I was away earlier in the week, having a few days up in Bamburgh with some of my family for my dad's birthday week away, although it's not actually his birthday until next week. Anyway, I was with my dad, step-mother, brother, sister-in-law and nephew from Saturday until Tuesday. The weather was fantastic, the cottage Dad and step-mum had rented was lovely, and the time together was special. On Sunday we all went on a trip to the Farne Islands, which is one of my most favourite places in Northumberland, and we saw loads of seals, puffins and arctic terns. Actually we got dive-bombed by several arctic terns when we landed on Inner Farne, because some of them had chicks that had decided to take up residence on the public walkway. The parents hovered above, squawking at us and then diving at us in their efforts to get us away from the chicks. That's fine, except that you didn't always see the chicks on the path until you were being attacked by the parents. It was great all the same though, and I got some wonderful photos, although I have yet to download them onto the computer
Monday was spent largely on the beach ... and swimming in the sea! Dad came swimming too, and my nephew, O, came for a paddle. He's only 19 months old and when the waves splashed up on him they were up to his middle, but he wasn't at all phased by it, and seemed to enjoy himself greatly, laughing and giggling his little heart out. When I was drying off in the sun, I made lots of sandcastles for O to knock down. After I built them, he'd look at them, poke them, and then flap his hands to joyfully knock them down. I must have made at least 50 sandcastles that afternoon. After that I buried my feet in a big hole that the dog of a friend of my dad's had dug earlier on. O couldn't quite work out what had happened to my feet at first, so then we (me and my sister-in-law) sat O in the hole and buried him up to his middle. He thought this was great fun, especially when I then built a sandcastle on top of his sand-covered legs. Eventually we had to go back to the cottage - all of five or ten minutes walk away from the beach - to get O fed, bathed, and in bed, but he was very happy and the following day my brother said that he thought Monday had been O's best day of his whole life so far :o)
My brother and his family had to go home to London on Tuesday so that my sister-in-law, N, could go back to work on Wednesday. I stayed with Dad and my step-mum, B, until the early evening, and then slowly wended my way home, following the coastal route, and occasionally stopping off at some of the beaches along the way. It was still warm and sunny then (it's been raining most of the time since I got home), and lovely to take it easy as I made my way back.
It was a very lovely time, and quite a special time too, but also quite hard going on the lungs. There was something around that my lungs didn't like, particularly at night, so I didn't sleep well and had to use my nebuliser a fair bit more than the usual four times a day. I tried to keep from the others how much of a struggle things were, because I didn't want them to worry too much, but it's difficult to get the balance between that and making people aware that there's the possibility of needing further help. Luckily I didn't need emergency assistance, but it's been a bit of a struggle since I got home. Today has been particularly difficult with a sudden lung splat this afternoon when I was out getting my prescription from the doctors' surgery. I avoided having to see the doctor, but only a few minutes after I left the surgery, I ended up nearly collapsing at the pharmacy, and spent the next thirty to forty-five minutes sitting in their consultation room using my nebuliser. I managed to get to the point of being really quite unwell and on the verge of needing an ambulance (or rather, on the verge of agreeing to having an ambulance be called) to being still unwell, but able to get home. I've spent all my time since then sofa surfing, watching the telly, and using my nebuliser to keep/get things under control. I have my community care alarm to hand in case it all goes horribly wrong, but I'm hoping that things will continue to calm and I'll get through at home. Obviously I won't push myself beyond the realms of sense, but I really don't want to end up in hospital if I can help it.
So yes, it's been a bit of a mixed time, as the title suggests - a great time away for a few days with family, but alongside worsening breathing/lungs. Oh yeah, and I'm still trying to catch up with my OU studies, and desperately trying to get an overdue assignment done. I haven't been able to concentrate on study since I got back from the pharmacy/lung splat, hence the watching telly, but I did lots of reading for the assignment yesterday and earlier today, so at least I've done some.
Well now, I think it's time for me to move from the comfort of the sofa and my little nebuliser, to the comfort of the bed and my bigger nebuliser (they do the same thing, but the big one is noisy and not easily portable, so it lives next to my bed). I'll keep you posted with how things go.