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!