Or rather, the doctor called me. My GP phoned this afternoon about something unrelated to my asthma, but whilst on the phone he managed to deduce that I was 'not good today'. I have to admit that I didn't come clean with him and tell him that I've been slipping for a few days, but I did say that I thought I was going downhill. He pointed out that I didn't have enough breath to speak in anything more than part sentences, which isn't a good sign, but one that I hadn't noticed as I'm too used to it, and he said that my cough was quite high-pitched, suggesting rather tight lungs. He also said that he could hear my wheeze down the phone, which was a little disappointing as I'd been trying to hide this from him by holding the phone that little bit further away than usual. It didn't fool him ... but then he's no fool. Bless him, he seemed quite concerned, but we both know that there's nothing either of us can do until I get to the point of being critical. He suggested whacking my prednisolone (steroids) right up to 60mg in the hope of at least stalling things, even if it doesn't stop the inevitable splat, so that's what I've reluctantly done. I've been on high-dose steroids for about eleven years, and although they keep me alive I hate them with a passion. They have so many nasty side-effects that I'd much rather do without, but I know that I have no choice but to take them. Anyway, my GP was so concerned about me that he landed on my doorstep a few hours later just to see how I was. He knew he couldn't do anything for me, but he wanted to check that I wasn't struggling toooooo much and was okay enough to stay at home. At the moment I am. Bless him, he's so sweet. I know that I worry him, and I know that he truly cares about his patients. I'm so grateful to him and his colleagues at the surgery for everything they do for me and only wish there were some way that I could show my gratitude ... other than keeping on breathing.
So yes, basically I think I'm on the slow decline before a sudden snap and lack of ability in the breathing department. Although now very familiar, this never feels good and you never quite get used to it. I know that before too long I will once again be fighting for my life in an exhausted, breathless heap. Just thinking about it exhausts me. While I wait for the big splat to arrive all I can do is conserve what energy I have and make sure that everything is ready for when it needs to be. The trouble is though that there's no telling how long it'll be until I splat - it could be in a couple of days or it could be an exhausting couple of weeks. Its often this wait that gets to me more than anything. Once I'm in the midst of the fight for life it's awful, yes, but at least I know that one way or another it'll soon be over - I'll either live to tell the tale or it'll finally do me in. Oh well, I guess I haven't faired too badly so far this year so I'll keep my complaints to a minimum.