Not up to scratch

For the past few days, after receiving my NHS “Old People” ‘Flu’ jab, I have been feeling absolutely awful. My chest feels like it’s constrained by iron bands, I am constantly coughing.

I am already taking two pills and a variety of inhalers once or twice a day.

But today, despite the temperature outside being below zero, I have opened every window in the house. It is extremely cold, but I am not coughing. I feel fine.

Maybe I should erect my bell tent in the garden and live there for a few days? Or take a rest break for several months in the Alps?

Light Gardening and Light Wargaming

Life has been rather quiet for the past few days.
I have not felt particularly able to do much, but I have been keeping the garden somewhat under control.

Whenever I work in the garden I am reminded of an old “Punch” cartoon dating from about 100 years ago.
Scene: An old man working in his garden. The local vicar looks over the hedge.
Vicar: “Isn’t it amazing what man can achieve with the aid of the Almighty?”
Gardener: “Aye Vicar, but you should’ve seen it when the Almighty ‘ad it to ‘Isself!”

On the wargaming front I have been designing, printing and sticking to blocks more labels for my “Memoir ’44” games.
Yesterday I produced reinforcements for the 1944 US Parachute Infantry and two forces for Poland in 1939.

 


These graphics (produced pixel by pixel using MS Paint) are printed onto A4 sticky labels, then cut out and attached to 13mm square (19mm for aircraft) plastic blocks. They are much easier to handle than cardboard counters and using tactical map signs lends a greater sense of authenticity to the game when playing on what is essentially a map view of the battlefield.

They lack the visual appeal of real painted toys on a modelled terrain, but I do get the games played sooner! Today, for example I played out a campaign scenario involving 13 companies of US Paras assaulting and defeating 2 companies of German Landsers. Not worth a full-blown battlefield set-up, and the whole thing was set up, played, documented and put away within 90 minutes.

A really crappy birthday

Well, all in all my 65th birthday was a fairly awful day.

I woke up coughing at 5:00 a.m., about the 4th time during the night.

I walked the dog in the woods, taking advantage of the fresh air, but always reliant on my walking stick in case of dizzy spells.

I then spent most of the day doing sedentary jobs, interspersed with fits of coughing.

Late afternoon Chrissy took me shopping for a better chair as a birthday gift.  My current armchair is not comfortable either in upright or recline mode, and needs a sever kicking to “unrecline”.

We then went to the stables, where I spent an hour sitting on a bench launching a ball for Sparky until he was exhausted.

I took to my bed at around 8:00 pm, but at about 9:30 woke up with such a cough that I ended up vomiting out of the bedroom window!

—————-

Today has been much better.

Although I did not feel up to taking Sparky for a walk this morning, due to dizzy spells, we did play “kick ball – fetch ball” in the garden for a long time.

I then spent a couple of hours in the sunshine painting bases for and touching up my 1/1800 warships ready for the start of the forthcoming Cape Matapan game.

The fresh air seems to do me good.

I had to intersperse the painting with accommodating a persistent dog with a ball.  I think that helps my health issues too.

I also spent a short time indoors working on the administration of my PBEM Market Garden campaign.

We actually got around to starting the cake bought for yesterday that was abandoned due to health issues and my lack of general interest in actually having a birthday!

Late afternoon I had a relapse, and awoke in the armchair to find that Chrissy had almost finished building the new chair that was delivered this morning.  I have to say that this chair and footstool combo is far more comfortable than the old reclining armchair.

And so to bed at 10:00 pm.  This is about the latest bedtime for several weeks!  And I am feeling up to writing something for the blog.

Not how I expected to spend Easter

Recently I have been concerned about my health. Over the last couple of months I have been frequently short of breath and “wheezy”. In addition I have a chesty cough that will not go away. I went to my GP who scheduled several tests for me.

Blood test, chest x-ray, spirometry all came back “normal”.
I was given a nebuliser to try, but it appeared to make the cough worse.
In the last few days, a couple of times I have coughed so much that I actually blacked out for a few seconds. I checked out the NHS “111” service and the recommendation, as usual, was “Get to A&E a.s.a.p.”

Easter Sunday. Not the best day to choose, but off we went.
Two hours later, having been tested twice for blood pressure and oxygen levels I was put onto additional oxygen and then almost immediately examined.
My blood pressure was in the “normal” range, which was odd because it has been worryingly high for years. Oxygen intake was flashing “low” (below 90 whatevers that they measure).

Another blood test, another chest x-ray. Both showed nothing abnormal.

In the end I was diagnosed with underlying asthma with gastro-respiratory complications.
I was advised to use the nebuliser more frequently and with a heavier dosage, and prescribed some gastric inhibitor pills on a trial basis. Oddly the accompanying label says I should discontinue them if I feel sudden wheezy-ness, which is what triggered the whole investigation in the first place!

Last night I found that when I was lying flat (back or side) I was unable to take a deep breath, and spent half the night coughing pointlessly and getting out of bed to breathe properly. Sleeping in a sitting position triggered the cough, lying down made me puff and pant.

Back to the doctor tomorrow.

Meanwhile we have a couple of air purifiers arriving today. Since 26 years of secondary smoking and the occasional bowl of pipeweed have apparently left no effect on my lungs I wonder if I have developed an allergy to the dog!