On a positive note, it seems as though the coldiness I thought I felt has gone, and so may have been residual allerginess from the hops plant reaction last week. I know that it seems rather a long time from Wednesday to Sunday (or was it Monday???) to still be feeling the effects of an allergy, but they can be like that. After recovering from an anaphylactic reaction, I can be wiped out for a week or more, and my body usually aches with an intense exhaustion so that it almost hurts even to touch the bed that I'm lying on at the time. It's very strange, and I'm not sure I can describe it all that well ... all I can say is that at those times it definitely feels as though I've been poisoned. So although I've not been this bad from last week's reaction, and it wasn't anaphylactic, the pseudo-coldiness could have been an allergy hangover. That doesn't really explain the current lung tightness though, but then, as I say, my lungs never need an excuse - I think they just get bored of doing the same in/out thing all the time.
I went up to the hospital today, but managed to steer clear of all doctors who know me :o) Actually, I did see one of the ITU docs in the corridor, but I managed to scoot into the lift before they could notice that my lungs aren't behaving themselves too well. No, on this rare occasion I wasn't there for myself, but for a friend who's in there. He's thankfully on the mend now, but he's had quite a rough time of it over the past few months with one thing and another, so he's looking a bit wiped out. I always find it a bit odd visiting others in hospital, because I'm so used to being the patient. There's a certain skill to being a good visitor, and I'm not sure that I have it, because although I know what I like from a visitor when I'm an inpatient (and it varies depending on my stage of ill-health or betterness), other people like other things. Sometimes I need just to have someone sit with me and maybe hold my hand; other times I need very basic conversation - reminding what day of the week it is and how long I've been in hospital. Sometimes I need to be distracted from a desperate state of breathlessness by hearing all about what others are up to, or perhaps, even in that state being 'allowed' to tell them my fears or my random thoughts. Sometimes I want to cry with my visitors, or laugh with them. Sometimes I want to play cards. Sometimes I'm not sure if I even want visitors, and that's a very strange state, because you kind of wait all day for visitors to arrive, but then shortly after they do you wish they were gone again. There's nothing very logical about it ... it's just that visitors can be exhausting as well as stimulating, and it takes someone quite skilled in the art of hospital visiting to be able to judge what is needed by the patient at any particular time. I've had much more 'practise' at being the patient on the receiving end of visitors than of being a hospital visitor, so when I visited E today, I felt a little unsure of myself at first, though he seemed to be at a point of quite liking having company, but not wanting people to stay too long. I hope I judged it correctly. In the end I left so that I could find somewhere to use my nebuliser that wouldn't scare a passing nurse into thinking they should contact my ward, not that I was that tight, but I needed to 'do some breathing'.
I'm still hoping that this lung tightness is a blip that might resolve itself, rather than the beginnings of a downward spiral. Time will tell.