spica splint

Wrestling heavy suitcase, heavy roasting-dishes into/out of Mum’s Aga, and this morning clearing the ashes from the stove and bringing through more heatlogs … I’ve conceded that I’m not really up to anything more and dug out the spica splint!

Hopefully, a few days wrapped up and I’ll be able to use my thumb for typing and suchlike …

spica splint on left thumb and wrist

Eurgh!

Eurgh! I have some kind of lurgy – hopefully nothing really serious, as I’ve had booster jab & flu jab and am generally both “cautious” and “rather unsociable”!

Headache and difficulty focussing eyes (both feel like bunged-up sinuses), general phlegmy chest and aching joints … but normal temperature and lateral flow test negative. PCR test arrived this morning and will be done this afternoon.

I also called in to Synexus, as I’m part of the clinical trial group for a CSV study. At their request, I’ve taken a nose swab (which will be collected by courier tomorrow morning), and will fill in daily symptom logs per the sheets that they issued. Subject to a negative PCR test result, I’ve got an appointment to go in on Friday (17th).

Meanwhile, surviving on blackcurrant Lemsip … and seem to have a craving for a lot of carbs: waving my diet a temporary goodbye!

ambulant ECG

Worcester Royal Hospital is rightly very definite about needing a signature before they trust you with a £2,000+ ambulant ECG heart monitor. They’re less organised about giving a signature when you hand it back!

Yesterday, the monitor was fitted in the “drive-through” pod (which, having arrived by e-bike, I was allowed to walk into). When I asked about returns, I was initially told to “just drop it off in the box outside”. When I said that I’d need a returns signature, I was then told to return it to “clinical investigations” in the main hospital. When I did so today, they expressed complete surprise! After a couple of internal phone calls, I got a “return” signature on an otherwise blank form, which was better than nowt.

Having to wear a T-shirt to keep monitor and leads vaguely under control last night did nothing to improve my sleep, but I suppose I’m glad that my slightly dodgy heart is being investigated.

24-hour heart monitor

out and about

Yesterday was a trip up to Worcester Royal Hospital to have a 24-hour ECG monitor fitted. I was just slightly nervous as a) it was meant to be “drive-through”, and arriving by e-bike didn’t seem to be catered for and b) I’d forgotten to put my e-bike on charge last time I used it, and was a bit unsure if it would make it there and back!

As it worked out, everything was fine.

Later yesterday there was the “Reclaim the Night” march, co-organised by Hannah. I’d managed to mainly charge the ebike by then so a quick trip into town, leaving the e-bike at the Cross and walking down to Angel Place. Louis (plus banner) arrived shortly afterwards. I ran into assorted Greens as things were waiting to kick off, and was very pleased to see and briefly chat to Rob Hedge and the kids – it’s the first time I’ve seen Rob for about 10 years!

A rather chilly evening, which didn’t improve my mobility, so I ratted out halfway through the march. Still, I’m glad I went. On the way home, the back tyre of the ebike started deflating – bugger! I hope I can fix it before I have to get up to WRH to return the ECG monitor – buses are free with my pensioner pass (which so far I’ve never used!), but standing around waiting for them is not a favourite occupation.

blast from the past …

I was reading through some old posts on Out this morning, and was a bit alarmed to see a post from August 2011, just over ten years ago:

I admit that weight is something I’m struggling with myself at the moment – I’m down at 8 1/2 stone – a good stone lighter than my ideal weight for six foot of height.”

8 1/2 stone is 54 Kg. I’ve spent most of the past two years battling with my weight … down from a peak of 74kg to a current 66ish kg (10 stone 7), though it has definitely not been easy. At least I’ve now gone from being “pre-diabetic” to “not pre-diabetic”, which makes it worth the effort.

weight tracking graph

booster

I’ve felt like shit all day – very weak and trembling though there’s nothing obviously wrong. Temperature normal, LTR test negative, and so on. So a slightly breezy ebike ride to a pharmacy in Henwick for my booked covid booster jab.

I now feel like shit with an added aching arm …

covid booster vaccination card

24-hour ECG

I had a letter today inviting me to attend a “drive-through pod” at Worcester Royal Hospital to have a 24-hour ECG monitor fitted. I’m just hoping that “drive-through” also includes “cycle-through”! It’s only a month since this current GP started trying to sort out my heart issues (two months since I first spoke to a different GP about it), which I think is pretty rapid considering the enormous stress that the NHS and WRH are under (with patients taking up to 12 hours from arrival in an emergency ambulance to actually getting in to A&E).

This GP has also asked me to have another blood test, as he thinks that the one three months or so ago is not entirely clear, so that’s booked for next week. Yes, only one of the four consultations so far have been “in person” (the first one), but I have no complaints at all about the level of care and the way they’re looking after me.

letterhead of Worcestershire Acute H9spitals NHS Trust

Winter mode engaged

The fire is lit, for the first time in the winter season. The logs are made from recycled waste sawdust with no additives, in attempt to minimise environmental impact. I’m pretty sure that waste sawdust would otherwise be pelleted as cat-litter, ending up in landfill (decaying to produce methane), or composted, or dumped, so I don’t feel that this is adding to either greenhouse gases or destruction of woodland, though it sadly probably does add to particulate pollution a bit.

I’m still very breathless, due to change of medication earlier in the week. Doses will obviously have to be reviewed – especially as so far it hasn’t made any difference to the “feel dizzy when stopping doing things” that is a problem.

lit wood-burning stove in arched brick fireplace

Heart stuff again …

I’ve been been relatively stable (well, around one emergency hospital trip with angina every 18-24 months) for the past nine years. It looks as though that’s changed … I’ve been getting dizzy spells, even when sitting down doing nothing, for the last few months which have increased in frequency.  So I visited the GP last Monday (a new, young, one: Dr Brown). She advised taking blood pressure readings for a week and stopping the beta-blocker I was on (Bisoprolol).

Yesterday had been rough! I felt nervous and very edgy all day, as though running on adrenalin. It didn’t strike me until I was on the train going over to Birmingham for the RSV clinical trial panel that this was probably a bounce-back from stopping Bisoprolol nearly a week earlier. Several minor angina twinges … not good.

Dr Brown rang back this morning. After some discussion, she said she’d refer me to a cardiologist, and ask for a 24-hour cardiac monitor to be arranged. There was then a further phone call, saying she’d spoken to the cardiologist, and first line of attack would be to change the Chemydur for something else which might reduce postural hypotension. Chemydur is the modified-release sodium mononitrate that I’ve been on since my last hospital trip, when it was prescribed in place of unmodified sodium mononitrate. I’m to continue monitoring my blood pressure, and get back to her next week if things don’t improve significantly / dizzy spells persist.

blood pressure monitor and cuff, on table

not good things

My elderly Mum has been without a phone service since early Saturday morning – it’s now Wednesday lunchtime. She relies on this for her fall alarm and other emergencies (mobile signal is intermittent in most parts of the house). She has severe osteoporosis, so a fall would be serious,. She lives on her own, with carer visits, so is unattended for usually 14 hours overnight.

I’ve raised a formal complaint, and appealed on Facebook for any suggestions of a way of putting any pressure on Openreach. I’m feeling a bit guilty about not going over to stay, but it’s not really possible for me at the moment.

In other news, it’s now 18 months since I started recording my diet and weight. My maximum weight, a month before I started recording things, was just over 74kg. I’ve been struggling a bit not to put back the weight that I lost last year: a couple of serious depressive episodes haven’t helped.

The “steps” count is a bit misleading – on a bad day it might be 500, on a good day up to 12500. The good news last month was that I’ve achieved my main objective of no longer being pre-diabetic (I’ve slightly modified my diet), so in that sense weight loss is secondary, though a useful monitor of how my diet is doing.

graph of weight loss, currently 68.1kg