My week began well. I’ve re-started the Spatone iron water but just in small doses and am not experiencing the intense nausea and stomach pain that I did on the full sachets. My poop is definitely softer than usual but not runny, so that’s also fine. I’ll gradually increase up to a full sachet in the coming weeks and see how it goes.
Most of Tuesday was taken up by having Bertie clipped. I used to do it myself but by the time he’d been showered, dried, brushed and cut three hours had gone by and I was in so much pain I was literally in tears. Luckily for me, a lady who came about my Cleaning job last year used to do dog grooming, so she agreed to come to the house to clip Bert for me. I still shower, dry and brush him and then she does the hair cut. It’s such a relief, though still exhausting.
Last August I went with my Camera Club to a local deer park to take some photos. It absolutely chucked it down, was dark as night and under those conditions it’s difficult to take any kind of photo without using flash which we were asked not to do, so I transferred the images to my laptop and promptly forgot about them. Weds I had a couple of hours free so I decided to sort through them and had amazingly managed to take a couple of half decent shots which were made more decent with the help of my trusty friend Photoshop:
Thursday my Mum had a hospital appointment to be assessed for supplemental oxygen. What a bloody farce that turned out to be. Our appt was for 2pm and dead on time she was taken to be weighed, her lung function measured and a chest x-ray performed which took us to 2.20pm. Then we sat, and sat and sat some more. At 3.10pm we were taken in to see a Registrar, who looked like he was barely out of nappies and didn’t even have her patient file – he therefore had no clue why Mum had had a lobectomy and had no info on her 5 year history of COPD. Despite this lack of vital knowledge, and going off a 2 paragraph referral letter from her GP despite Mum’s complex and long-standing medical history, his recommendations were:
- Mum didn’t need any oxygen. I’ve no idea how he assessed this as her sats were only taken while she was sitting down doing bugger all. She is always fine sitting down doing bugger all – we did explain that her severe breathlessness happens after activity, like dressing or showering.
- He wanted to take her off her steroid inhaler, despite the fact it took nearly 8 months for the specialist lung nurse to find a set of inhalers which actually worked for her.
- He wanted to add a drug for her heart, despite the fact that we’d already tried two different drugs which make her faint regularly so her specialist heart nurse took her off them.
- He prescribed cardio-rehabilitation physiotherapy, despite the fact Mum is in heart and kidney failure and has terminal and severe COPD. There’s no way on God’s green earth Mum can do rehabilitation physio – what fucking planet was he on?!
He asked if I had any questions and I, politely, told him I disagreed with almost everything he’d suggested. So he said he’d have a word with the actual Pulmonary Consultant. He left and we sat in his office for another 20 minutes while the Consultant finished with her patient, all the while the Registrar was waiting outside her door doing bugger all – honestly, someone needs to do a time & motion study on that clinic because the current set-up is a total waste of precious resources.
Like me, the Consultant disagreed with everything the Registrar had suggested, and she advised:
- An ambulatory oxygen assessment.
- Mum remains on her current inhalers.
- No heart meds needed.
- And it was unreasonable to expect Mum to do a 40 mile round trip every week for physiotherapy and as yet there is no pulmonary rehab facility in her home town.
FFS! So we are now to wait for her oxygen assessment which was all we’d gone for in the first place. All in all the appointment took nearly 2 hours when it realistically could have been done in less than 45 minutes.
The stress and effort of the hospital trip, including having to push Mum up a hill from the car park in her wheelchair as there are only 8 disabled car spaces which are always full, meant I spent all of Friday with my neck in spasm, the room spinning and a niggly thumpy migraine which is still thumping away 48 hours later. Yay.
Today I am going out for lunch with my Bestie and really looking forward to it. Having a dog is a bit like having a permanent 2 year old child (feeding, walking, playing, disciplining, cuddling, wiping feet and beard 10 times a day, remembering not to leave the yard gate open, worrying what he’s up to when he’s gone too quiet, even putting on his harness and strapping him in his car seat!), so much as I adore Bertie it’s nice to be away from him for the afternoon and to have some time just for me.