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

Today is the tomorrow that you worried about yesterday.

Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Questions answered

Okay, having posed the questions, and it now being New Year's Eve, it's time for me to answer my own questions.

1. What has been your biggest achievement this year? Getting a first in my English Lit course (and, so my tutor told me, getting the highest mark!)
2. What made you laugh most this year? This is hard. I know that I've laughed lots this year, and I can remember one or two fits of giggles, but I can't remember what it was about.
3. What has been your favourite/most listened to piece of music this year? I've listened to Scot Joplin a lot.
4. What was your best holiday this year? I didn't have anything much of a holiday this year. I guess I'd say that my time at the Edinburgh Book Festival was the best time away, though it wasn't a holiday as I studied relentlessly.
5. What new skill, if any, have you acquired this year? Erm ... the beginnings of play writing.
6. What's your happiest/fondest memory of this year? Probably of building sand castles for my nephew (O) to prod and then knock down when we were on the beach at Bamburgh in July.
7. What's the best book you've read this year? Excluding those that I read for my course, I'd say Alan Bennett's The Uncommon Reader has probably been the best.
8. If you could spend next year as a film character, who would that be? Oh, what's her name in Much Ado About Nothing? Is it Beatrice? Anyway, it'd be her in the Brannagh version so that I could spend a year with Kenneth Brannagh, Denzyl Washington and Keanu Reeves all in leather trousers! ;oP
9. What new hobby did you take up/old hobby did you reinstate this year? Earlier in the year I reinstated swimming, but it only lasted a couple of months and then got interrupted by hospital. Other than that I guess I've done more with my photography this year than previously.
10. What one thing would you really like to do next year? Pass my current OU course in Advanced Creative Writing.
11. What has been your best discovery of this year? That I'm actually pretty good at literary analysis.
12. What news story of this year has had the biggest impact on you/do you most remember? A serious one has been the attacks in Mumbai. Truly awful. At the other end of the spectrum is one that I heard at the beginning of the year on Radio 4 (at least I'm pretty sure it was this year). A squirrel chewed its way through an electricity wire and caused a blackout in the whole of Devon.
13. What's the best film you've seen this year? (can be at the cinema or DVD etc) I haven't been to the cinema much this year. I did watch a fantastic, though harrowing, film on telly last night - The Magdalene Sisters. If you haven't seen it, it's well worth it.
14. What was your best buy this year? Erm ... maybe my new TV (32" flat screen), or the 30mm macro lens I bought for my camera.
15. What has been your best day out this year? Quite possibly the day at Bamburgh Beach with my nephew, brother, sister-in-law, dad, step-mum, and various friends of dad and step-mum. It was blissfully warm, a lovely family time, Dad looked well and was enjoying himself, O was really happy and cheery and some of us went swimming in the sea!
16. Is there anywhere you'd like to visit next year? Locally, I'd like to go to Allen Banks. A little further afield, I desperately want to go down to London and meet Nephew number 2. Further still, I'd like to go abroad for a holiday ... perhaps to France with my bro, s-i-l, 2 nephews and whoever else is at s-i-l's parents' French house (yes, they have a second home in France). I'm told I have an invite.
17. Name one thing you did this year that you'd like to do again. Hmm ... not sure ... survive, I guess. If I have to be less general, I guess I'd opt for being well enough to get back to supervised exercise.
18. Who gave you the best advice this year? Probably my previous pdoc, Dr M, who advised me to tell somebody something about somebody else even though it went against their wishes at the time. It was necessary for my own well-being. The person I was telling has since been told by the person who it was about. Gosh, that's all very confusing isn't it? I'm having to be a little bit more cryptic than usual to maintain a certain amount of confidentiality.
19. What new skill would you like to acquire next year? Breathing! Failing that, something fun that I haven't yet thought of.
20. What was your favourite TV/radio programme of this year? I've really enjoyed the recent series of Survivors on BBC 1. I love some of the radio comedies on Radio 4 though - Just a Minute; I'm Sorry, I Haven't a Clue; some others that I can't remember the names of at the moment, but I know that I've enjoyed.

Right then, that's me done for the year :o) Anyone got any more questions they want to add to the list? Any more takers for answering any of them? Go on, it's fun!

Have fun tonight, everyone, and I'll see you all next year!

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Review of the year

Last year I devised a set of questions for me and my friends to ask each other on New Year's Eve, and I also did them with my mum. Mum kept a copy and we found it the other day in one of the carol music books so we spent some time yesterday evening going through the questions. I thought that perhaps you might like to think about them too so here they are:

1. What has been your biggest achievement this year?
2. What made you laugh most this year?
3. What has been your favourite/most listened to piece of music this year?
4. What was your best holiday this year?
5. What new skill, if any, have you acquired this year?
6. What's your happiest/fondest memory of this year?
7. What's the best book you've read this year?
8. If you could spend next year as a film character, who would that be?
9. What new hobby did you take up/old hobby did you reinstate this year?
10. What one thing would you really like to do next year?
11. What has been your best discovery of this year?
12. What news story of this year has had the biggest impact on you/do you most remember?
13. What's the best film you've seen this year? (can be at the cinema or DVD etc)
14. What was your best buy this year?
15. What has been your best day out this year?
16. Is there anywhere you'd like to visit next year?
17. Name one thing you did this year that you'd like to do again.
18. Who gave you the best advice this year?
19. What new skill would you like to acquire next year?
20. What was your favourite TV/radio programme of this year?

When I came up with these questions I tried to focus on the positive aspects of life, although I think they also make you consider the other side of things too. One of the things they've done for me is make me think about which areas in the good bits of life I need to make more of an effort with. For example, I had some good days out this year, and I think I can isolate one that I can say was my best of the year (Q.15), but I haven't had as many days out this year as I did last, so maybe next year I need to make sure I have more. The other one I had real difficulty with was Q.4 - best holiday of the year. I've had a couple of days away here and there, but no real holiday in 2008. That is something I definitely need to change for 2009.

I'd really like to hear some of your answers to some of these questions, so please do share some in the comments section :o) In the meantime, have fun thinking about and answering them.

Pond life

I'm still at Mum's at the moment - here until Tuesday. She and J (Step-dad) live near one of the parks in the suburbs of Edinburgh and this afternoon J and I went for a short wander by the pond in the park. It wasn't too chilly and it was dry so there quite a number of people out and about, including plenty of children riding their shiny new bikes that I'm sure they will have got as Christmas presents. There were several families of three generations blowing away the cobwebs, and it was lovely to watch the different interactions of the family members of different generations.

Most of the avian life on and near the pond consisted of gulls, mainly black-headed gulls that had lost the blackness on their heads for the winter months. This caused J and I a little confusion at first, and we started pondering the liklihood of them actually being kittiwakes, but ultimately decided this was unlikely and then checked out the non-black-headed black-headed gull theory in a book when we got back. We were right. Amongst the gulls were a a few pairs of ducks, and a couple of swans looking very majestic and rather expectant as we approached, but alas, we had no bread with us. They looked well fed anyway, and I'm sure that living in a suburban park they don't do at all badly for food. In fact, several of the families that were around included children throwing bread (and probably left over Christmas dinner) to the ducks and swans whilst trying to scare away the gulls. Towards one end of the pond was a small cluster of moorhens, which I always think look so out of proportion when they get out of the water. Their bodies are small and dainty, and their little red bills are somewhat endearing, but then they have whacking great, gangly legs and spindly feet that have a twiggy look about them. Still, for some reason I prefer moorhens to coots, although they're very similar.

On our short meander around the pond we came across a very friendly robin that sat in the branches of a low, leafless bush by the path. It twittered and sang, showed us its glowing red breast and obligingly posed for me while I took a lot of photos. Unfortunately it also decided to make sudden movements of its head at precisely the moment I pressed the shutter button on the camera, so a good number of the photos are rather blurred. I'll have a check through them though and maybe post one or two of the unblurred ones on here. I'll also check out the photos I took of the herron that was perched on a high branch of a tree by the pond. We spotted it from the far side of the pond, but had to wait until we were on the same side as it before I could get a photo. This was fine as it seemed to be asleep and all wrapped up in its wings when we first saw it, but had woken up and was preening itself by the time we made it round to where it was. Of course I've seen herrons many times before, and I've seen them nesting too, but I always find it quite surprising to see a bird of that size nesting in a tree, especially one that I more usually expect to see wading amongst long grass along the side of a lake.

J and I didn't stay out for long, only doing one slow circuit of the pond, because I'm not actually feeling too grand. I'm okay, and I don't have 'flu like Mum has had (I had the 'flu vaccine a couple of months ago), but I think my lungs may be brewing some pond life of their own - more the sludgy, green variety than the avian variety though. I have woken on the past two mornings with a distinct rattle in my chest that I haven't been able to shift at all easily. Nebs have helped a little, but everything feels like it's tightening up and my lungs have a certain heaviness about them. In a fit of optimism when packing to come up here I didn't put my peak flow metre in my luggage, so today J went to the nearest Boots to buy one from the pharmacy counter. I'd just had a nebuliser when J came back from the chemist, but I did a PEF anyway to give me some marker of where I was up to. Post-neb late this afternoon my PEF was 200, which is sort of acceptable for me when I'm setting out on a downward spiral (which I think this probably is). Okay, it's not great, but it's liveable with. I did a pre-neb PEF a little later on and it had dipped to 120. Not great. The nebuliser I had helped a bit, but that rattle is back in my lungs and I'm beginning to wonder how long I've got until I splat as post-neb I only got back as far as 170.

These days Mum and J rarely see me at the outset of a downward spiral so Mum is fussing somewhat and J has been checking out online where the best place to go is over the weekend if I need to see a doc. My guess is the local hospital, which is pretty close, but it's maybe a bit of a difficult call as the other hospital in the city (Edinburgh Western General) has a brittle asthma unit, so they'd be well up on how to treat it. I, on the other hand, am trying to allay their fears that although I'm dipping, I'm not in immediate need of medical assistance, and I'm really hoping not to have to test out the Edinburgh emergency services. I'm sure they're great ... I'd just rather not have to find out first hand. Obviously I'll use them if I need to, and if the pond life develops as I suspect it is then I'll see a doc for antibiotics sooner rather than later, but I'd much prefer to have a medical-free Christmas break away, get home as planned on Tuesday, and not immediately find myself making use of the health services back in Newcastle.

And with that I shall leave you for now while I go and nebulise again.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Phew! I made it!

Phew! I've made it to Christmas! I made the deadline for my latest assignment! I've made it to Edinburgh! Hurray!

I'm sure you're all hectically busy, as I have been, which is why, yet again, I have neglected you until now. Now that I'm up at Mum's though I can feel the tension finally slipping away, and I'm starting to relax into Christmas.

I spent most of the past week and a bit writing an assignment that was due on by Friday just gone (a stupid time to have an assignment in, if you ask me). Luckily, and quite miraculously, I managed to get it done and sent off into the ether for marking by 5.30pm on Thursday :o) The assignment entailed dramatising the short story I'd written for the previous assignment, for radio, stage or film. I'd originally thought I'd do it for film, but then played around with the idea of radio before finally settling on stage. I was in my usual state of decisiveness ;o) I can't remember if I told you about my first assignment or not, so here's the (very) basic storyline:

Bill and Marion are the parents of a young soldier, Jim, who is fighting out in the Iraq war. They receive a visit from a Casualty Notification Officer telling them of their son's death. On the day of Jim's funeral they get a letter from Jim that he wrote and sent just before he was killed.

As I say, that is the story on a very basic level. The play is a little different in that it deals solely with the morning of the funeral, and rather than concentrating mostly on Marion (as the short story does), it tells more of the story and reactions of all the characters. So there's Bill's coping/not coping by keeping busy and getting tied up in practicalities, but then giving way to his real feelings when Captain John Baites (the CNO) gives him the letter. By the way, the play opens with the arrival of the letter, and Jim's friend, Micky, who's already in the house picking it up off the doormat. He doesn't want to upset B and M so keeps hold of it until the CNO arrives, which is how come he gives it to Bill. There's a little in the play about how the CNO comes to be doing the job and the complexities of it when he didn't know Jim ... Um, then there's a bit of Micky's reaction, and also his relationship to the family as a life-long friend of Jim. And of course, there's Marion's grief and then her reaction to the letter - she goes into a brief state of disbelief that Jim is actually dead seeing as he's sent a letter.

It's not cheery, is it? Not very festive. Maybe that, in addition to having the pressure taken off with having met the assignment deadline, is partly why I'm now able to relax. It's been a slog, but I'm quite pleased with the final thing ... though I reserve all judgement until I get the mark through. I still have some work to do over Christmas, but I'm determined to take a couple of guilt-free study-free days off, and maybe when I come back to it I'll be a little refreshed ... or a little more stuffed with Christmas goodies at least ;oP
As I say, I came up to Mum's in Edinburgh yesterday. It's great to be up here, but Mum's not well. She's got 'flu :o( She's a little better than she was last week, but still not well so I think Christmas is going to be a relatively quiet affair. Luckily (for me) I had the 'flu vaccine back in October so I should be okay, but my lungs were quite tight this morning, requiring a double dose of nebulised salbutamol, and not too happy this afternoon either. They've been better this evening than they were earlier in the day, but I'm thinking that I might have to be careful in the next day or so. I have no desire to sample the local hospital, even though it's got a fairly good reputation!

Speaking of avoiding hospital, I had a bit of a close call on Sunday evening. At my church the 'general holy mob' (most of the congregation ;oP ) get normal bread (but consecrated) at communion. I can't have shop-bought bread, because of my allergies, and I can't have the regular host wafers either. I can, though, have the gluten-free wafers, although it's not gluten that's the problem for me, it's the sulphur dioxide/sulphites they use to make the flour used in the regular wafers white. Anyway, on Sunday evening we were having a quiet, reflective, Christmas vigil service with communion, which was all very lovely and going smoothly ... until communion. For a change, the communion bread and wine were being passed around by the congregation to each other, but M (the vicar) had told me that he had mine separate and that he'd give it to me himself. Great. This would have been absolutely fine if only the wafer I was given had not been either the wrong sort or a different brand. Whatever it was, it was different and I very quickly knew it. I managed to avoid swallowing any of it, and while I still had it in my mouth asked M if it was the gluten-free type. He looked a bit worried, then said he thought it was, but suddenly wasn't sure. I got up and we went to the back of church (actually it was about half way up, but it was beyond the horseshoe of pews where the service was taking place) where I quickly spat out the consecrated God biscuit. I'm not sure what God would make of that, or the fact that it then went in the bin, but I didn't have a lot of choice, because already my tongue and lips were fizzing, my mouth was itchy, my throat was itchy and my eyes were beginning to burn. My tongue swelled a bit, and my eyes continued to burn and itch and everything in and around my lips was itchy and sore for quite sometime, but luckily it didn't progress into anaphylaxis. I think it might have done if I'd actually swallowed any of it, and/or if I hadn't immediately taken a double dose of two different antihistamines (as prescribed by my immunologist, not just because I thought it was a good idea!).

After exposure to, or ingestion of, an allergenic substance I have up to four hours in which I could have an anaphylactic reaction. Usually, the sooner the reaction begins the more severe it is (and this was pretty damn immediate), but it doesn't always happen that way. It also doesn't always happen that because you stave it off once that it won't come back when the level of antihistamine subsides. It can be an anxious time, but all I can do is wait ... which was apt on Sunday as the sermon was all about waiting. Anyway, I'd put the deadly God biscuit in my mouth around 8pm so I had until to get to about midnight before I could relax in knowledge of relative safety. Poor M was so worried, and I think felt quite guilty (though he has no reason to be, because these things will sometimes happen), and he asked me to text him at midnight to let him know that I was still alive, breathing and had a generally functioning body. Several of my friends suggested I have someone sit with me until midnight, which may have been sensible, but I thought I'd be okay (though they could've been fatal last words) and it also felt a bit much to put onto others ... although I'll probably get shouted at by them for saying that if/when they read this. As it happens I was okay. I felt a bit crappy, and I was very itchy all around my mouth, lips and throat, but the swelling of my tongue went down, and my eyes stopped burning so I got on with distracting myself from the other miserable symptoms by slowly packing for my trip up here and also wasting time on Facebook. As expected, I felt lousy in the morning - I always do after an allergic reaction - so my plans to head off for Edinburgh by 1pm at the latest were delayed until 3pm, by which time I was much more able to function. By the time I got here I was fine, but exhausted, which is unusual for me on a 'normal' drive north, but not after a near-miss allergic response. Needless to say, I had a very early night last night and slept like a log. Maybe this morning's lung grumpiness was connected to the allergy, though I doubt it as it was a bit too long after the event.

Anyway, I made it! I survived and catastrophe was avoided. Yay! Phew!

Friday, 12 December 2008


I've neglected you again - sorry. I'm back from Edinburgh now though and feeling somewhat refreshed for it. It's also only another 2 weeks until I'm back up there for Christmas so I have that to look forward to and to keep me going :o) It was good to get away even if it wasn't the trip to London that I'd originally planned, and it was good to do very little while I was away too. I think I just needed a change of scenery and a bit of TLC. I'm still hugely disappointed about the methotrexate decision, but I don't crumple every time I think about it now, though I have to say that I have noticed a difference in how my lungs have felt over the last couple of weeks ... it's kind of like they're smaller. I remember now that when I first started taking the methotrexate I felt as though my lungs were enormous, and that I could take a bigger breath. With the withdrawl of the med I'm losing that feeling of space to breathe. I know that some of the drug will still be in my stystem, and in fact it won't have fully worked its way out for upto three months, so the fact that I can already feel a difference after only almost three weeks since my last dose doesn't really bode well, in my opinion. It's tough, but I have to get my head around the finality of the decision, accept it and move on, otherwise I'll end up getting depressed, and it's not worth that. Nothing is worth depression.

Speaking of depression, before I went up to Edinburgh I was slightly concerned that I was edging towards depression, though I didn't want to admit it 'out loud' in case it made it reality (the weird logic of the stressed mind!). Now that I've had a bit of a break and had a rest I feel as though I've got much more of my old spark back. I was low and miserable before my trip, but I managed to avoid a deep slump, which I'm proud of, because a few years ago I'd have been so scared by the upset I was feeling that I may have actually convinced myself into a depression ... if that makes sense. None of the things that were causing the upset have changed, but I've given myself a bit of time to process some of them, I've even allowed myself to be miserable and tearful when I've needed to be, and I've come through the other side. My friends have been around to support me, pray for me, give me hugs, and all those other things that friends do to let you know you matter, they care, and want to help. They help just by being them :o)

So I have returned from Edinburgh, the feeling of ultra-limited lung capacity has returned, but despite the latter my inner sparkle is returning and that is good. The other thing that has been returned is my exam result. I got it earlier this week. I got a first!!! I got 84% in the exam and an overall course mark of 88% !!! This is flipping amazing! :oO <--- that's me being amazed! I spent quite a bit of time in hospital during this course; wrote at least one of my assignments whilst in hospital, on oxygen, still attached to the aminophylline infusion; only had three weeks to revise for the exam because of being in hospital, and for some of that three weeks I was still trying to recuperate and feeling quite unwell; and you may remember that I had the invigilator from hell who kept talking to me throughout the exam. Various other significant things have happened during the course that have impacted upon my studies too, so it can be said with legitimacy that this has certainly been a difficult year and study hasn't been easy. This is why I'm so amazed at my result ... and utterly delighted :oD

Sunday, 7 December 2008


Sorry I've been a bit quiet of late and left you on a rather miserable note. I've needed a bit of time to wallow in the fed-upness and just let myself give in to the disappointment, particularly of the methotrexate situation. I'm beginning to come out of the fed-upness now and think that one thing that has helped is coming up to Edinburgh for a few days for some parental TLC. I was actually supposed to be going down to London to stay with my brother and his family, and to meet my 'new' nephew (you may remember he was born in September, but I still haven't had a chance to meet him), but they're all full of colds. Again, because of my lungs, it's not sensible to put myself in the middle of lurgy-ridden places as I pick bugs up so easily and what is a cold to most people usually turns into a lung crisis for me. I was hugely disappointed, and even more fed up with my lungs, not to get to London, but decided that I needed to get away for a bit anyway so have come up to my mother's for a few days. I haven't done very much while I've been here, but it's good to be able to rest and be looked after a little ... and also to play the baby grand piano that she bought a couple of weeks ago almost on the spur of the moment! It's quite an impulse buy, don't you think? But I have to say that it's rather wonderful and beautiful to play so I have been playing it a lot :o)

Today I really must get down to some study. I'm behind again, have an assignment (a dramatisation based on my last assignment) to get done by 19th, and I'm panicking a little now. Mind you, the general panic of study isn't helped by waiting for my exam results from the English Lit course, which are due any day now - Friday by the latest. I'm finding it really hard to settle down to work while I'm waiting on these results, which is silly really as there's absolutely nothing I can do about them now, and also I'm fairly certain that I've passed, it's just what level of pass I'll get. Eek! So yes, today I need to do some study. This should actually be helped by being at Mum's and on the receiving end of TLC asI don't have to do anything else much. I always feel like I should help with the cooking etc, but Mum gets a bit hassled if she does concede to let anyone help and actually prefers just to get on with it herself. At least she enjoys it :o)

Hmm, well I suppose I should go and get on with that study I've been talking about. You know, I could have a degree in procrastination ... if only I get around to it ;o)

Monday, 1 December 2008

Nothing new

In the past week I have had three hospital appointments, a trip to the walk-in centre, and I have a doctor's appointment this afternoon. Each appointment has been one of disappointment.

Last Tuesday I went to see the psychiatrist, which was the least disappointing/traumatic of my medical visits. Dr G is okay, but he often has his own agenda, which isn't actually all that great for a psychiatrist, and the result of this is that I have to try to cram in what I want to say whenever I get a chance. A lot of what I wanted to say last week, and on many of my recent appointments with Dr G, has been related to my asthma and more specifically my most recent admission. The problem is that Dr G doesn't seem to know what to say to me about any of this, and to be honest I don't expect him to say anything, just listen, which as I've already said he's not that great at. He wants to help. He wants to say something that'll make me feel better. He wants to be able to do something. He offers me medication, but there is no point in taking more antidepressants largely because I'm not depressed. Yes I've been stressed and been a bit traumatised, but I'm not depressed. He agrees and I don't take a prescription. There is nothing Dr G can do or say. The appointment finishes and I go home.

On Friday I had an appointment with the opthalmologist and optician at one of the hospitals. This is in part to check my coloured contact lens that artificially contracts my left pupil as it doesn't do it on its own. I have a condition in my left eye called Holmes Adies Pupil which, amongst other things, means that the pupil doesn't contract so I get dazzled by light, which can be uncomfortable. I know that there's nothing that can be done for this, and it's not life threatening in any way. In fact all the literature says that it is of little consequence, but this is a medical view when in reality the discomfort of bright light isn't nice and the fact that the lens in my eye doesn't accommodate is frustrating, because it interferes with my vision. My left eye doesn't focus well so things are often very blurred in that eye. Over time my brain got somewhat used to this and my right eye compensates to some extent. However, my vision is further compromised by cataracts that began to develop a couple of years ago. They're only small at the moment, but they're right in the centre of the lenses in my eyes, and the one in my right eye is bigger than the one in the left. I've written before about the prospects of this for me, but to say again, the opthalmologist is extremely reluctant to operate at any time to remove the cataracts because of my lungs. Most cataracts are removed under local anaesthetic, but apparently there's still a risk that a local anaesthetic would affect my lungs, so the consequence is that they won't do anything and I have the prospect of blindness ahead of me unless I can convince me asthma consultant to speak to the opthalmologist and convince her to remove the cataracts eventually.

Now on Friday afternoon I went to the local walk-in centre for the very silly thing of an infected toe. I hadn't planned on going there and was going to see if I could just sort things out by regularly soaking my foot in hot, salty water, but as Friday progressed my whole toe started to ache so I thought I'd better get it seen to, especially as I'm MRSA positive. So I went to the walk-in/hobble-in centre and sure enough was told that it's infected and I needed antibiotics, but as I'm on methotrexate the nurse practitioners who run the centre aren't licenced to prescribe antibiotics for me. I came away with a toe dressing, the phone number of the urgent doctors service in case it got worse over the weekend, the suggestion that I see my own GP on Monday and the news that there's nothing the walk-in centre can do for me. Oh great.

This morning I have been to see my asthma consultant, which is always the same - a chat, a check to see that things aren't deteriorating (too much) and confirmation that nothing can be done to help. Today was harder to take than previous appointments with Dr H though as he's decided to take me off methotrexate. There are some serious potential side-effects, such as lung fibrosis, liver failure and kidney failure. Thankfully I haven't suffered any of these so far, but the risk is on-going, my consultant has been concerned about the potential of them, and he has now decided that the risks aren't out-weighed by the limited benefit I was getting from the drug. It's not altogether unexpected, but I have been so upset today. I was put on methotrexate as a last hope of anything helping and now that hope has been taken from me. There is nothing else left to try, and again Dr H has said that we have to wait for science to catch up with my disease and try to hope that I live that long. You know you've hit a brick wall when all the consultant can offer is a prescription of hope, but at the same time removes the medication that supplied the hope.