I didn't last very long at home after my last post, and as I thought I might, I ended up back on Ward 29 the following day. I'm still on the ward. I struggled on at home for as long as I could, but the point at which I decided enough was enough was when I thought that I'd just have a rest from what I was doing and sit on the sofa for a bit while I caught my breath, only to realise that all I was in fact doing was sitting on the sofa doing nothing but thinking, 'Gosh, this is hard work.' I phoned my vicar to see if he knew of anyone who might be able to take me to the Freeman, and then phoned J on the ward. Thankfully J had a bed for me and the vicar easily managed to find someone to bring me up to the hospital as lots of people were gathered praying for me.
I've been pretty ill. It turned out that I'd picked up streptococcus pneumonia just before I was discharged from my previous admission, and of course anything that effects the lungs is liable to set off my asthma. I've been on the aminophylline infusion and the oxygen since I came in, and I was on IV antibiotics for several days before being changed onto orals. These were stopped yesterday as I have been getting bad tummy pains, which have most likely been caused by the antibiotics, and indeed the cramps have lessened somewhat since stopping them. I'm still getting quite uncomfortable at times, and needing pain killers, but the pain certainly isn't as bad as it was yesterday or the day before.
We tried reducing the aminophylline on Friday, which I thought was a tad premature as I still didn't feel steady, but the consultant was eager to give it a go. We did. It didn't work. After a few hours at a reduced dose my chest was very tight and wheezy again and I felt like I was beginning to really struggle once more. I was already totally exhausted as I haven't been able to have my usual big sleep this time, I think because the chest tightness and wheeze has been so long and protracted, and I was coughing so much too at the beginning of the admission. Anyway, the infusion was put back to full rate on Friday evening and stayed there till today. It's been reduced again this afternoon, and although I can feel a difference I don't feel dreadful so that's improvement I guess. I'm nervous though, and getting through the night without 'events' will be the big test.
I hadn't had time between admissions to deflate from the horrid water retention, and of course it's only got worse with this admission. However, this time I have been put on big doses of furosemide, which has helped somewhat although I'm still whale-like and hating that. Speaking of whales, I've become even more like one as I've developed a barnacle problem in my mouth. Well, the doctors call it oral thrush, but I'm convinced it's barnacles ;o)
Did I tell you that last time I was in I had a dream that I had to pour custard into my ears? In this dream it was very important that I pour custard in my ears and it was very important that I do it correctly. In my dream I succeeded, and it seems that the dream was almost prophetic! Not that I've actually gone and poured custard in my ears, but I did go almost completely deaf in my right ear and partially deaf in my left ear, and it felt like they were full of custard. It turns out that streptococcus pneumonia bugs can cause ear infections as well as lung infections so the deafness and creaking in my ears has probably been that, but I remain resolute that I have custard in my ears and barnacles in my mouth ;o) Actually, the custard is dissipating now and I can hear better again, and the barnacles have been helped by a course of fluconazole, but that finished today and my mouth isn't quite better :o(
All in all it's been a horrible time, and for all that I'm much better now than I was when I came in, it's felt like a terribly long haul with one thing after another. I'm also completely whacked. This is the first time I've had the computer out and it's totally exhausting. The nurses have said it'll probably take me six to eight weeks to get my full strength back ... just in time for another admission then, most likely :o( Still, I'm not thinking about that. What's important at the moment is to get better from this round of fight, and then to get home. How I long to be home, and stay there!