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

Today is the tomorrow that you worried about yesterday.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010


Hurrah! I have good things to report! First off, I got the results for my latest OU course - children's literature - and I got a Distinction (a First) with 90% for the End of Course Assessment (the one I wrote when I was so desperately ill because I was refused an extension) and 86.5% for the continuous assessment. All but one of my continuous assessment essays were over 85%, but my OCA mark was brought down a little by the 78% I got for the second assignment Sooo, the Distinction I've got for this course adds to the other three I've got, and although I have one more course to do before I graduate I know now that I will come out with a First Class Honours degree, providing I pass the last course. As I'm doing things in my typical backwards way, this last course I have to do is only a foundation course so it's just pass or fail - no variation in pass levels - and as a foundation course it doesn't count towards my final class of degree, which is how come I know what degree classification I'll graduate with :oD It certainly takes the pressure off, and I can be extremely proud of myself achieving what I have, and against the odds with my health.

Continuing with the education theme, I've had my official acceptance from Newcastle University onto the Post Graduate Certificate in creative writing - an unconditional offer after a glowing reference from my latest OU tutor :oD I'm a very happy bunny and looking forward to starting my post grad studies ... even though I'll simultaneously be finishing my undergraduate degree...

Now you may remember that some time ago I asked if it'd be possible for me to have pulmonary rehab at the Freeman. Initially the physio had agreed, but then they got scared off by my regular passing out, which is understandable I suppose. So then, feeling rather despondent, I asked my GP if he could help, but he was then pushed from pillar to post and apparently ended up writing to Dr H (asthma consultant) to see what he could do. Then at the beginning of last week I had an appointment with the physio at the Falls and Syncope Service at RVI to see if they could help with the imbalance I have due to the POTS. The physio here, L, was great (as all the staff at the F&S clinic have been in all of my contact with them) and she's given me some balance exercises to do. Anyway, while I was there I spoke to L about the pulmonary rehab and the reticence of physios not used to POTS (fair enough considering the rarity of it) to take me on, and also whether she thought it'd be reasonable for me to take part in pulmonary rehab. After my assessment with her L thought pulmonary rehab would be great for me, and said that she'd discuss it with Prof N (one of my POTS consultants - for some reason I have 2 in the same department!). The next day I had a call from L saying that she'd discussed the pulmonary rehab option with Prof N and she also thought it would be of great benefit to me. Prof N had written a letter to the physios at Freeman to put forward my case, whilst acknowledging the justification for their anxieties, and L said that I should hear from the Freeman shortly, but to get back in touch with her if I hadn't heard anything in three weeks time. Well, that afternoon I received a phone call from the physio at the Freeman offering me an appointment for my pre-pulmonary rehab assessment! L must have faxed the letter through to Freeman. I'm so pleased. I can't wait to start getting some level of fitness back, and to get my confidence with it back too. I'll keep you posted with how the assessment goes and what happens in pulmonary rehab.

It's three weeks today since I had my first cataract op, and things are now much more settled with it. I'm still surprised by the brightness of colours and the fact that things have actual edges! My sight is still lopsided as I've yet to have the second eye done, and also get new glasses, but already things are so much better than before the op and it's all very exciting :oD I have one more lot of eye drops to do at midnight tonight before I can stop being ruled by the clock and having to remember to take the drops with me if I go out (ensuring too that they're kept cold as they're supposed to be refrigerated), and then I have my follow-up appointment at the hospital on Thursday next week. Two days before this I have to go to the optician to have a post-op eye test so that the surgeon has something to work on at my clinic appointment, so that's all booked in for Tuesday. I'm still having problems reading and doing any kind of close work, which is very frustrating, but I know that'll be sorted when I get new glasses after my second op. In the meantime I'm enjoying already improved sight.

Oh, the other thing is that I've had the super duper ventilation system from EnviroVent installed. The bulk of the work was done on Monday with the BBC news reporter here too doing lots of filming and interviewing in the morning - he was here for almost three hours! He came back a couple of hours later to do a bit more filming and to interview one of the directors from EnviroVent who had come up from their head office in Harrogate. He was lovely, and actually the person who had seen me on the initial news item a few weeks ago, and thus instigated the whole thing with EnviroVent. It's so very generous of them, and while only time will tell if it helps my asthma, I can already feel an improvement in the level of humidity in my flat. The installation was finished off this afternoon, with the last of the boxing-in of the piping being done and the new fan in the kitchen. The engineer was brilliant, friendly, efficient, hard working, and an all round good guy :o) Both of us were on the telly on Monday evening on both the 6.30pm programme and the 10.30pm programme, and I learnt from a friend today who had a visit from her social worker yesterday that, as a result of my appearance on the telly, the local social services are going to review their provision of services for severe asthmatics. Apparently they weren't really aware of the impact that severe asthma can have on an individual, learnt a lot from the news report I was in, and consequently think that they're not doing enough for people with asthma. I think this is an amazing result and more than I could have hoped for from the report, so I'm now more than ecstatic that I agreed to put my insecurities aside and take part in the TV publicity.

Results all round!


Sarah said...

Excellent. I love that you're making a difference from your living room!

Anonymous said...

Becky, I too am ecstatic that things are going so well with you. A brilliant course result, and if ever someone deserved it, you are the one!

Dawn said...

It's great to read such a positive post!
Congratulations on the OU course results, all you're hard work is paying off :)
It's amazing that your local social services are going to review their services!! You should be very proud of your part in that :) :)
Hope these good things continue for you xx

Beth said...

well done again on the course :)

and especially well done on making a difference to the lives of all the severe asthmatics in newcastle! that's absolutely amazing! well done becky xx

Kate said...

Congrats, Becky! A first with the OU is no mean feat, health difficulties aside!

BeckyG said...

Thank you all so much for your congratulations :oD I have to say that I'm rather proud of myself re my course results, especially as it's been such a tough year medically, though I suspect I'd be proud of myself even if it hadn't been so hardgoing health-wise.

I'm ecstatic about the effect my TV appearance has had on social services. I never expected anything quite as substantial as that to come from it, and it's made me up that such an enormous thing as this is happening. Amazing.

ginge said...