Monday, July 20, 2015

Month 6 - Summer Half Over

Time is flying by and we are past the half way point of the summer.   It has actually been a pretty nice summer contrary to popular belief about the weather in England!  I will take the English weather any time over the extremes we had in Baltimore...particularly August when there were days when even the healthy version of me was pretty much paralyzed with the heat and humidity.

Of course in England homes don't have A/C so when we do get a really hot day it can be a challenge to stay cool.   This is especially true when your man cave has multilple computers and multiple 3D printers in constant operation!  Generally not an issue but I did invest in a little portable A/C unit that does a good job at dehumidification though can in no way keep up with all the heat generation that I put on it!   Between the De-humidifier, and having the unit point right at me,  it does the job.

Anyway.   Aside from a couple of days where heat and humidity took a high toll on my I have not been feeling too bad.   Not better by any means but at least a little stable.  Doctors appointment next week and should see what if anything the scans had to say.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Month 6 - Please tell me this was not a "Lesson"

Last Friday morning, a week ago, I had the second IV of steroids.   In an earlier post I mentioned that I had to pressure the night shift into not making wait for shift change.   The nurse that finally decided to set me up had a lot of trouble getting the cannula into my arm.  As in multiple painful attempts each time complaining that my skin was tight.  As you can see from the picture it is still grossly black and blue.

This was the worst, by far, experience that I have ever had with getting a cannula inserted or blood taken.  Including all the other times that I have been poked in the same ward or downstairs in the same hospital.  Or anywhere.  Three, or was it four, attempts each more painful than the last?

It only occurred to me yesterday that a paranoid person would wonder if it was a deliberate lesson that I was being taught.   That lesson being to to wait for the shift change next time?  I hope not.  I really don't want to believe it.   Maybe skin does tighten up after a day of steroid treatment.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Month 6 - Steroid High - Steroid Crash

In my last post I mention feeling better.  I continued to feel better through Saturday.  Really good in fact.  No, I had not thrown down my crutches and proclaimed that I was healed, but I did feel pretty good.  Which was then followed by a couple days of feeling really quite bad.

I am trying to be English here and do the whole understatement thing.  In American terms I felt like absolute crap.  Sara did a little research and learned that this is not exactly unusual with steroid treatments.  I have had them before but never with such an extreme reaction.  Obviously a testament to the condition of my body at this point.

It is a week since the steroid treatment and I am feeling better.  Particularly since the weather is cooler and the humidity lower.  Not sure what impact the steroids had but have to hope for the best.

Interestingly, if you can call pain interesting, I have been fighting what Sara thinks is a Sciatica Nerve issue that is impacting my left leg.   It could be.  It completely went away during the steroid high and seems to respond to Ibuprofen.   Both implying an inflammation?

Friday, July 3, 2015

Month 6 - Pacing... front of Nurses Station seemed to help.  That and some begging.  IV was done at 9:00 and I was home by 10:00.   Lovely.   Nice day here as well.  Back door to man cave open, sun shining, temperature cool as the HEAT WAVE has broken.

Am feeling a little better as well.   Not sure that I can attribute that to the steroids as the weather can be such a large factor.  I will take it one way or the other.

Month 6 Hurry Up and Wait

Got to Charing Cross at 20 till 8 hoping for an early start but now waiting for shift turnovers.  Do no understand why I can't be starred thereby saving the day shift some time??????

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Month 6 - Week of Time with Doctors

On Monday, which I admit was still Month 5, but I did not get around to posting, I saw a foot doctor as I had developed an infection in a couple of toes.   Antibiotics from my GP had fixed things but the foot was still swollen and I wanted to make sure there was not an issue.  We have private medical insurance through Sara's job so I got a private appointment sooner than I would have gotten an NHS appointment.

Here is were the health care system in the UK gets better than the one in the US.   In the US if you have insurance you are in the queue for treatment with the other 70% or so of the population that also has insurance.   In the UK if you are a legal resident you are covered by the NHS and you have the queue for treatment with 100% of the population.   And since the UK is not spending the 15% of GDP on health care that is being spent in the US (to cover part of the population) ... some things don't happen that fast.

Enter private insurance.  If you are lucky enough to have private insurance then things really step up.  Almost no waiting.   Private rooms.   Wood paneled waiting areas.   Anyway, I was in and out of seeing the foot doctor in 15 minutes with advice to not worry about my foot.

Ok, so I have other things to worry about.   If I am not mistaken I am in the middle of a relapse.  Unfortunately impacting my left leg which up till now has been my "good" leg.   Also my hands and arms are weaker.  Not good.   Saw the Neurologist on Tuesday.    Today I was in Charing Cross, same room as before, getting an infusion of steroids.   Tomorrow another dose.  On the 10th some MRI action, and then at the end of the month another meeting with the Neurologist.

Am hoping the steroids help and maybe that some of how I am feeling is due to the weather ... which has a pretty dramatic effect at times.  I am a solid 6.5 at this point and leaning towards higher rather than lower.