Thursday, January 08, 2015

Sometimes, they just get it wrong

One weekend in the arse end of 2012 I had an incident…one Friday I got home feeling that I was coming down with something, you know that feeling – just generally unwell. I spent the Saturday feeling sorry for myself, and woke up on the Sunday feeling, well, like shit actually – I was really having difficulty breathing.

Got in touch with the walk-in clinic at the hospital who invited me in (thankfully!) and was put on a nebuliser and after a good 20 minutes or so my breathing had settled. I was diagnosed on-the-spot with COPD. I don’t blame ‘em for the diagnosis; I was a smoker; I was obese; I was diabetic; everything about me screamed COPD. I wasn’t so sure, but I played along. I walked away with a prescription for a Ventolin inhaler. And it helped.

Back at the GP I tried to explain what I thought had gone wrong; that I’d been feeling unwell for a couple of days and suddenly got worse. They continued down the road of COPD; some COPD tests demonstrated that a drug called Spiriva (Tiotropium Bromide) would help and, for a while, both inhalers helped (though I did experience some of the more unpleasant side effects of Spiriva so I stopped using it).

In 2013 I finally quit smoking and made some other lifestyle changes and stopped needing the Ventolin inhaler and in March 2014 I had another COPD check which showed that I had made significant improvements to my lung health. This check was taken shortly after the partner and I had walked to the highest point in the Malvern Hills using the steepest path – a feat I was incapable of back in 1996 when we first began courting and I was smoking 40 a day.

Fast forward then to October 2014; I stopped commuting and began to spend more time working from home – lucky old me. It started happening all over again; I spent one weekend feeling very sorry for myself and then slowly and gradually my breathing became more and more wheezy – I felt as if I’d been smoking 40 a day again. This time however I began to experience rhinitis, conjunctivitis, and my skin – particularly on my arms and chest became covered in a rash. So back off to the docs – this time armed with some research of my own. This time, they agreed with me – I’m allergic to dog dander. I’ve been prescribed an anti-histamine and a steroid spray which seem to be helping along with an emollient cream for the rash. The 2012 incident coincides with Bullseye also being diagnosed allergic to house dust and she was shedding like nobody’s business – we managed to get her allergy under control during 2012 – and this more recent incident is just because I’m now working from home.

The reason I recount this story? I’m feeling rather proud of myself I had another COPD check today; after a 50 minute walk to the GPs (it was sunny!) – some 7000 steps, just shy of 4 miles (according to my smartphone) and a five minute rest my lung health is as it was back in March 2014. I’m back on the Ventolin again, but this time I know why, and I know what I need to do to avoid feeling so crap – but I also know that we can keep Bullseye – which is kinda nice because I’ve become attached to the old girl!

Monday, January 05, 2015

Blood test porn

I’m off to see my consultant tomorrow and I needed a blood test to show how the new medication regime is working out. Anyway the results came in (just in time!) and they’re not bad. I had two blood tests in 2014.

I was getting concerned anyway, the eye check I had at the beginning of December came back with some background retinopathy.

My last (official) fasting glucose reading was 4.9 mmol/L. Worryingly, the pathology laboratory used has a reference range beginning at 0.

The last two HbA1c readings have been 36mmol/mol (5.4%) and 34mmol/mol (5.3%) respectively. The advisory on the report suggests that “extremely tight control below 48mmol/mol (6.5%) may lead to increased risk of hypoglycaemia especially in patients on sulphonylureas and insulin treatment regimes”. The pathology laboratory used has a reference range of 25 – 48 mmol/mol for HbA1c.

Total cholesterol was 4.8mmol/L both times with HDL being 1.25mmol/L and 1mmol/L – on the low side; making my more recent TC/HDL ration worryingly high. LDL readings were 3.05mmol/L and 3.12mmol/L – on the high side and the triglyceride readings were 1.1mmol/L and 1mmol/L respectively – so just got to work on those pesky HDL and LDL numbers.

I guess the thing I can take away from all these facts and figures is that the new medication regime isn’t having too much of an impact on my diabetes control. I do need to get out and exercise more – what with one thing and another, 2014 wasn’t a great year for exercise for us – the new medication regime made life interesting, my partner had another operation, our daughter has been having problems too, and to top it all Bullseye (the family Chihuahua) decided she was going to tear a cruciate ligament – which doesn’t come cheap I can tell you!

Anyway. Happy New Year to you all.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Foods that don’t rot?

I’ve recently seen an imprecation not to each anything incapable of rotting (Linky thing to a Facebook photo). Now, the only food that I can think of that doesn’t go off is honey. Can anyone else think of a food that doesn’t rot? Or am I being a tad too literal?

I think we can exclude those items used purely as entertainment – you know the ones, fire, swords, light bulbs and the like – don’t you?

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sometimes I forget...

...just how lucky I am to live in scenic (but dull as hell) Worcestershire. But then I just have to take a short walk from my house and I'm confronted with...

Slightly embarrassed that I forgot to attach the picture, hey ho tho' life goes on.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Supportive Post

Apparently I’m not supportive enough. So, here goes…attempt number 1.


This is a screen shot of an Internet Explorer 11 address bar whilst attempting to use the login page. What’s missing from this picture? Got it yet? that’s right the padlock icon to the right of the URL indicating that information passing between your PC and the web server is being protected by encryption. It’s absence means that whatever leaves your PC can be intercepted by anyone wanting to find out things about you.

Although the recommendation is that people use different passwords for different sites; it is still relatively common for people to use the same password – meaning that if you are, say, using the same password as you do for your electronic banking then it would be a relatively simple process to jump the first hurdle into exploring your financial affairs.

As an example, below is a segment of a screen shot of a packet sniffer tracing an attempted logon to the above site:


So, a salutary lesson there. Ensure you do use different passwords especially when using social media sites that won’t protect your credentials when logging into them. Before we go any further this forum is no worse than DCUK or any of the other fora that you may or may not use.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Long time, no see

Some of you may have been wondering where I'd disappeared to, others may have been  glad  that I had disappeared. The truth of the matter is that I have been rather busy at work, having a good time with my family,  and getting used to a new medication regime.

Work relaxes in a few days time,  and I am going to take the first proper holiday in  will have had in what feels like eighteen months. In addition,  it has been brought to my attention that there  is a new blogger out there  who appears to have caught the true measure of my old buddy Edie... Ladies and gentlemen I'd like to introduced you to Paul Jones, who can be found at Paul Jones The Devils Advocate