Ah- that's better! I actually feel healthy enough to type blog posts. Trust me - there have been times when I haven't really felt healthy enough to do anything at all. A couple of times I have seriously considered calling an ambulance (and you know how I feel about hospitals).
It is funny how quickly someone can go from "I would rather die than bother a Dr" to actually desiring to get themself to a hospital at the first sign of something being seriously wrong. It is also quite ironic when you realise that the aforementioned individual has been told they are not going to be cured from the condition which is behind the reason they wanted to call an ambulance in the first place. Let's just say that a suspected chest infection/cold (which usually wiped me out even before I got the Heart Failure diagnosis) and Heart Failure are not exactly a match made in Heaven - the match is more likely to send me to Heaven.
Anyway - where was I???
Oh yes - I was going to give you my "State Of The Health Of The Ineke" Address.
There have been some annoyances, some really funny things (there again - that might just be my rather twisted sense of humour), and some educational things, which have entered my orbit recently. And the "educational" things really were educational - just maybe not in the way they were intended to be.
First I feel it might be useful to explain my personal philosophy regarding my health and how I try to look after myself.
People tell me I am an inspiration in the way I am coping with this escapade. I have said many times before that I only know how to fight and keep going when things get tough - giving up is an alien concept to me. I suppose it is one thing I have to thank my Oma for - she was one of the most determined people I have ever met (I only found out by accident that she had actually had cancer three separate times before she died) - she (and my Mum) was also one of the most caring people I have ever met. The three of us share one characteristic - if we like you we will do anything in our power to help you. On the flip side - however - getting on the wrong side of us is "not recommended for Medicinal purposes" (as my Glaswegian friend would say.
The funny thing is that I now consider myself to have access to four types of "medicine" - the first being the stuff everyone recognises as medicine (as in tablets, injections, etc). The second is my friends (even though some of them are potentially deleterious to my health - but more about that later). The third is humour - if you can't see the funny side of something serious you are just going to get stressed out. The fourth is chocolate.
The whole thing kicked off a couple of weeks ago. I started feeling a bit odd. I knew I had a cold but I had had them before and I knew what to do about it (let nature take its course). However, when I expected to start to feel better I ended up feeling a lot worse - to the point where I thought my next residence would either be somewhere where I can be attached to a wall by my nose, or a nice comfy wooden box 6 foot underground.
To say that was scary is something of an understatement - one minute you are unconcious and the next you are awake wondering if you are ever going to breathe again. I somehow managed to calm myself down enough to be able to breathe and go back to sleep.
I was advised by a friend of mine, who is an ex-Heart Failure Nurse, to contact my own Heart Failure Nurse and see what she said. I am glad I followed that advice.
The horrible thing was - I knew I had a couple of Medical Appointments as well as events I didn't want to miss that week. One of the Medical Appointments was actually the source of what I think caused the (currently suspected) chest infection - Stress with a capital "S". Not the appointment itself - more like trying to get people organised to enable me to get one lot of tablets which the Oncologist had prescribed at my last appointment. (I am now working on the assumption that I can get my Surgery to ring the Oncologist directly if the letter explicitly stating I need one lot of tablets hasn't turned up by next Monday.)
The events I wanted to go to all included various friends (I only had to miss one of them because I just didn't feel at all well).
If there is one way of taking my mind off my poorlyness it is to surround myself with humans who enjoy writing and talking about writing. Scribbles allows me to do that - and I found something else (which is - unfortunately - ending next week). Take one pack of students who are studying Media at university, and one absolute wizard of a tutor called John Coster, and add the Three "Social Media Cafe" Musketeers (of which I am one) - water liberally with coffee - and you have a recipe for a nice few hours. (It also helps if you are almost stunned into speechlessness by the aforementioned John Coster telling one of the students in your earshot that you are "one of the best bloggers I know" - that made me go from literally feeling like the "Walking Dead" to feeling like a useful corpse who could actually impart wisdom to someone.)
Hey - I am not a teacher (nor do I wish to ever become one) but if I can help people learn about blogging I am very happy. Even better if someone is interested enough in me to read my blog as a result of talking to me (and compliment me - but that isn't a mandatory requirement) to see what I have been trying to tell them about.
I have also rediscovered my love of something - Hot Chocolate (second thoughts any chocolate will do - even a box of chocolates. My favourite are Quality Street, or - if you want to be my friend for life - supply me with several bars of Verkade milk chocolate, or a large box of "Hagelslag" in milk chocolate). There is nothing better than being curled up in my chair (incidentally where I am typing now), wrapped in my large throw, drinking a mug of Hot Chocolate to make me feel as though all is right with the world.
I nearly forgot - I told you I was going to explain why I said that some of my friends are actually deleterious to my health. There are a few friends who - if I think there is a good chance of me ending up in their presence for whatever reason and having fun as a result - could invite me to the opening of an envelope and I would turn up. (One such friend was the springboard to the start of this escapade when I couldn't get to an event she was at and I wasn't too bothered. If I had been healthy at that point I would have done everything in my power to turn up to it and been very disappointed if I couldn't make it.) I think most of them would know who they are (with a couple of exceptions).
This is all very well if I am actually in a fit state for public consumption. It is when my loyalty to my friends clashes with the fact that I don't feel at all well that the problems start. I end up feeling both extremely angry with myself and guilty for letting my friends down if I am too poorly to attend (apart from the time I referred to above). I know my friends would probably understand but I suppose it is another aspect of the "be as much like everybody else as possible" side of my character which refuses to make a fuss unless absolutely necessary. (I am smiling as I type this because I know that there are some of you reading this who will probably have a friendly go at me about it next time you see me. You know who you are - mainly because you have already done so.)
Well, now you know I am alive I will finish by sending you a BIG HUG each and saying "thank you for your support".
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