specifically about how I might raise some money for the ward as some kind of payback for the amazing care they give me and the number of times they've saved my life. I have decided that I would like to do a sponsored paraglide! I have to think carefully about how on earth I'm going to get up the hill/mountain/cliff in order to jump off it with that little bit of material attached to my back, but I'm hoping that some nice paragliding organisation/school will be able to help me with those kinds of logistics. I know from past adventurous ideas that I can't do a parachute jump because of lack of oxygen so high up and rapid changed of atmospheric pressure, so I had to check out with my consultant that a paraglide would be okay. Now I'm not supposing that he's much of a paragliding man himself (lol at the thought!), but I thought he might have an opinion. He did ... many ;oP but couldn't think of any 'clinical' reason why I shouldn't paraglide. Yay! So that is my crazy plan, which is terrifying my mother ;oP and I've today started investigating how I'm going to do this. How exciting!

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

A First Entry

This is my first entry, which is obvious as this is the first post on the blog - duh! Anyway, I thought I'd get started after the idea of beginning a blog came to me during my latest hospital admission.

I got home yesterday evening after an eleven day stay at my usual hospital, where I have direct access to the respiratory ward. It's a weird life going in and out of hospital all the time (every few weeks really), and keeps one oddly dependent on others for the most basic of things. I resent it sometime, although I always fully appreciate all that the medics and nursing staff do for me ... it's more the need to be reliant on them that can get to me, rather than anything else, but I've come to realise that there's no point in dwelling on the negativity of the situation, because that only makes the whole thing so much more miserable. It's much better to allow the gloomy times to have their time when they come, but to get on making the most of life the rest of the time. This has been no easy learning curve for me, and in my time I have suffered from the most debilitating depression, at times requiring admission into mental health units, but these days I'm lucky enough to have broken free of the jaws of that particular beast.

So anyway, as I said before, I'm fresh out of the resp ward of my local hospital where I am a regular. It's great to be back home, but I've had to take things easy today because my lungs have been feeling a little grumpy, despite their recent reminder on what they're supposed to do. I've been lying on the sofa most of the day (sofa surfing, so i call it), which is really rather dull, but better sofa surfing than hospital bed surfing :o) The cat, Zach, has pinned me down and refused to let me out of his sight. He puts up with a lot with me disappearing on and off for a week or more at a time, so it's little wonder he's ... emotionally challenged. It's lovely to have his company though, and lovely to feel unconditionally loved, even if it is by the cat >^..^<

This has been a bit of a ramble, and rather disjointed, but hopefully subsequent posts will be more coherent. I'll sign off for now though, have a play with the rest of the site, and then head to bed.