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. 



  1. I'm glad you're feeling a bit better<3
    That's interesting that someone with COPD uses so many more calories each day - I never would have thought that! I hope you manage to find a way of quitting smoking that works for you, have a lovely peaceful day<3 xx

  2. I'm so relieved that you are home safe and sound Bella
    I know a hospital stay can be stressful and you just want to get home
    I hope you can continue not to smoke
    I am also trying to give them up, it's not easy

    Take good care of yourself now
    Listen to your body and try to allow it what it needs

    I am rooting for you
    I believe in you so much
    I have enough belief for the 2 of us

    Stay safe and be kind to you, you are precious

    Love ya x

  3. Glad to hear you're back home from the hospital! 5 days seems long enough for someone to be stuck in there. I bet now that you're back at home you'll start to feel better. I never heard of that about COPD burning so many calories- that's crazy! That many just for breathing! I wish both you and your mom the best of luck with kicking the smoking habit- I'm sure both of ya'lls lungs will love you. Your mom going from 30 cigarettes down to 5-10 is a wonderful start- you both can do it- you all can do anything you set your mind too! Rest and take care ♥

  4. I'm soo happy to hear you are finally home hunn! Congradulations on cutting back drastically your smoking habits, quitting one habbit is hard, both will definitely take time. For know focus on rest, getting your intake up a bit and healing. We all care about you here, and wish you the best!

  5. Aw yay! It's wonderful to hear that you're getting better! <3
    And lucky... that your doctors knew enough about other aspects of your health that they could give you the best possible treatment for you. With the letting you home early so you could help yourself heal better.

    This is just awesome news <3 Things really seem to be looking up! Or maybe I'm just sleep deprived... but in all seriousness, I really do hope you continue feeling better and taking care of yourself.


  6. Glad to hear that you are in a better place with your physical health but remember to try and nourish yourself and get plenty of rest to be able to heal yourself! Sending you much love and careful hugs xxx

  7. So happy to hear that you're home, safe and sound. I know what you mean about people touching you and not being in your own space. Also, I don't have to tell you how important it is that you absolutely quit all of your smoking, as there is no way that your health will improve otherwise. Now start eating to heal!!

  8. Nope I never got it! Hmm. ok, here it is again...prettysmilesfakelies@gmail.com, its a weird email. i checked my spam and it never got there either. times i wish blogger had a private message system instead of just public comments or email. sorry it's taken so long!!

  9. I'm glad you're feeling a bit better!
    let us know how it goes being at home. It's been tough but at least now you're back in a safe place.