First of all, I must apologise for my rather short and unexciting posts this week. It is difficult to write well when recovering from extra illness on top of already existing conditions. I am hoping that I feel stronger next week and that my concentration levels improve. I am even finding it hard to read at the moment! You can tell that I am not well.
I have enjoyed watching a couple of episodes of the new Civilisations TV series and have bought Mary Beard’s book, How Do We Look: The Eye Of Faith. When my concentration comes back, I am sure that I will enjoy reading it as I love her writing style.
Quite heavy stuff following – please feel free to skip this next part!
I picked up blogging again in January last year so that I could have somewhere to practise my writing skills and so that I could log my life as a retired person struggling with chronic health issues. I never intended that the blog would be of interest to many people and it has been very pleasing to see that I do have quite a few visitors. Those that do come appear to be a mixture of old friends, connecting via Facebook in the main, and people from around the world who are interested in my small Hermès scarf collection. I enjoy researching and writing my scarf profile “Scarf of the Moment” posts for visitors as this kind of thing reminds me of the days when I used to create research topics for students coming to my school library. It is so gratifying that people seem to find these kinds of posts useful.
But it remains true that the blog is a diary of my life at the present time. So, please bear with me, and forgive me if you feel that the following is difficult for you to read. I have written many times over the last year about my list of chronic conditions and have detailed what my worst coughing attacks are like. Readers will be aware that I live every day, every hour and every minute, terrified that a severe cough will suddenly grab me by the throat and that I will have to dash to the bathroom with my bottle of water and sick bucket. I then sit on the loo, fighting for each breath, hoping that I will survive. Yes, it all sounds very dramatic and maybe overblown, but this is my life.
This is leading up to something that I am going to admit in public for the first time. In fact, I have only just told my immediate family. I take a range of medicine for all of my conditions, and to counteract the side effects of some of these very medications! For the cough specifically, I take morphine in a very low dose as one of its side effects is that it works as a cough suppressant. This is fairly effective, but I cannot take any extra tablets if I feel a bad cough coming on. To help with this, I also have Codeine Linctus, which is a well known cough medicine, that you can often get over the counter, although I have it on prescription. As I am so scared, virtually all of the time, I have become over-dependent on the codeine linctus. I began to realise that I have been taking far too much of it over quite a long time.
So, I am admitting here that I am trying to cut down on the codeine. It is very difficult for me and I have thought very hard and long about writing this. I feel very ashamed, but want to try to face this and get control again. I hope that, by speaking out, I will be able get a grip on myself and not reach for the medicine bottle when I get nervous.
I will update this blog on how I get on over the next few weeks. My attempts to regain control started on Monday 5th March and I was able to cut down over a few days. I had a setback, however, over the weekend and have not been able to get back to where I was. I will try again from today.
End of heavy stuff!
Phew! Things will return to a more lighthearted view next week. I hope that you all have a great weekend and that the snow promised for the UK does not cause any major problems.