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Catching up.

So I know that it’s been quite a while since I updated my blog. I don’t have much of an excuse, except that I was in Ireland, got back and was only back a few days and ended up in hospital. So I’ve got about a months worth of pictures to update my P365 Project. Will try and do it over the course of this week, but it’s me, and even with the best of intentions, things very rarely go according to plan!

So watch this space!

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A hero in all of us.

I was reading a blog post tonight, by an “ER” doctor in America. It was about someone who worked in their hospital who he considered a hero. It’s amazing how many people find their own hero in hospitals. I can’t say I have one specific hero. Because that would be a lie, I have several. But two people in specific stay in my head.  And they worked/work on my respiratory ward.

Last April, I was in hospital with an asthma attack brought on by a hefty chest infection.  At this time a friend of mine was quite unwell mentally. She had cut herself quite badly on her arms, and had needed steri-strip closure in A&E. Normally I’m able to do this at home to save her the torment of A&E and all the stigma attached to her problem that comes with visits for such things. But being in hospital I wasn’t able to do it, and due to her autism, she has serious issues with other people doing it because they don’t do it right, the way she wants it. At this time, she was on crutches due to joint problems, and when the nurses in A&E had put her back together, it wasn’t done in a way that she was able to use her crutches right. Unfortunately at the time her head wasn’t in a very good place, and before coming to see me on the ward had taken all the steristrips off her several, deep cuts and put a blue paper towel or two over the cuts. She came to visit me on the ward, and when she took her coat off, I could see the blood on her jumper. My mind automatically went into overdrive. “What do I do? How do I fix this? Who can take her somewhere else?” I called the ward sister over, and explained what had happened. I’ve never seen anyone not be taken aback like she did. She just said “Well, we need to sort this really then don’t we?” and went off to find a dressings kit and a trolley. While she was doing this, another member of staff on the ward came over and noticed what had happened. And just as G* (ward sister) pulled up with a dressings trolley, R* (nurse) came over with another one. Carefully, and gently they put T* back together. Now because of T’s need for things to be straight, she wasn’t happy with the way it had been done, and because I’d done it so many times before, she wanted me to do it. At the time I had an IV in both hands and was on oxygen, so you can imagine I was in a bit of a tangle. I was also shaking like a heroin addict going through withdrawals. But G and R sat with me and helped me do it. They stayed 45mins after their shift ended to help me sort it. They didn’t bat an eyelid, or make any stupid comments. They changed the dressings for her for a few days after and kept an eye on the site.  They went above and beyond their job. T wasn’t their responsibility. They could’ve just shipped her off to A&E, or even worse had pysch come up. But they didn’t. It takes someone special to do something like that. I know nurses go into the job because they’re caring, but there’s caring, and then there’s going that extra mile.

Unfortunately G has now left and R  has been on sick leave for quite a while. But these two people will always, in my eyes, be heroes in their own right.

*Names changed to protect identity.

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World Asthma Day 2013

For those of you who care, today’s World Asthma Day. It’s also Asthma awareness month. I think it’s been a pretty big part of my blog since I started, but lately I’ve been trying to not have my entire blog focused on it. But being WAD I thought I’d do a blog on it. But instead of doing a big essay about it, I’m going to do a question and answer type thing. Got this off some website I was having a look at the other day. Can’t remember the name but remember some of the questions.

When were you diagnosed with asthma?
– I was originally given my first inhaler when I was 14. From 14 till about 18 it was relatively well controlled, with the odd course of steroids and doctors visits and adding on a couple of different inhalers and tablets etc.

What made you visit the doctors in the first place?
– I used to play a lot of sports and I noticed I was struggling to catch my breath when doing them and that my chest got quite tight and I was coughing a lot. Our coach was a nurse and was noticing it aswell and asked me did I have asthma, and when I said no, suggested I went to see my GP about it.

How well controlled is your asthma?
– At the minute? Not very. I spent a lot of time in hospital and have been in Intensive Care several times because of it. I now take a lot of medications for it and am on long-term steroids and home nebulisers to try and keep me out of hospital.

How does your asthma affect your day to day living?
– Quite a lot. Obviously with having a lot of attacks and spending a lot of time in hospital, I can’t really plan things in advance, and when I do, I have to set up contingency plans incase it doesn’t happen. Because my family live in other countries, booking flights to see them is quite difficult because on several occasions I’ve had to cancel flights because I’ve been in hospital. I’ve also ended up quite ill in Ireland when I was home for Christmas which was rather nasty. But I’ve decided now I’m going to start booking flights regardless and just making sure that I do my best to make sure I’m as healthy as I can be when I go away, and have things in place incase something did happen while I was away. Also because of the medications I’ve been on for it, it’s caused a lot of problems with other parts of my body, mostly my joints. As a result of this I’m facing a hip replacement this year on my right hip, and one on my left hip in the not too distant future.

Have you found any positives to having asthma?
– Yes. I have made so many friends through Asthma UK and have received fantastic support through the website. I’m now living with my best friend who I met on Asthma UK and when I moved to England the first time, I moved in with someone I met on AUK. I feel very priviledged to also have been to the House of Lords and to have spoken at conferences in different parts of the country about my asthma and how it’s affected me. If I didn’t have asthma these opportunities wouldn’t have arisen. Although asthma has taken a lot from my life, it has also given me a lot.

What advice would you give any people who have been diagnosed with asthma?
– Don’t be afraid. It’s not the end of the world being diagnosed with asthma. It might sound scary, and if you’re reading this, I’m not the best person to speak to that won’t scare the crap out of you. But it’s only 5% of people with asthma that have as bad control as I do. With the right care and treatment you can be easily controlled. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You’re doctor or practice nurse are there to help you. They’ll explain how to take your inhalers, when to get help and will be there to help you when you’re struggling and should always listen to your concerns. The AUK Asthma nurses are fantastic for getting advice and you can find out if you should go to the doctors about this problem and what the best way to discuss it.  But don’t be afraid to ask questions to your doctors or nurse about it. And the AUK forum is also a great place for starters.

But anyway. I have asthma. It doesn’t have me. I try and do as much as I can despite it and I have been SCUBA diving, jumped off the Sky Tower in New Zealand and been on adventure trips with school.  But things are going well for me at the minute 🙂 Apart from my hip I’m doing quite well. I’ve got the dentist tomorrow, which is slightly scaring me and then my pre-op assesment on Thursday. Now that is scaring the shite out of me. I’ll find out what’s going to happen in my op and whether they’ll let me have a general anesthetic.  Found out last Friday aswell that we should be moving into a two bedroom flat pretty soon.  With the new bedroom tax that’s come in, a lot of people are desperate to get into 1 bedroom flats, whereas we’re desperate to get out! It’s a win-win situation!

But I shall update at some point soon about how the pre-op went. Not that anyone reads this anyway. If you do read this, please comment so I know!

Ta!

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Getting somewhere…

Finally, after many, many moons, I’m actually getting somewhere with my life in general. My chest and hip are, for the best part, behaving themselves. I’m at home with my family, the sun is shining and I’m not feeling too bad. OK, I have a head covered in infected, scabbed eczema which is driving me crackers, but this is my life and nothing ever works the way it’s meant to, and something always goes wrong. But at least infected eczema isn’t going to put me in hospital at a moments notice. 

I’m really enjoying being at home. I’ve not seen my family since Christmas, and it’s probably going to be a while before I see them again because I’m not allowed to fly for 3 months after my op. I may be able to get back in August by boat for Lorraine’s wedding(One of my oldest friends) when dad comes back too. So that’ll be fantastic. Hopefully I’ll be able to see both of them without having to get to Tenerife to do it. I got to sit and do TJ’s homework with him the other day, and we spent nearly 2 hours teaching each other long division. I couldn’t remember how to do it, so had to teach myself again, and TJ was just really struggling with it, so he was teaching me what he knew. It was fantastic being able to do it. It makes you feel like you’re actually achieving something and helping someone you love. I love TJ to bits and I know how much he struggles with his homework, so when he was able to do the sums on his own, I was chuffed pink. These things are the reasons I love coming home. 

I’m coming back to Manchester on the 29th April. I don’t know whether I’m excited, nervous, worried, happy, what? I know what I have to do when I get back. I have my pre-op appointment for my operation and I’m really nervous of what they’re going to say. Whether or not I’m going to be allowed to have a general anesthetic or not, or even if they’re prepared to do the operation. It’s going to be a difficult day. But hopefully at the end of it I’ll have some answers to a lot of the questions that’s been on my mind about my hip for a long time. So despite the fact I’m scared shitless, I know that good things will come out of this appointment if I am positive towards it. 

Hopefully I’ll be able to report good news after it. But between now and them I hope I’ll remember/be bothered/find something to write again soon. 🙂

Until next time!

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For Kat

Wrote this for Kat just after she died. Was going to read it at her funeral, but it wasn’t really an appropriate ceremony. I miss her so much. I keep seeing things and thinking “Oh, Kat would like that. Must text her” and then realising. I’m also having the internal battle about deleting her number from my phone. It’s hard. One thing’s for sure, she’ll never be forgotten. Kat hadn’t blogged for a long time, but her blog was a source of support and reassurance to many. I want to try and keep it alive. Please visit it if you can, and if you know anyone who’s struggling with their health, show them to Kat’s page. 

 

For Kat

The day we lost you,
my world caved in.
I couldn’t believe
You’d lost the battle we all thought you’d win.

You brought out the best in me,
And I hope the world is able to see;
The woman who would always smile.
Who always went that extra mile.

You came up here,
In the dead of night.
Just to help show me,
The way to the light.

Saying goodbye was a horrid day,
But Kat, this I have to say.
We will remember you for your heart and smile,
And will always remember your fighting style.

In my heart you’re never gone,
I’ve got to find a way to carry on.
With your love and guiding hand,
Tall and proud we all will stand.

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Late night living.

So it’s 4am and I’m once again burning the sunrise oil. But I’ve been chatting to a few friends and done some bits I needed to do in the flat and online. But I had a random thought earlier.  How do I manage to function better at night than I do during the day? Does anyone have an idea? It makes things awkward with regards to taking medication and doing physio. But I think the biggest impact it’s having is on my mental health and social life. I’m going to be going to bed when I finish this post. But in about 4 hours when most people would be getting up, or 8 when realistically most people get up, how am I going to manage to stay awake all day?  Am I going to be able to go out and do the shopping I need to do tomorrow/today?  I don’t think I’m going to be able to get myself further than the bathroom or kitchen tomorrow to be fair.

I really am going to have to try and sort this sleep thing out. Or I’m never going to be able to stay awake to maintain a social life during the day. Just a point, have been looking at uni courses aswell tonight. If I wanna even get through the first year, I have a lot to get in order. One of them being my sleep pattern. I will get there though. It might take me longer, I may have to find more ways to do things than the norm, but I will get to university and finish the course.

Sleepland, here I come.

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40 Questions

Well seeing as I didn’t bother my arse doing a 12 of 12 for this month, I thought I’d do a 40 questions thing, cause I don’t remember doing one on this blog.

What’s your favorite name for a girl? – Don’t really think I have one. I like Irish names like Dearbhla.

What’s your favorite name for a boy?  – Same I think. Irish names are nice for boys. My little brother is called TJ, but he’s Terence James, or Tiarnach Seamus in Irish

Do you like coke or pepsi? – Coke

Have you read Twilight? – Yea, I actually enjoyed it and the rest of the series. It’s one of those books people either love or hate.

What does your car smell like? – I don’t have a car. I don’t drive.

Have you ever eaten a marshmallow burnt? – Yup, we roasted them on the fire at Christmas!

Do you have a gerbil? – Nope, I did have a hamster but we had to have him put down 😦

Are you afraid of airplanes? – Nope! I love them. I’m the weirdo sitting going “Wheeeeeeeeeeee!” when there’s turbulence!

What gives you goosebumps? – Nails on a blackboard noise and when sellotape is being pulled off the roll

Whose your favorite character on TV? – House!

Why did you take this survey? – Cause I’m bored shitless and most people have done one except me!

Do you like ice cream? – It depends on my mood haha.

Have you been to an arcade before? – Yep

What is your favorite song? – Don’t think I have one. At the minute I really like Oh My Goodness by Olly Murs, 6 Degrees of Seperation by The Script or Carry On by Fun.

What is your least favorite movie? – Oh god, not sure really. I didn’t like the Dr Seuss films much.

When do you think the world will end? – When someone decides men can bear children…

Do you think cheesy jokes are funny? – It depends. Sometimes I’ll cringe, but most of the time I’ll smile at them

Do you like texting or calling? – texting but if its important then I’ll call. But texting cause most of the time it’s free

Have you ever online dated? – I signed up to one once for a laugh to see if I got any interest.

Whose the last person you hugged? – Cookie, or my teddy lol.

Do you believe Wikipedia is always right? – Not always! Back in the younger days I used to spend hours vandalising and getting banned from Wikipedia

Do you like bulldogs? – Don’t really mind them! I’m a big dog person anyway!

Have you ever eaten a corndog? – What’s one of those when it’s at home?

What’s your favorite article of clothing? – My Animal from The Muppets pyjama bottoms.

Do you like classical music? – It depends what kind of mood I’m in. I’ve been known to just lie in bed and listen to classical.

Is your grandma still alive? – Yep. Well, one of them. I have a really good relationship with my nanny. Infact I’m just off the phone to her.

What’s your favorite video on Youtube? – Don’t really use youtube!

Do you have a friend named Buddy? – Nope

Why are people weird? -Because nobody is normal. Or there is no definition of normal.

Do you know what TTFN stands for? – tata for now!

What’s your pets middle name? – She hasn’t really got one. We call our dog Dolly or Dollybird haha.

Have you ever dated 2 people at one time? – nope

Have you ever sniffed someone’s hair secretly? – Not that I know of…

Do you have a T.V in your room? – Yep

How long can you go without electronics? – No more than 4 hours. I need my nebuliser/iPhone

What are your siblings names? – TJ

Are you bored right now? – I am at the minute, but when I finish this and have watched all my episodes of Season 8 of House, I will be!

What do you love to dream about? – No idea!

Are you answering these questions with false answers or true? – True!

Will you tell your friends to do this survey? – Go for it! It’ll give me something to read!