Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Keeping It To Yourself

I am continuing to improve but very slowly and I seem to be sleeping more than usual. I hope that is because I didn't sleep much when really poorly and not a side effect of the new meds. My days are still spent mostly lying on the settee watching TV or using my laptop and it is very frustrating as I can see loads of little jobs that need doing that men don't even seem to notice. Arrgghh! I did manage to do some ironing though so at least my men won't be walking around all rumpled.

I'm under strict instructions to stay home until my peak flows are consistently over 300, at the moment they fluctuate between 210 and 250 depending on the time of day. I seem more breathless in the mornings and get higher readings in the afternoons before dipping down again at bed time. I suspect this it because of the timing of the new meds and I dip just before the next dose. Still the readings are much better than the first attempts when the highest I got was 170.

Laurence is paying a visit today and thankfully I think I'm well enough to cook him one of his favourite meals. I'll do all the prep sitting down and get Andrew to help with the actual cooking. It was going to be pancakes but Laurence is not fond of them so I'll save that treat for Wednesday.

Peter has been busy on my behalf. Just before I fell ill the thermostat on my car failed. Being an Alfa Romeo the garage wanted several hundred pounds to fix it. A trawl of the Internet found the part for £45 and Peter fitted it himself. Sometimes it is handy being married to a car nut.

I was watching the local news yesterday and my attention was caught up by a sad and rather shocking story about a teenage girl who died after collapsing with chest pains and shortness of breath. Nothing much unusual there you might think, this happens every day, Asthma being the main cause. What drew my interest was when they interviewed the mother. I couldn't believe my ears when she said 'it is difficult to keep track of all your children's illnesses.' Maybe it is difficult logging every cough and cold but serious illness is usually easier to remember, especially if surgery was involved. It turns out this girl had been born with holes in her heart which were fixed but left her with a serious underlying condition.  This condition was never discussed with the family because, believing she has been cured, follow up appointments meant to pin point any underlying problems she might have had were missed.

Fifteen years later the girl was taken to a  health center with a badly sprained ankle. While she was there she complained of shortness of breath and chest pain but she and whoever was with her failed to mention her past heart history to the staff  because they though they would 'know about it'. As a result the medics put the breathlessness down as being part of the cold she was recovering from and discharged her. I personally would have mentioned the medical history several times and to several people just to make sure they got the point. However the staff must have asked the girl and whoever was with her whether she had any heart/lung problems in the past, in my experience they always get a run down of your medical history before doing anything to you. If these people chose not to fill in the details that's their problem. All in all at least part, if not all, of the responsibility for this sad death lies with the family for not alerting the medics to her medical history. The medics cannot treat what they do not know about. Thankfully the coroner decided that the health professionals were not at fault and could not have predicted this girl's death from the information they were given at the time. Although I feel sorry for the loss at such a young age it may never have happened if mum had remembered about her daughter's heart condition and/or had bothered to tell the medics about it.

Tomorrow, if I well enough, we just have to go to Tesco's.Something to look forward to I guess and at least it will get me out of the house and into the fresh air.