Life sucks – but it’s better than the alternative…

This really belongs in The View From Bed 3, but as there’s a real risk that I might die suddenly I wanted to reach my main audience so you know why I’ve disappeared – if I do, of course.


My bleeding-lung problem goes back about 6 months (about 50 years really, but it’s only been a serious problem this year). Normally, over the 50-year period, it would be old blood, as indicated by bruise-coloured sputum, and perfectly normal in my case. Of late, though, it has been bright, fresh blood, not abnormal even then, as excessive coughing can pop a vein on occasion.

Now, though, the severity, and the sheer volume of blood, along with other changes (frothy sputum, for example), indicates a much more serious condition, pulmonary oedema, and that can kill (as happened in the case of Stephen Gately). And that is the hospital’s diagnosis, along with a degree of atelectasis (deflation of the lungs’ alveoli,** which explains why it was so hard to breathe, and why it still is).

Continue reading

Chronicles of the Heart, Part 56…

Well, I thought I was done with Chronicles, as the last instalment was almost a year ago, but it appears my body has other ideas.

What follows, then, is a cautionary tale for those of you who might be have a similar combination of extreme pain, respiratory malfunction and a dodgy heart. If you need morphine, lungs and heart might well preclude the effective treatment of the pain.

For some months now I’ve been having Continue reading

Doctors putting me at risk again . . .

For those who missed earlier posts, I have bilateral Lymphoedema of the legs, caused by my heart problems, and which is seriously infected (called Cellulitis, the infectious organism is either a Staphylococcal or Streptococcal bacterium).

Neglected, this can kill me,** yet it seems someone at my GP practice, and I have a good idea who (the same pillock who prescribes my pain meds in 12-day quantities), is intent on screwing with my District Nurse-ordered  dressings. The nurse put in a prescription for 20 extra-absorbent, and large, Flivasorb *** pads – 2 boxes – to be delivered to me urgently.

**Is this what the APH consultant was talking about when Continue reading

Problems with Diltiazem…

I’ve recently had a run-in with exfoliating dermatitis. For those of you lucky enough to have missed out, it’s a lumpy, blotchy scarlet, rash which itches ferociously and sheds scaly skin like a dead carp.

I got a GP out (not mine, one of the good guys), and he prescribed an emollient and a steroid ointment, neither of which, in the short term, did anything beyond making me Continue reading

Preserve me from meddling doctors…

I have been taking Diltiazem for more years than I can remember. Its function is to relax the smooth muscle of the heart and blood vessels, and it’s used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure), angina, and certain heart rhythm disorders (all of which I have). It also has the same beneficial effect on the smooth muscle of the lungs and pulmonary circulation, making it very useful in treating COPD.

My GP has Continue reading

Chronicles of the Heart, Part 55 – Life with Lymphoedema & Cellulitis…

If, like me (bilaterally in my case), you have the lymphoedema & cellulitis combo, then you know just how badly it can screw up your life – as in you’ll barely have one any longer. I certainly don’t.

Because of the swelling, none of my footwear fits me, nor do my socks, and my trousers simply won’t fit over the bulky absorbent dressings (for those of you unfamiliar with these conditions, my legs and feet leak – as much as 3 litres a day at their worst. Even if I could get shoes or boots on, they’d be soaked and wrecked within an hour or two, and my trousers, likewise, would be wet to the knees.

And just to add to the joy, the Continue reading

I’ve worked my nuts off today – and survived.

It’s been an exceptionally  busy day –  laundry, food delivery, taking crap out to the bin, tidying, haircut, beard shearing – all beyond me for so long.

Now, though, not only do I feel good, I look good too – I look a good 10 years younger than I did when I got out of hospital last week, and that’s no exaggeration (well OK, Continue reading

The rather limited joys of Pleural Aspiration…

Before going on with this, someone asked me, vis-à-vis what I’ve written here about APH, if nothing went right – as if I make this shit up for entertainment! The answer is no, very little went right, OK?

The big thing – and I’m more than happy to give credit where it’s due – is that APH saved my life. That’s a fact. I’m still dying – that’s a fact, too, there is simply too much wrong with me for it to be fixable, not least because no-one knows exactly what’s gone wrong, which just leaves treating the symptoms.

The theory is that my Continue reading

I should be in hospital, but…

At 05.00 this morning, after a sleepless 3 nights but otherwise feeling OK, I had a nice, ripe, nectarine. It didn’t bounce back, or go straight through me, and I relaxed and slept for a whole 2 hours. Woke up with a 15-pint hangover. Happens every time I sleep lately, which is a serious disincentive.

At times like that – I can deal with pain if I must, but not extreme, unending, nausea, it has me totally unmanned – just one thought goes round in my brain like a demented lab-rat in a maze. Continue reading

Heart failure – the devil in the detail…

As you might know, I have heart failure – diagnosed 2 years ago. And it’s 2 years to the day that I got myself discharged before they had a second attempt at killing me (see next para), or five days and nights of sleep deprivation tipped me into a breakdown.

My previous cardiologist couldn’t ascribe a cause, despite the fact that I have two conditions, severe COPD, and aortic valve calcification, either of which, or both, could cause it. Given the severity and suddenness of onset, my guess is that, whichever, it was exacerbated by the pneumonia and empyema with which I was admitted to hospital, pulmonary backpressure overstressing my heart, not helped by the half-witted attempt to Continue reading