Goodbye Food-Induced Pulmonary Oedema, Hello Good Night’s Sleep…

The last of my Pulmonary Oedema “food triggers” has been laid to rest. This is good in that I can now put back into my diet old favourites that had been banished out of fear. If you’ve ever experienced Pulmonary Oedema you will surely, like me, be prepared to go to absurd lengths to figure out why and avoid another bout, not least because it’s potentially fatal and it’s a hideous way to go.

The final untested trigger was Chocolate-flavoured cottage cheese. I might have given the impression that I’m a bit of a chocolate hog. I’m not, it’s just that several chocolate items have apparently triggered P.O. attacks. However, when attempting to test the trigger theory, chocolate, along with everything else, has failed to live up to its rep. I’m forced to the conclusion, no matter how unpalatable it might be, that the attacks are entirely random (and thus more dangerous as they are impossible to avoid), and their association with some foodstuffs coincidental.

So, this is the Chocolate-Flavoured Cottage Cheese recipe:-

1 tub cottage cheese, mashed if you like it fine-textured – Sainsbury’s Natural, 6% fat, is good, with ample cream in it; Longley Farm, also 6%, is finer but needs a splash of milk as it can be a bit dense. Add Cadbury’s Hot Chocolate in an Instant powder to taste (a tablespoon is a good starting point), add golden caster sugar, also to taste, and stir well.
Let it sit for 10 minutes – it tastes better – and stir again.



One thing I have discovered while testing these ultimately false food triggers, is that they can exacerbate my nocturnal acid reflux. I do have a drug for this, Omeprazole, but it doesn’t always control it. Not eating in bed helps, but I find it very hard to sleep on an empty stomach.

Avoiding solids helps and, after a couple of false starts, I finally settled on a glass of sherry (100ml), with a glass of milk. Sherry – any booze, in fact – gives me heartburn, which can lead to full-on acid reflux. The milk prevents that.

So what does cause my P.O.?

My money is on heart failure. My former cardiologist – I see no point in seeing him again – is of the opinion that because I have Stage 3 COPD I do not need to introduce a complicating factor like heart failure to account for my symptoms (despite the fact that many symptoms point to heart failure and NOT to COPD**), therefore, because he disapproves, he’s decided it doesn’t exist.

**Not that I doubt the COPD – I’ve had it a long time

This goes against everything I’ve been told since 1996 (bear with me – I know some, maybe most, of you will already be aware of this, but new readers won’t), when the first signs of Cor Pulmonale – right-side heart failure – were diagnosed. Heart failure was also confirmed by a cardiologist in 2012. Fast forward to last August and I was admitted to hospital, close to death, with Pulmonary Oedema, where it was explained to me at great length that I had both right and left side heart failure, and what this meant for me (nothing good!).

Then later in August my former cardiologist decided everyone else was wrong except him. That is the purest bovine ordure and unbelievably dangerous arrogance. He also meddled with my medication, even though I told him what he proposed was dangerous. His change to my beta-blocker drove my BP into the stratosphere and that to my diuretic pretty much stopped me peeing. I wrote to my GP, invoked the patient’s right to refuse treatment, and insisted that the previous doses be reinstated, which they were.

If only one person had come out in favour of heart failure, then he might have had a valid case, but to claim that everyone, over a period of 18 years was wrong beggars belief. Worth mentioning, too, is that 18 years previously the same guy had vehemently refused to believe I had COPD. His evidence in support of that opinion was the same as for his rejection of heart failure – none.