Wednesday, 24 August 2011

A bad case of cant egt the bed off my back!

So that’s me back from holiday and sunny Edinburgh is crazily festival manic .I started the week visiting my GP since I had had to buy antibiotics while away. I also found I couldn’t stop coughing on the flight and my inhalers were just not helping. So there I was conceding that wonder woman has well and truly left the building. The GP not only prescribed steroids for the asthma but also rest and time off work. After two days of resistance I have finally given in and I write this from my bed, propped up with pillows and sustained with warm drinks. So much for the post holiday benefits!

I have been searching for mindfulness classes to support my self care and trying not to give in to the “I don’t have time to commit to that” mantra. You see there is insight but still long engrained behaviours to address. Wish me luck on that one….

Whilst buying my over the counter antibiotics it started me wondering about our very different approach at home. I did know what to ask for, understood the problem and engaged my self management approaches and followed the advice. I knew to see my GP when I was not improving too. Could we trust people to do more of this over the counter self management if we empowered them with the right information? As we struggle to balance the books of healthcare, letting go paternalism and giving the right information , education and treatment to people at the right time to allow them to live their lives as best they can seems a good step forward. We need to keep challenging status quo to help us move on and best utilise reduced resources.

I notice how although I suspect my current illness is really a result of my immune system being challenged since the surgery, I still find myself wondering if it might be more than that. Anyone living with cancer will know this routine. Is that pain in my chest just asthma or could it be lung secondary’s, is my tiredness due to some underlying problem, are the pains in my back bone mets and so on. Its really mainly the 2 am shift that brings them to the fore but the steroids make sleep more difficult so it’s a double whammy really. I know with such early disease its just what it is-the fact I haven’t given myself enough rest to recover fully from the breast surgery but I am still human after all!

Today I had planned to help deliver a session at the NHS conference on transforming quality working with the third sector. Although I hate the third sector title ( who says we aren’t first after all?)This is a great opportunity to promote our work as a sector. The great things we do to support people to get through their health challenges. They will talk about the LTCAS self management campaign-“My condition, my life” and one of our volunteers will talk about the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Service pledge-illustrating how that partnership between health service, charity and volunteer can really deliver person centred care for all. It’s a great project, one I would love to see more benefit from. Wish I could be there but they will do a great job without me and today ( Matthew!)I am going to be a patient, patient and practice what we preach….. Aye right!

Reasons to be cheerful! Yes there are plenty still. It really is nice to be home with friends and family. Koshka is happy to see us. He looks huge compared to the leaner varieties in Bulgaria. He was quite excited to see the pink dressing gown re-emerge as I took to the sofa once more… Don’t ask! And the final touches to the house are nearly there. It looks fab.

The festival marches on but I haven’t managed to enjoy any yet due to an embarrassing cough and  bad case of cant get the bed off my back. One of my colleagues is doing a show at lunch time this week so I really would like to go. Maybe I can at least sneak a visit to the book festival -its my favourite spot-you see I am a woman that knows how to live!I did read one of the top ten fringe jokes was "Did you hear David Cameron has decided to set up an 80's tribute government?" This isnt a political blog so I will leave it there...

My wonderful colleagues are also cheering me up with dedicated punning, morph suits and an unstinting commitment to making a difference-you are fab!

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