Friday, 31 May 2013

Rainy Days and Pink Fluffy Slippers

Mum says she's scared by the things I've been saying, the word-vomit caused by depression. She and my brother both think my secondary antidepressants may be having a negative effect. 
For a refresher; I've been on Mirtazapine, one antidepressant, for two years and had recently been feeling fine depression-wise. The GP put me on Paroxetine, a second antidepressant, four months ago in hopes it'd help my anxiety, which it certainly hasn't. 

I went to see the GP yesterday, for my fortnightly double appointment. I told her that I was feeling lower than I have in a long time, and that I thought Paroxetine was having a negative effect. Initially she didn't listen; said the depression was caused by other things. I explained to her that it's not the first time I've taken SSRIs, it's not the first time they've made me more depressed. When I was 12 I was prescribed Lovan, and it sent me spiraling downwards. Mum gave her input too, and the GP agreed to wean me off Paroxetine, then maybe up my Mirtazapine dosage. 

Then came the blood test. I haven't been able to make it out to pathology lately, so my GP's been taking my blood tests herself. The nurse came in with the kit, and the GP set up. As I was watching the needle go into my arm, the nurse grabbed my shoulders with both hands, "Close your eyes" she says. I immediately break down into tears, shaking uncontrollably. The GP makes some stupid comment about me crying, and I'm out the door as soon as the needle leaves my arm. No pressure applied, blood dripping down my forearm. I didn't even get to talk to the GP about my lingering infection(s). I pull my sleeve down and exit through the waiting room in a flurry of tears; a sight the receptionists are more than used to.

I sit in the car and hold the cotton bud on with one hand, my other hand digging through the center console for my 'emergency cigarettes'. My bleeding arm's bent up holding my cigarette, my other arm applying pressure with the cotton bud, crying my eyes out with the receptionists (and nurse) staring at me through the window. I pull my knees up and wish I could disappear. 15 minutes later, mum comes out and we go home. 

The dietician was nice on Tuesday. I didn't really have anything to say. Weight stayed the same. I ran out of her appointment in tears too, for the first time in months, for no real reason. Since then my calorie intake's been between 600-850, and it feels like all too much.

So I can't say this week's been great mood-wise. Hopefully things will start improving now that I'm coming off the Paroxetine. Too. Many. Medications, and I'm struggling to know what I'm really feeling. Mum wants me to see a psychiatrist to at least get my meds evaluated and 'simplified', but no. 

On a brighter note, I bought new pink fluffy slipper socks yesterday. My other pair are bright pink with rainbow spots, and they're the comfiest things in the world. They couldn't not put a smile on my face, at least for a moment, so I thought I'd share them with you all. 


Monday, 27 May 2013

The Fog

For the past week, I've been completely stuck for words. 

I don't know what to do with myself, and I don't know what's missing in my day.

Mum thinks I've hit an episode of depression. Maybe she's right. 

On Sunday I was home alone. I spent the entire day sat in my armchair, staring into space, barely moving. Same as any other day, but alone. I simply don't know what to do with myself, and I don't know why not. It's been a problem for a couple of months now, where I can't seem to even do basic things like read a book, play an arcade game, or watch a movie. I didn't eat until 7PM when mum came home, despite having woken up at 1AM. I just couldn't be bothered. 

The day was especially quiet, still and empty. It's the least alive I've felt in a long time, and it hurt. I kept bursting into tears; at everything and nothing. It proved there's an element of distraction, however small, that comes from the mere presence of others in the house. When left alone with my mind, I crumble. 

I'm sick of being sick. This chest infection, I mean. I've been on antibiotics for 7 weeks now, and it's getting ridiculous. I'm seeing the GP on Thursday, and I'm sure she'll just give me another script. I ran out of painkillers over the weekend, which is just fantastic. My night-sweats mean I'm not sleeping more than 6 hours max, and I have to move from bed to armchair and change my clothes halfway through. I feel completely run down, and I don't have the energy to do anything. 

I got a letter today from my health insurance, offering me a Home Support Service, free of charge. Basically they'd provide me with a nurse to visit occasionally, who'd keep doctors filled in, a 24/7 nurse on call service; things like that. Mum thinks it could be a good idea, if I can overcome my fear of having people in the house (huge 'if'), so that may be happening in the next few weeks. 

Sorry for such a short, disjointed post. It's just been one of those weeks. 


Wednesday, 22 May 2013

A busy day, for a change

Yesterday was a rare busy day for me. Between appointments and baking, my day seemed to disappear. 

The dietician appointment first thing was pretty standard. I've gotten my calorie intake back to my pre-hospital level (800-1,000), and she wants me to try staying there for another week. I feel like I've been stuck at the same intake for far too long. I'm losing sight of where I'm going, if anywhere. My weight went up slightly, but I didn't let it phase me too much. Fluctuations happen, as my dietician says. Gotta look at the overall trend. 

When I was chatting with the dietician, about to wrap things up, my lovely GP popped in to give me a flu shot. Oh, the joys of having a team forming at the same clinic. She came in right at the end of the appointment, then told me I had to sit and wait for 15 minutes, for observations. Mum and I convinced her to let us sit in the car, in view of reception. When mum had her flu shot, she told her GP she'd be "rebelling" and not waiting the 15 minutes. We sat in the now smoke-free car, and drove off after 7 minutes in a desperate hunt for coffee.

As I said in my last post, I declared yesterday mum's belated birthday. Her actual birthday was two weeks ago, on the 7th, but I was in too much pain to do anything. Both days were spent in-and-out of doctors' offices, but at least I was prepared for yesterday. We picked up muffins and coffee for breakfast on the way home from the dietician, and I spent the morning in go-slow mode. Lunch was Cheesymite scrolls and Milos (okay, non-Australians, I don't expect you to understand a word of what I just said). Then I whizzed into the kitchen and started assembling mum's cake. I got it done in a little over an hour, just in time to rush out to see the physician. 

The physician was nice. My breathing capacity's improved, from 30% initially to 60% now. We went through my blood tests, which showed little except a few diet-related lapses. My liver function was low, but we'll keep an eye on that. My iron is low, and my electrolytes are low for the first time in a long time. Mum asked if there was any indication as to what caused my lung issues, and he likened it to a bushfire. It goes through and destroys everything, and sometimes you never find any evidence remaining as to what caused it. He gave me a slip for yet another blood test in search of the underlying cause, and another script for antibiotics ("just in case"). 

He asked if I'd like to be referred on to yet another specialist, to help me specifically with my smoking. Apparently there's medications that block your cannabanoid receptors, so you won't get an effect if you try to smoke. He made it all sound very serious, and honestly, I'm hoping to quit weed the same way I'll quit tobacco. I don't need medication or a detox or group therapy. Next time I see him, in two months, I'll have proved that. Today was my first real butt-in-gear day with cutting back smoking. I've had a notepad set up with times and amounts for each time I smoke. My goal is to bring the total amount I smoke down a little bit each day. 

Here's mum's birthday cake. By her request, it's a chocolate caramel layer cake. It's three layers of sponge cake - caramel, choc-caramel and chocolate - sandwiched together with gooey caramel and frosted in chocolate ganache. It was also my first ever attempt at piping, so I'm not too dissatisfied. I ran the nutritional count on it, and the entire cake contains 9,000 calories. Thank god a tiny slice is more than enough. A tiny slice...

I'll have a photo of the cheesecake tomorrow. We started eating the less-presentable one first, as the recipe made up to two cheesecakes, but I'll get some photos tomorrow when I slice them up for the freezer. 


Monday, 20 May 2013

The Opportunity of Absence

I found out the other day that my dietician will be away for two weeks at the start of July. My first thoughts are wondering how much weight I can lose in those three weeks. For anyone else who gets weighed weekly, you'll understand this temptation. As much as I'm more likely to become unstable without support, it's the most enticing time to lose weight. There's no one watching my calorie intake or my weight, and I tend to waver in these situations. I have a little over a month to get my head around it, and only time will tell how it goes. If my intake stays the same as it is now, I'll undoubtedly lose weight.

As for smoking, I've really made no progress. I have a huge box of nicotine gum, which I still haven't started on. I can feel and hear my breathing getting worse, and I know I need to stop ASAP. I used to like the nicotine inhalers, but even they're a no-go now. I shouldn't put "anything toxic" in my lungs; whether its smoke or nicotine inhalers or vaporizing or whatever else. I actually have volcano vape, but it's just as dangerous to use that right now. I'm seeing the physician tomorrow afternoon for my follow up appointment, which I'm utterly dreading. I've been chain smoking the entire week I've been home, even though it's less than I had been smoking. 

I've decided to try to keep myself distracted by spending more time in the kitchen again. Whether its actually cooking and baking, or just cleaning and tidying. Yesterday I baked two layers for mum's belated birthday cake, though I did the bulk of the work sitting down. I made the third layer today, and also a cheesecake. I've declared this Tuesday mum's belated birthday, as I was in too much pain to do anything on her actual birthday. I'm also going to make French toast for breakfast, which should be easy enough. I've been trying to get as much prep done early as I can, so tomorrow I can just assemble the cake and cook breakfast. In the next week, I also want to make wholemeal scones and banana-bran bread and a few other afternoon treats, as well as some easy safe dinners for the freezer.

Tomorrow's going to be busy, appointments-wise at least. I try to avoid having two appointments in one day, but tomorrow I'm seeing the dietician in the morning and the physician in the afternoon. I'm fully expecting to get my ass metaphorically kicked by the physician re: smoking, but oh well.

One day at a time. 


Friday, 17 May 2013

The Lost Tourniquet

Things are finally calming down from my hospital admission. I don't feel as overwhelmed and scattered as I did when I first came home, and things are settling back into routine. 

I saw my GP yesterday, for my fortnightly double appointment. Most of it was catching up about my hospital admission. She hadn't received 'the letter' from my physician yet, so mum and I filled her in. About Bronchiolitis, my tests and treatment, my medication regime, my smoking. I asked about lorazepam, and she gave me a script for "when I have panic attacks". The problem isn't so much panic attacks, as it is a disabling, constant anxiety. She wants to keep me on paroxetine though, which I'm not happy with. I've been on it for 3+ months, and it hasn't helped at all, so I want to start weaning off it. 

She asked how the physician was, to which mum and I both said he was great. I have a follow up with him on Tuesday. I also told her about the funnier parts of my admission; like the 'stethoscope' iPhone recording, and "Where'd the tourniquet go?"

On my fourth day in hospital, by IV cannula needed to be replaced. The physician did it, so casually it was unbelievable. He sat next to me on my bed, picked up my arm, and tapped it from elbow to wrist. Then he swabbed the side of my wrist, told me to squeeze my hand into a fist a few times, and shoved a needle in. Tape, bandage, all done within 30 seconds.
He then looked around, confused ('innocently', as mum put it), and said "Where'd the tourniquet go?". 
"It's still on the trolley." said the nurse
We all cracked up laughing. Apparently I was the only one who noticed he didn't put the tourniquet on my arm. I know I have good, prominent veins, but still. It didn't hurt, was placed properly, functioned normally, has little-to-no bruising, and was pretty damn impressive.

I know I really need to get my butt into gear with the whole actually quitting smoking thing. Just cutting back won't do anything for me, and I know it. In hospital the physician's parting words to mum and I included "nothing noxious" in my lungs, and "zero tolerance" on smoking. Everything I smoke will I only cause my airways to become more inflamed and obstructed. I've been smoking about a third of what I was, but I've still been chain smoking most of the day. I know that he'll know the moment he knocks on my back, or listens to my "waking bat cave" of a chest in four day's time. 

My intake's bounced back to it's pre-hospital admission level of 800-1,000 calories. I've been eating around this much for months now, so that's fine. I still need to make a belated birthday/mother's day cake, as those days were spent in doctors' offices and hospital rooms. For now I'm being a couch potato, and relishing the time between appointments. 


Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Breathing is my Cardio

I'm home from hospital. A few days earlier than I should be, but altogether feeling better than I was a week ago. I didn't leave against medical advice; it just would've been preferential for me to stay another 2-3 nights. My mental health has to be accounted for too, and I've been crumbling. The nurses and my specialist (a 'thoracic physician', according to his card) agreed with my decision, and I'll be seeing him as an outpatient. One of my negotiation points for an early discharge was that I'd already had 4/6 antibiotic IVs, and if they ran my fifth one early, I'd only be missing one dose. Thankfully the physician agreed to swap me to oral antibiotics early, and they immediately started the drip. I was discharged and back home within 3 hours. I've got lots of pills; including my strong painkillers, oral antibiotics, steroids, and two puffers I'll be using for a while. I've been in a lot of pain, due to an inflamed nerve on the surface on my right lung, but that'll get better soon.

As for my mental health, I'd been a bundle of anxiety and tears the whole time. There were too many people around, too much space, too much going on, too many people who think its okay to touch my hand or leg in an attempt to comfort me. I didn't feel safe, and PTSD thoughts ran rampant. I don't leave my house except for appointments at my clinic, and it was all too overwhelming. I've been in a strange place with food as well. I wasn't comfortable to eat their food, for a variety of reasons, and my calorie intake slashed in half during my admission. I'd been eating 800-1,000 calories a day, but in hospital I only managed 450-550, except for the day I ate nothing. My body can't heal without nutrition, and I can't get appropriate nutrition on hospital food at the moment. The physician agreed; there's a lot more going on than just my chest issues, and we have to look at my health as a whole picture. I managed to stay five days in hospital, and that's better than I've done in a long time. 

I saw my dietician this morning. I didn't see her last week, as I was in too much pain. We mostly chatted about hospital, and then we did an ultra slow walk to the scales. My weight had dropped, which honestly surprised me. Even though my intake's been low, I haven't had a BM in 6 days. I'm holding out hope I won't need to use laxatives, though so far I'm not in any discomfort. I'm just keeping on piling those fiber supplements into my morning coffee. 

I've read a statistic, that my dietician verified this morning, on the energy expenditure of COPD. A healthy person uses about 100 calories a day for breathing and lung function, but someone with COPD uses between 500-1,000 calories a day. It kind of explains why I've been so exhausted since I've been struggling for breath recently. 

It's funny how things change. Over the years, I've often said to my mum, word for word "Quitting smoking is so far down my list of priorities, I've never even considered it." Though we haven't been able to completely stop smoking, mum and I have both cut back dramatically. She's cut back from 30 cigarettes a day to 5-10, and I'm so proud of her. I'm only having two or three with my morning coffee, and am cutting my 8-10g a day weed habit back to 1-2g. I know I shouldn't be smoking anything at all, and I know it'll only cause my lungs more harm, but we're getting there. I wasn't allowed to go downstairs to the smoking area in hospital, and it gave me a few days for the message to sink in. If I keep smoking, my lung function will only decline more, and it could very well kill me. 

As for now, I'm settling back in at home and starting to feel much more relaxed. Mum and I are talking tactics for cutting back, and quitting, smoking. I'll be seeing the GP on Thursday, and the physician sometime next week. At the moment I just want to rest, and have a quiet day for the first time in a week. 


Sunday, 12 May 2013

The Specialist, wine, and IV lines

My CT scans came back yesterday, and they aren't great. They show a lot of inflammation in the small airways, and when I breathe out, air gets trapped in pockets of my lung. My lungs function at about 30% of what they should. I can never smoke a cigarette again, let alone the wacky-backy. There's precious little known about Bronchiolitis, and it's unclear whether my condition will improve, or if there's an underlying cause. When we were given this news, I just cried. I only turned 20 years old twelve days ago, and I have permanent lung damage. 5-6 years of smoking tobacco, and 3 years of weed, and there you have it. Mum has to quit smoking too; doctor's orders, for my sake. Even secondhand smoke could cause me to deteriorate. We are officially non-smokers.

My doctor - let's call him the Specialist - is really good. He's funny, caring and easy to talk to; despite being 6'8" and quite intimidating to look at. This morning, after he listened to my chest, he recorded my breathing sounds on his iPhone! As in, holding the microphone to my chest like a stethoscope. It was the first time he'd ever done it, but it worked, crazily enough, and he's going to use it with his students as an example of Bronchiolitis and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. 

My food intake's been lower than it's been in quite some time. Thursday was a total loss, with only 8 cans of Coke Zero consumed. Friday and Saturday both totaled in around 500 calories, and today will be 5-600 depending on dinner. I'm trying to keep my menu plain, safe and clean; wholemeal bread, fish, chicken, eggs, potatoes, veggies, fruit, yoghurt. Oh, and my wine. I feel incredibly cautious about eating here, and I have no idea what'll happen to my weight.

On the subject of wine: I'm still trying to figure out why this hospital offer alcohol, as it certainly isn't common practice, but it's something they've done for decades. They give me a quarter bottle, 187ml, of Cabernet and a little plastic goblet. If I can't smoke, or smoke, a drink is a nice substitute. Fun fact: wine is classed as a 'dessert' on the menu.

I'm on so many medications right now. Steroids of a morning, painkillers 4 times a day, weaker painkillers 3 times a day, nicotine patches and lozenges, two asthma inhalers 6-10 times a day (not that I have asthma), my regular seroquel/antidepressant/antidepressant combo at night, IV anti-emetics, followed by IV antibiotics. Blaaah!

I'm going to be in here at least a few more days, though I don't have an exact time. My oxygen saturation was back down to 90% this morning, which is not good. I had to use a shower chair this morning because I nearly fell over yesterday, and am still very breathless and weak.

Bonus: it's 3:30pm, and I haven't cried yet today. I've been a wreck by 8am the past few days, so hopefully today can be my first no-tears day. 

Thank you to everyone who's been sending well wishes. I've said it before and I'll say it again; I'd be totally lost (and incredibly lonely) without this community. 


Friday, 10 May 2013


Yesterday afternoon, I was admitted to a private hospital. Normally one would require a specialist consultation prior to admission, but my GP contacted a respiratory specialist who organized a private room for me without seeing him first. I admitted myself, and the nurses checked my OBs. My oxygen saturation was 88%, and I was given a little nasal oxygen mask. 

After a while, the specialist came to see me. He listened to my chest and knocked on my bones, and apparently it sounds like a cave of bats waking up. I have early Chronic Obstructive Airways Disease from smoking, which is apparently not very common in 20 year olds. I also have Bronchiolitis, from a mystery source. It's basically when the very smallest airways close up in your lungs, and there's a tonne of things that can cause it. So now I need tests done to see if I have Lupus (we have a family history), or whatever else that could be causing it. 

I felt like I was being surrounded by doctors and nurses when I first got here. I had an IV cannula placed in my left wrist, for antibiotics and fluids, by a lovely young bloke. He's the best IV-placement I've ever had. I used a scary machine called a Nebulizer, which blasted my face with steam to give me different medications. I had blood tests galore, and had to spit a sputum sample. I'm being given IV antibiotics each night, which thankfully only takes an hour. I needed oxygen while I slept, and I still kept waking up coughing, but it wasn't quite as bad as its been at home. I actually slept more than 3 hours.

Yesterday was so stressful and busy, I simply didn't eat. Zilch. I drank 8 cans of Coke Zero, and a lot of water. I haven't done a full fast in a good 12-18 months, so it was a little bizarre. It's scary how good it feels to fast again; I feel strong. This morning I had to get a CT scan done, and could only have clear fluids until midday. Lunch was an unbearable leathery piece of roast beef, watery gravy, and a floury potato. I barely touched it; approximately 1oz beef, and the baby potato eyeballed 70-90g. The menu looks grim, and I doubt I could even manage 800 calories on it. The only god-sends are the low-fat ice cream and one glass of alcohol with dinner. They give you a choice of red wine, white wine, or light ale. 151 cals for an ice cream and a glass of red? That I can manage. 

One of the major downsides to all this, is that I'm not allowed to smoke anymore. At all. Not a single cigarette, or even a nicotine inhaler. Nothing toxic is allowed in my lungs, and it sucks. I went outside for a breakfast-cigarette this morning with mum, which the specialist later lectured me for. Now I'm ward-bound. If I keep smoking, my airways will continue to shrink up, I'll be short of breath for life, and my condition will deteriorate. I told the specialist that at home, I usually smoke weed. Maybe a contributing factor? My logic was "but tobacco is better for me!", though the specialist didn't exactly agree. 
I've just turned 20 years old, and I'm being told I have lung damage from smoking. 

My thanks to everyone for the kind words left on my last post, and my apologies for taking so long to update. Things are intense, and it took me all day to even get this together. I'm feeling totally frazzled and disoriented, and I keep crying uncontrollably in anxiety. I don't leave the house, and now I'm in a massive hospital in the middle of my city. It's scary, as stupid as it sounds. Thankfully it's practically a psychiatrist-free hospital, and I doubt I'll encounter one. They know I have Anorexia, and am under the care of a dietician, and so far it hasn't become a topic of serious discussion. I just hope tomorrow will be better.


Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Appointments, Tests, and the Possibility of Hospital

The past few days, I've been in the worst pain of my life. I have a constant ache in my chest, that stabs at me when I breathe, and sets off little bombs when I cough. I cancelled on the dietician yesterday, for the first time after 11 months, and saw the GP later in the day instead. I've been crying and literally screaming in pain, unable to breathe properly, and only barely made it to the one appointment. It hurts to breathe, to stay still, move, cough, lie down, stand up. Everything hurts. I'd considered going to hospital over the weekend, and my family had been asking me to, but I held out for the GP.

Mum's birthday didn't go according to plan, at all. I felt quite bad about the whole thing. I was crying in pain when she woke up (though still said 'Happy Birthday' first thing). We cancelled the dietician, and booked yet another emergency appointment with the GP. I spent the whole day in agony, crying and breathless and screaming. Over the last 5-6 weeks, I've taken four courses of antibiotics, a week of prednisolone, two different inhalers 7-10 times a day, and have tried four different types of painkillers, all to no relief. We made the appointment at 8am, and sat watching the clock until 3pm when I had my appointment.

The GP took my bloods herself then and there, as I still hadn't had them done. She gave me super-strong prescription painkillers, and I'm back on prednisolone. She told me to get the x-ray done ASAP, and to call in the morning for blood results. As soon as I got out to the car, I was gasping for air, and started crying and screaming in pain. I've never been in so much pain for so long. Mum's been likening it to watching someone in post-surgery or labour pains. We went straight to the chemist to get my painkillers, and mum even bought a bottle of water so I could have them straight away. Thank god, they've definitely dulled the pain.

Yesterday we bought take-out for every meal of the day, mum's choice, as we were so seemingly busy. I've told her I will make her birthday cake, as soon as I'm feeling better. Breakfast was 3/4 of a bacon & egg McMuffin (I gave my hash brown to mum; she loves a Maccas breakfast), lunch was 2/3 of a beef pie, and dinner was one slice of chicken pizza. Not too much damage calorie-wise, but it was all food that's practically devoid of nutrients. I ate literally zero fiber, micronutrients, and potassium.

I had my X-ray this morning. My GP called as we were on the way there, and said my blood results were back, showing a pretty bad infection. She said I may need IV antibiotic treatment, but I had to get the X-ray done first. A few hours later, she finished for the day, and called us to say the imaging place hadn't sent the results yet; they're still sending out yesterday's reports. Boo. So it's waiting until tomorrow.

I'm not keen on breaking my 17-months-hospital-free streak, but at least it wouldn't be related to my ED. If I do need to go, we're going to suss out the private hospitals so I can avoid the horrible psychiatrist at the public hospital (there's three, soon to be four, hospitals in my city). Mum's been pushing me to start taking action on that recently, and get a solicitor involved so the horrible psych couldn't come near me. Unfortunately, there's only one Accident & Emergency between the three hospitals, and that's at the public. If I needed to go to A&E for any reason, my family say they're willing to drive me 45 minutes to one in another town, but not if they're unsure I'll survive the drive. Thankfully, I won't need an emergency admission for this, but it's something I know I need to sort out.

I'll be hearing from the GP first thing tomorrow when she gets my results, and I guess we'll go from there. Mum and I are staying prepared for if I need to go to hospital tomorrow, which is currently looking more likely than not.


Sunday, 5 May 2013

Sleep is the cousin of Death

I've been dozing off early lately, sometimes as early as 6PM. I sit in my armchair outside with mum after dinner, and in the past week I've started to drift off while sitting in my chair. The other night I was awoken four or five times, by my mum or brother leaning over me, asking;
"Are you alright?", "Are you okay?"
I'd reply "Yeah, I'm fine, just tired." and thought nothing of it, and eventually went to bed.
The next day, mum said to me that it was "scary" when I fall asleep sitting up, that I'm not well, and they were worried I, uh, wasn't just asleep. Since then I've been getting to bed ASAP once my eyes start to close, because I don't particularly want my family worrying I'm dead because I've fallen asleep sitting up. Creepy stuff.

For my birthday, my mum bought me a diamond & white gold necklace. I've been without a necklace for a year, so it's been nice to have one on again. She also got me a new leather wallet, and stretchers for my lobes; surgical steel as titanium wasn't in stock (I'd previously worn black plastic plugs).

Mum herself has a birthday coming up this Tuesday (yep, we're a week apart!), and I have plans to cook for her. I'll see how I go for energy, but I have plans for breakfast (French toast), a cake (chocolate-caramel), and hopefully a cheesecake (choc-mint). I'm going to prepare what I can in advance tomorrow, so hopefully things will come together smoothly.

I've been chickening out of my chest x-ray, and my blood test. I don't go out a lot, at all, and it feels like a big deal to go somewhere new and different. I know it sounds pathetic, but I've been putting it off all week. It'll have to wait until tomorrow now, but I have to get it done then. And to think my GP wanted to get me done as soon as I left her office, ugh, no.

This week I've got tests on Monday, the dietician on Tuesday, and the GP at some point, probably Wednesday. My calorie intake's still sitting around the 900-1,000 mark, so that's fine. I'm just hoping my weight doesn't start creeping up.


Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Status quo

Well, there it goes. Another birthday passed, another year disappeared, another year I don't feel any older. It's crazy how time flies.

I spent most of my birthday feeling too sick to move, my lungs stabbing at me. I was in bed by 6pm, with not so much as a single birthday drink. As for my birthday cake, I'd gotten as far as baking two layers, but I was in too much pain and simply didn't have the energy to finish it. My blood pressure's been low lately, and it makes me feel very weak on my feet. So I stretched it to today, baked the other two layers of the cake, and put the whole thing together a day late. I don't get many opportunities to bake big cakes, so it was fun even though exhausting. It's two layers of orange cake, two layers of chocolate cake, sandwiched with choc-orange frosting and coated in dark ganache. I didn't put much (any) effort into garnishing it, but oh well. It was still an impressive cake. All in all, I'm not unhappy with the result.

The dietician was lovely when I saw her yesterday. She wished me happy birthday, as did my GP when I passed her in the corridor. I wasn't feeling too great, so we kept things brief. I've managed 900-1,000 calories each day this week, and as a result my weight stayed the same. I know I've been at a similar intake for a few weeks now, but my dietician doesn't want to push me while I'm so sick. Fair enough, and I'm certainly not complaining.

Speaking of which, I was back at the GP this morning. Mum's been increasingly concerned about my cough and pains, so we were there first thing. I have to get a chest x-ray, as well as blood tests to find out more about the infection, both of which I'll get done tomorrow. I've had this chest infection for over a month, and I'd very much like for it to be gone soon. I don't think I've ever had an infection for this long before, and it's completely exhausted me.

Thank you to everyone who sent me birthday wishes via email and Facebook. Each and every one made me smile. Sorry I've been so horrible at commenting, and posting, while I've been sick.