Monday, 24 December 2007

Happy Christmas...!

I won't be online tomorrow, too much family stuff going on, eating, drinking and being merry!! So I thought I would say Happy Christmas to all, especially all my friends and colleagues at work over the Christmas period. I'm supposed to be on shift the next 3 days, unfortunately my body says nope! I actually enjoy working over Christmas, great atmosphere on station!


Love to all XXX

Wednesday, 19 December 2007


I am now back in the office, went in on Tuesday as I had a late night Saturday, plus I over did the old sauce and then didn't sleep well Sunday so decided against going to work Monday. I know, bad but hey.....

The girls (and guy) in the office are already being great. I am doing things at my own pace (slow as if I am too efficient I will run out of work to do) and have high jacked a nice desk as its usual occupant is away until after New Years. Having said that I have been out of the office for a few hours due to the station food shopping expedition (thank you Tesco for giving us £10 off our Christmas food bill!!) and an appointment with a nurse. I have also been given two Christmas pressies and a card since I started on Tuesday, doing well!!

My legs already feel better, I think that may be because my feet aren't so cold so the circulation is better and therefore I can feel more but my hands still feel funny and I drop things like paper if I don't concentrate on picking it up (most of the time).

I got my DVLA notice of revocation today, fortunately they are revoking my license and giving me a 3 year renewable license with a 1 year renewal of my LGV license (the one I need to drive ambulances) so although its a bit of a pain and I wish it wasn't the case it came as a relief to see that they were letting me keep the LGV. I burst into tears at the time, not sure why, either relief or sadness. I am guessing relief. I think I had forgotten about the DVLA question but it was obviously sat nagging somewhere in there. Still, will pop the form in the post tomorrow so hopefully my new license will appear soon.

I thought I would add my symptoms log to this blog...... Its a very boring read I expect but if anyone out there is wondering if you're the only one then it might help, you never know.....

1st episode – numbness to left side of torso, approx February 2006 lasting around 3 – 4 weeks.

2nd episode – numbness to left side of torso and strange ‘stretching’ sensation in spine (when bending/leaning forwards), approx October 2006 lasting around 3 – 4 weeks.

3rd episode – started end January 2007.

Right arm – underneath, change in sensation from armpit to tip of little finger, finger and right side of middle finger. Slight pins and needles sensation to fingers. End Jan 2007.

Around 11.02.07 – Both legs altered sensation and slight pins and needles.

24.02.07 – Right leg worsened and change in sensation to buttocks and genitalia.

08.03.07 – GP appointment, took self off the road.

12.03.07 – Occupational Health appointment.

24.03.07 – Vision in right eye – looking to right blurred.

03.04.07 – Appointment Capio Hospital, Dr Adcock.

Around 08.04.07 – Right leg and buttocks slightly better.

14.04.07 – Right eye 99% better.

16.04.07 – Occupational Health appointment – Closing case until I need to see them again.

09.05.07 – Left eye hazy vision and pain in and above eye. Pain worsened on eye movement.

18.05.07 – Left arm underneath numb from armpit to ends of fingers. Left side of torso numb from above breast to level of navel.

20.05.07 – both legs tired no change in sensation. Lasted two days.

21.05.07 – Appointment RBH Dr Adcock. MS diagnosis. Steroids started. 500mg per day for five days.

22.05.07 – Left eye pain free.

24.05.07 – Left eye vision a lot better (90%). (off work for 2 days)

27.05.07 – 1st day no pain killers taken.

29.05.07 – Back at work, left eye worsens during day when using computer.

31.05.07 – Short day at work due to tiredness.

Around 08.06.07 – 21.06.07 - ‘Stretching’ sensation in spine when bending/leaning forwards.

25.06.07 – Appointment Dr Weir – MS Nurse to call re Rebif. MS diagnosis confirmed.

10.07.07 – Appointment JR Oxford for EEG

16.07.07 – Appointment Adastral/MS Nurse

19.07.07 – License to DVLA

23.07.07 – Back to work

End 3rd episode, residual change in sensation to little finger, right hand and right foot gets tingly and slightly numb when too hot, usually in trainers.

30.07.07 – Eye check – all ok
13.08.07 – 1st Rebif injection 8.8

4th Relapse:
24.08.07 – Left side of torso, inc back numb between breast and navel.

27.08.07 – Rebif 22
04.09.07 – Left work early – migraine
09.09.07 – ON Left eye, very little pain

10.09.07 – Rebif 44
17.09.07 – Bladder playing up slightly, vision worse, not driving ambulances
24.09.07 – 1 week off sick. Not coping with ON or tiredness, no pain with ON
01.10.07 – Bladder behaving
10.10.07 – Left work early, migraine

12.10.07 – Lost the plot, crying at work
16.10.07 – Appt, Sarah, RBH

22.10.07 – Left eye 98% better most of the time, worse in the morning and when tired
24.10.07 – Occi Health appt and Flu jab
06.11.07 – Burning sensation in left leg, knee and thigh, moved to right leg
14.11.07 – Bloods taken RBH A&E
16.11.07 – Burning sensation back to just left leg
20.11.07 – Sensation in both legs back to normal except when legs tired

28.11.07 – L’Hermittes sign
04.12.07 – Change in sensation in legs up to waist, inc genitalia….. Torso slightly worse, left eye same
12.12.07 – Right leg worse than left, went to work but got sent home
13.12.07 – Change in sensation to little finger, ring finger and side of both hands
17.12.07 – On light duties

So, it goes on forever but it is pretty much everything I can remember and although 2006 is estimated the rest is accurate to the week so gives the time line of my MS so far.

Tonight I am sitting on the sofa reading emails and eating chocolate, as of January 2nd I will have to stop eating as much chocolate as I am changing my eating habits so am making the most of it!!

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Going backwards.....

Went to work this morning despite feeling horrible and knowing that the feeling in my legs is getting gradually less and my balance is getting worse. I nearly rang in sick but thought, one more shift then I can get home and lie on the sofa for 4 days. When I got to work I kept thinking I shouldn't be there, and then when it came to starting work I ended up in tears and talking to my station officer. I am now on a couple of days sick and will go back to work on Monday on light duties, back to the same office I was in last time.

My legs feel the same as last time when they were bad but I haven't had the gradual change in sensation as last time, things have got worse very quickly. Still I'll spend some time on light duties, hopefully get better and get back to it. I think I'll have a proper think about what else I can do in terms of a job over the next few weeks. I have been thinking about it loosely over the last month or so but I haven't got anywhere.

So anyone any ideas.......I would like to work shifts but not nights and not past midnight and would like to get out and about but not as much as this job....... Ah well, I think I am employable so will find something if I have to!

Monday, 10 December 2007


Hello LW, can't reply to your comment and question as I can't find a reply button......

"I live in R*** and would like to do something for ambulance crews at Christmas. Would sending round cake be considered okay or would it just make people think I was trying to poison them?"

So yes, cake or anything edible is always welcome on an ambulance station and no one would even contemplate the idea that it would be poisonous! I'm sure your local station would be very grateful and well fed and sugared crews are much more effective!!

Monday, 3 December 2007

Couple of things

It's December, how did that happen.....? I am still saying its not Christmas from time to time but I am coming to the conclusion that I'll have to give in to it at some point. Even got the Christmas decorations out of the loft!

It's been one of those weekends, we were all very very busy, all crews late off every good for the morale...... I started the weeks shifts badly with a migraine by about 9am Thursday and got myself in a pickle in the evening when feeling sorry for myself, asking for reassurance from B and him changing the subject nicely. I did then corner him in the car and tell him what he had just done and then cried....... He just expects me to know that his feelings don't change and that he is coping with me fine. He tells me regularly that he loves me but sometimes I'll ask for the reassurance and he doesn't always get why I need it. Still we chatted in the car as we do and sorted ourselves out. I hate being needy........

Anyway, had a couple of interesting jobs, an actual ill person and my first encounter with an MS pt on the road.

I'll start with the ill pt, I have see very few really ill people recently and then the one I do see I can do very little for him other than get him on the ambulance and get him to hospital quickly. We were given a description from control that led me to believe our pt would be having a CVA. When we arrived we realised there was a Dr on scene - nice to be told. We got upstairs (as always) to the pt and at that point I decided this was not going to be good. The GP handed over, yes CVA, onset of headache had been about 6 hours previously and the pt was now more or less paralysed on the left side. The GP very helpfully had written an unintelligible letter but neglected to do any observations or get the pt on oxygen. D went straight down for the chair, I put the pt on oxygen and checked his pulse and then asked the GP to hang around and help get the pt on the chair. The GP went and got his driver to help as well. There was no way I was waiting for another crew.

We got the pt on the chair and to the ambulance, he was still making some communicative effort but was very unwell. We rolled the pt onto his side in case he vomited, did obs and an ECG, got the wife on and got underway to hospital. After a couple of attempts I got through to control to put in the courtesy call, stressing the unwell nature of the pt.

On route the pt vomited a couple of times, the second time was about 5/7 minutes away from the hospital, I had to suction then checked the pts pupils again. He had a pin point pupil and a dilated pupil. I tried to get a response from the pt, he was now GCS 3. I tried to insert an airway but he had clenched his jaws and was at the wrong angle for an OP. When we arrived at hospital they had a team ready but called a few more people down once I told them he was GCS3 most of the time.

By the time we left he was tubed and ventilated and ready to go off for CT but not expected to survive. I had been honest with the wife on the way in so she was fully aware and had thanked me for being honest. Our pt was nearly 70 but had been doing a full time job the week before and playing golf on the good weekends, such a shock for everyone in the family.

When we went back the next morning with a pt I asked after him, I was surprised to find that he had survived the night but died the next morning. I wish there was more we could do but what...??

The lady with MS was not ill but relapsing and no longer able to cope. I found meeting her hard, I know MS has no guarantees of anything but the possibilities...... No longer being able to control your arms, legs, bladder etc...... I wasn't sure what to do with her but she was at the end of her tether and wanted to go into hospital so I took her to A&E and let them know that she was under the neurology team there. Another thing I found upsetting was that she knew very little about the condition she had been diagnosed with 9 years ago.

On my day off I managed to nearly finish my Christmas shopping and meet a friend for coffee, was a good day!!

Friday, 23 November 2007

Ranty blog post.......

This may turn out to be war and peace so I won't hold it against you if you don't get to the end!

Let me tell you about a shift I had recently. By the end of my shift B (D was still on leave) and I had worked out that had the four people we attended that day, or their friends or relatives, thought about what they were doing we wouldn't have been needed by any of them.

Patient #1: Let me start with not the patients fault..... It was a call to an elderly lady with breathing difficulties, found in a bit of a pickle by the sheltered housing scheme manager. When we arrived she had taken her inhaler and was looking ok if a little short of breath. She was deaf as a post so it was hard going. Inside the pts NOMAD (drugs box) was a note from the pts daughter saying 'please help mum with her inhalers she is having trouble breathing'. My thoughts there, ring the Dr, your Mum shouldn't be having trouble breathing and may have avoided us dragging her into hospital with saturations of 88%........

Patient #2: Definitely the pts fault..... Woman in early stages of labour, has had gradual increases in blood pressure which has meant she has had to be seen by a consultant at another hospital rather than the one she is booked into. The consultant decides she is not suitable for a midwife led delivery and she is moved over to the care of the other hospital for a consultant led delivery. Today she goes into labour and rings the midwife led centre to see if she can go in. Over the phone she lies and says she has had no problems during pregnancy and has only ever seen midwives. She turns up at the midwife led hospital and is told she can't deliver there and as she is too far into her labour to go by car we have to go pick her up and take her to the other hospital. Now I wouldn't want to go to the other hospital but she had enough notice to up hospitals and book into a closer, nicer hospital, not just lie and turn up at a hospital you have been told you can't deliver at because you and your baby could be at risk.

Patient #3: Blame can be spread between three parties, my control, the supermarket and the pt. We got the job as pt feeling lethargic, stiff neck, pins and needles in hands feet and around the lips, aches all over. For starters the job should never have got to us. Next, we arrive and the pt is a young male, looking a little wiped out but GCS 15, well perfused and talking happily. He states that he just doesn't feel himself, feels weak and achy and very tired. We check him over, BP a little on the low side but then he was young and slim and temperature a little up (about 0.4 of a degree higher than mine), we then checked his O2 saturations and ECG, everything fine. The pins and needles was from all the deep breathing he was doing because he felt a little nauseas. We send him home in a taxi to be looked after by his girlfriend with instructions to see his GP. He most probably has a virus or something similar. He apologised for us being called but I get the impression he didn't do much to stop it. The real problem arose when the staff cancelled the taxi they had called the pt for him to go home and called an ambulance instead.......

Patient #4: Male, diagnosed with gastroenteritis three days previously, with SEVERE abdominal pain. When we arrived he was laying on the sofa, not in obvious pain but I'm not saying he wasn't in any. We checked him over from top to bottom and found nothing wrong. He had had diarrhoea for a while but was showing no signs of dehydration or ill effect. There was some tenderness on palpation of his abdomen but other than that nothing....... So I did the spiel, I can't see what is going on in there but I expect it to be as diagnosed, nothing more serious. He had had all the tests the hospital could do so what more could we do. Nothing had changed since the hospital visit it just hadn't got any better. I suggested they speak to the Dr about better pain relief and they said that they had spoken to the GP while we were on the way and he had said to let us deal with it. Thanks..... In the end the chap went to bed with instruction that they should visit the GP if nothing had changed after the weekend or earlier if necessary. Were we needed, nope not really.

I have to say with regard to any ambulance call that to dial 999 you must be worried therefore you will always get my full attention and all the tests I can do for you to ensure there is nothing worrying going on. I just wonder sometimes that's all........

The next day, apart from our first call and one in the middle which were 'B' cats, all our other emergency calls were given as 'A' cats. I know that two of them were 'A' cats and another was likely to have been but we didn't get there as we were stood down as there was a closer crew cleared down. All of these 'A' cat, eight minute response, calls came in when we were on base or close to base and were a good 10 minutes away down the motorway...... I think someone must have put something in the water........and there was an hours bed wait at the hospital throughout most of the day. This made me late off.........

Tuesday, 20 November 2007


Yesterday I worked on a response car as D was on leave and had a good day, well apart from the lack of meal break and the migraine at the end..... I did several chest pain patients, one of which was back pain not chest pain, the other two were unlikely to be having anything significant going on as nothing was showing up on our 12 lead ECG.

The one with back pain was my most interesting job. I got there, walked and thought, oh this may be cardiac, he doesn't look very well. When I asked what the problem was it was back pain not chest pain. I asked a couple of questions about how the pain came on and if he had done any heavy lifting, he said no. He was quite pale and starting to sweat. He had a weak radial pulse on the right but nothing I could feel on the left. At this point I started to get twitchy so I popped him on 100% oxygen and took his blood pressure, which was 80 systolic. I thought, this may be a triple A, abdominal aortic aneurysm, which is a bad thing. When the crew arrived it was an experienced crew and they thought it may be kidney stones or something similar. I mentioned my thoughts to one of the crew and it was left as that. They gave the patient some morphine and popped him up the hospital.

I found out today from the crew that he had been transferred to the JR in Oxford that night for surgery on his AAA and did not look well. Obviously it is good for me to know I made the right diagnosis having never seen it before but I don't think they were expecting my patient to survive and I feel bad that I was right.......

Other than that I got soaked through at an RTC, even my knickers were wet........ I wish people wouldn't crash their cars when its raining (please, please, please....!!).

Friday, 16 November 2007

dishy dishy dishy....!!

Just a quickie! My apologies to B but, oh my, we did a transfer from HWHL to WPH last night and the ITU Dr was, well, gorgeous!! He was good looking, flirty, funny and had a lovely accent! D (who is engaged and was trying to take off her ring) and I were grinning like Cheshire cats most of the way back from WPH! D inadvertently mentioned her fiance when we arrived at WPH but I remained single throughout!!

We only did the one job all night! Spent around 3 hours on cover at my parents house on soft sofas with freeview TV and cups of tea!! Still the world was going by without the need for our services so thats all good!

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Hips and Poo!

So, I am still somewhat bored, although I have had to use my brains, in conjunction with D's brains to extract some pts from their awkward positions.........

The title of this post really reflects what D and I have been to over the last few days. It all started with a faller. When we walked in I thought there was a strange smell which got worse as we got towards the bedroom. To cut a long story short we picked the pt up off the floor, started doing a few bits and pieces, watched her walk badly, realised she was dirty (unable to clean herself after the toilet) and started asking questions about the diarrheoa and suddenly, oh yes, she had C-Diff in February and the Dr says it hasn't fully cleared. The the pt piped up and said that she had had a sample tested and had that hospital bug........ I then flashed back to a colleague saying that C-Diff smells very distinctive and I thought that'll be it then.

The son who had turned up just after us was very little help, he cleared out her fridge while we were there and none of the food was in date, he said she hadn't asked for any food in a couple of weeks - well what was she eating?? When was the last time he had seen her?? The place was a mess, cold drinks, dirty clothes, feces on cushions, blankets, the carpet. What were the carers doing? She hadn't been to bed for a few days, again why was she left to live in that state??

Due to the surrounding issues I made the decision that the pt needed to be in hospital. She couldn't look after herself and it didn't look like she had the support to stay at home. The son even said, its easier when she's in hospital....... She lived in Wexham's PCT but was normally taken to Frimley so I rang control so they could contact Frimley and let them know I was coming in with a pt with C-Diff. More of a courtesy than a necessity so they could prepare. They were strangely nice when we got there. The staff at Frimley have a habit of looking at us strangely as we are from Berkshire not Surrey, add C-Diff on top and I expected a frosty reception but no, very friendly and accepting!!!

This is a major difficulty with pre-hospital care, especially for the elderly (and mental health problems...) as A&E, or even hospital, is often the wrong place for the pt, yet there is nowhere else for us to take them. Drs tend to be worse than useless (my apologies to the good ones - you are out there I know) and palm people straight back to us when a referral to a respite care centre or such could be the real solution. Admittedly C-Diff or the like will throw a spanner in the works for anyone.

Another two of our pts kept the poo title alive, another acopic pt with diarrheoa, although not C-Diff and a Drs urgent who was generally unwell and had an accident on the way to hospital......

As for the hips, one definite fractured neck of femur (the smack you in the face obvious type) and a couple of falls onto hips which were waiting for replacement. The first of which involved a Paramedic for pain relief (the one who turned up could also be classified as the comedy act!!) and some logical thinking and organisation (hmmmmmmmmmm(!)) to get the pt out comfortably. Good job and the pt was smiling by the end of it!

Next a couple of police stories. The first: I was driving (D not feeling well) and heading out of FPH grounds. A dark car came into the hospital drive followed by a police car on blues. I assumed the car was being pulled for speeding or the police car was on their way to A&E for something. The dark car ended up on my side of the road, I stopped, they stopped as I was in the way and then the driver got out and legged it, followed swiftly by the two cops...... We drove by, close the police cars door and then drove round the roundabout (waiting for another cop car on blues) and went back to have a nose. The driver was on the floor under a cop and a security guy and as we drove out again there were 4 or 5 police cars now parked on the wrong side of the road........wonder what was going on there and wonder whether they noticed the ambulance that drove round twice...!!!

Secondly, as I pulled into a parking space last night at home a car approached me and the window wound down, I assumed they were after directions so I wound down my window (probably silly at 2am...) and suddenly realised they were police in an unmarked car. The woman driving said, was I home, I said yes just got home from work. She said that she thought I had seen them, paused and pulled in so I didn't have to drive past them. I said no just deciding where to park due to the boyfriends parents car being where I normally park. They said goodnight and drove off. Only then did I think, why would I have noticed them they were in a black or dark blue Vauxhall (I think)........ Oh well, my first run in with the police on the road!!

Right, that is the end of war and peace. Me, well, after having migraine after migraine, I am feeling better this week. I have what feel like sun burnt legs (a new rather annoying but not problematic MS symptom, I assume) and am still tired but much better than last week. Was loosing my patience last week..... The OH's parents are here this week. They arrived on Saturday and leave on Saturday, they have been fine, I haven't seen much of them so far due to work so I am happy with that! They have decorated upstairs so that is looking nice and fresh, getting ready to sell next year.

Right I'll stop waffling now, back to bed for a nap before work!

Friday, 2 November 2007


I am getting bored at the moment. I know I shouldn't moan but I don't think I have seen an ill person at work in a while........ I have given out some oxygen and entonox but other than that....... Don't get me wrong, I don't wish that people are ill or get in accidents but it is what I am trained to do, highly trained professional me!!! Tee hee!!! ;0)

So I have seen my MS Nurse and Occi Health, nothing much to report from either really. S was interested in this latest relapse and how I was doing emotionally, I let her know what had been happening at work. She wants to see me again in January and I have to have my second lot of bloods done next week sometime. Occi Health did pretty much the same and wrote a report saying that the short shifts are a good idea and that I should have more than one day off between shift blocks, not that the latter will happen, hopefully, cause if it does I'll either have to come off the rota or loose money. They didn't want me to make any decisions about the future yet which was good. I was starting to worry about them saying I shouldn't be doing the job, or that I should be on light duties, you get the point!

Apart from feeling somewhat tired yesterday I seem to be doing quite well! My vision is much much better most of the time but it comes and goes depending on how tired I am, fortunately it doesn't make any difference to my vision unless I close my right eye so I can forget about it for most of the day.

Oh, I have started my appraisal at work. My team leader/supervisor D (the one I was crying on) seems to think I am doing ok and I am a useful member of the team!! He says that my biggest 'problem' is my lack of confidence in myself. I am forever worrying about the decisions I have made and if I make a mistake I beat myself up for ages. I must add that I have, to my knowledge, never made a mistake that led to a poor outcome for a pt. Apparently I am a lot like d when he was still relatively new, I should get better at the self confidence thing then!! Still got quite a bit of the appraisal to go so we will see what he thinks about me over the rest of it!

Thats it........bored bored bored..........

Friday, 19 October 2007

Baby Poppy*

I had a superb shift yesterday, had one great job and the rest were ok. We had a baby!!! D and I received a further emergency at around 10:07 back to Bracknell from Ascot. The job had already been waiting 10 minutes for us to clear from hospital. We had been going a couple of minutes before we got the job details, Maternity call, contractions every minute, waters broken. There were no other details, we would have liked to know weeks pregnant, how many children and whether there was a midwife on the way.

Now I never believe the contractions every minute statement, it usually equates to contractions every now and then and waters probably not broken, me and my cynical thoughts....... D on the other hand was telling me we'd be delivering a baby, and was excited about it.

When we arrived I was looking for the house number, then I heard a scream, looked round and saw a youngish bloke come out of a door and start waving at me. That'll be the house then..... D got the entonox, I got the response bag and we headed in. Our pt was on all fours in the hallway, her waters had broken and after a minute her next contraction happened, very rudely only a minute after the last. The partner said 'she's booked into Frimley', I said 'I'm sorry but we're not going anywhere!! It took a little longer than that but I decided fairly swiftly that we would have to stay and have the baby at home rather than run the risk of trying to make it to hospital. I contacted control and requested a midwife then went to assess things closer.

At this point D was getting everything organised, bags, inco pads, oxygen etc etc. D has done this before, I haven't therefore I was quite happy for her to get on with things! On close inspection, has to be done...., there was definite bulging on every contraction meaning things weren't going to take that long.

I rang control back after 10 minutes to get an update on an ETA for a midwife and was told yes one is on her way. 5 minutes later she arrived, I was very very very (etc) pleased to see her. She got to business and assessed our pt, agreeing that birth was imminent. She commented on the fluid present saying that it was muconium, where the baby passes feces due to distress. I thought it was just blood and amniotic fluid but the midwife is the expert. Another 5 minutes later the door bell rings again, another midwife! Superb!!

After the arrival of the second midwife there was very little for D and me to do. We tried to stay out of the way and got bits and pieces for the midwives, including out HX Entonox cylinder as the pt had used the 1 1/2 CD cylinders we had........ They found the baby's heart beat and then tried to make sure the pt's cervix was dilated fully. This was difficult due to the position the pt was in but the decision was made to get the pt to start pushing. At this point the first midwife decided that the fluid was in fact blood and amniotic fluid so there was no worry there.

After a bit of position adjustment our pt began to push effectively and the baby made her way fairly swiftly into the world, the midwife actually had to hold her back to try and avoid tearing. At 11:09 baby Poppy appeared after around 7 hours of labour. Seeing as this was our pt's first baby I hate to think how quick any more will be!!!

Anyway, Mum and Baby were fine and we left once everyone was settled. A good job all round! I am now much happier about the prospect of delivering a baby, got to watch the professionals!!

Spent the rest of the day smiling!!!

Monday, 15 October 2007

Roller coaster, coming up!

So, roller coaster goes down, roller coaster comes up. I hate roller coasters.........

Since my last post I am feeling better. I went to work and spoke to my supervisor about the stupid decision I made, well actually I burst into tears and then spent the next 20 mins either crying or nearly crying. I should say sorry to D my Supervisor who bore the brunt of me getting a lot off my chest.

I have been referred back to my Occi Health Dept by my manager as I have been off sick for a week and had two shifts when I have been home from work sick since I went back to work at the end of July. I am very rarely off sick...... I see their point but I want to make it clear that I have no intention of making permanent decisions about my future at the moment. I need to be given the chance to work the short shifts, get over this relapse and give the meds a chance to work. I fully understand I may have to make decisions about my future that I don't like but now is not the time.

So feeling better, have had a couple of good shifts at work - may write about a couple of jobs soon - and am more positive!! I wonder how long till the next dip........ ;o)

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Stupid decisions......

Life seems to be a bit much at the moment. After all the positivity when I got over the last relapse it all seems to have gone pear shaped. It doesn't help that I was stupid at work last night as well.

After two weeks off and a lovely weekend away (which I will elaborate on) I went back to work for three day shifts, 0830/1800. On the 3rd shift I developed a headache which eventually turned into a migraine. I have never experienced anything like it. B had to come and pick me up from work, I have always been able to drive myself home with a migraine. I burst into tears in the crew room, S had to ring control and let them know I was going sick (thirty mins before the end of my shift...) and D had to ring B for me as I was crying too much.....

Once I got home I went to bed, felt like I was dying (I know overly dramatic but I wanted to rip my head off) and eventually felt able to take tablets and then felt a bit better by 11pm.

Unfortunately the migraine tipped me over the edge at work, cried there, cried on the way home, cried with B on the sofa, cried with B in bed. I then asked him to leave me to it as I needed to sleep. I am now wondering if I should be doing my job, if I can do my job, do I want to be doing my job...... I know its all because I'm not coping well at the moment, as I am sure I have said before I hope I will feel differently sometime soon.......I really do........ I felt sooo much better after two weeks off and going back to work has undone most of that.

I just hope I have a better shift at work tonight as that will help my confidence there and make me feel happier. I just don't know what to do with myself at the moment.......

I'll write about my weekend away, it might cheer me up....... We went to Shrewsbury, a Mercure Hotel, for two nights, just us, for a dirty weekend! We left before lunch on Friday and took a leisurely drive up the country. We stopped in Shrewsbury for 'supplies' and a coffee and then went on the hotel. The grounds were gorgeous and the hotel looked like a country manor. The room was really nice as well, the bed wasn't as big as the one in Bristol but big enough! We ate in the hotel both nights, lovely food!! We went out Saturday for a few hours to Hawkstone Park and Follies - lots of walking up and down hills and steps, which I managed without a problem - very pleased with myself!!

On the Saturday we had been together 9 months, for 5 of those we have been joined by MS and I have been having problems for 7 months - where did I find him hey?!? Anyway, both evenings before and after dinner it was just us, together, chatting, cuddling, being naughty. It was lovely, just what I, we I think, needed.

Oh, brain not functioning, have no idea what to do with myself.......................

Monday, 1 October 2007

Now a weeks leave!!!

Following my week off work sick my vision is starting to get better. I drove for the first time since last Sunday yesterday (6 days!!) and hardly noticed the fact that my vision isn't 100%. I've been getting around 10 hours sleep a night and have done very little! I went for a walk on Thursday down to the shops, out for about an hour and a half but shopping in between. Was extremely tired that evening.......!!

S rang after speaking to my neuro, she said that the fact the pain has gone means that it should be getting better so no steroids - which I am pleased about. The decision being taken out of my hands was the ideal thing to happen! She wants to see me in clinic in a couple of weeks time, not sure why, we will see!!

B and I had a BBQ for friends Sat night. Nothing special just a few friends, some BBQ food and a few drinks. Everyone left before midnight so was a quiet evening!!

So this week while I am on leave I will be continuing the theme from last week! Doing very little, hair cut and seeing my parents, Drs appt, band rehersal and hopefully an indian meal and catch up with a friend I haven't seen in a while!

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Gave in.

So on Saturday morning I drove round to my flat and thought, I really shouldn't be driving. I drove again Sunday afternoon and thought the same, therefore Sunday evening I bit the bullet and called in sick. I have emailed S and she is going to talk to my Neuro and I think I may be offered steroids, I don't really want steroids but then I don't want to be off work for long. The good thing is everyone seems to agree that taking time to get better is a good idea and to continue going to work when I can't see properly through my left eye is a bad idea. I still feel bad about not being at work but I seem to feel much more at peace now I have made that decision and am not worrying about whether I should really be at work.

Went out for lunch with a friend today. She came and picked me up and we had a quick bite in town. I am now finding it more difficult to read without becoming distracted by the fuzzy bit to the left of my vision.... Still it was a nice lunch and I enjoyed catching up with A. She has had plenty to deal with over the last couple of years and things are finally sorting themselves out - I am really really pleased for her!

I am having my flat valued this evening, have to wait for B to get home and take me over there and Mum and Dad are popping over to do a couple of bits as well. Must remember to take some tea, coffee and milk over.

Since our weekend in Bristol B and I have decided that a 'dirty' weekend away would be a really nice idea so we are planning away, hopefully in the near future and within a couple of hours drive away. Can't wait!!

Friday, 21 September 2007

Together a bit!

Well since my last post I have pulled myself together a bit! Feeling much happier now although still tired and finding work hard. I am wondering whether I need some time off, I don't really want to but I think I might have to take a couple of weeks to myself, just to catch up!

I had a really good weekend in Bristol with B and B's parents. We had did the Bristol Bus Tour in the afternoon and then had a really nice dinner at a place called SevernShed. B raved about his meal so I guess it was really very good. I really enjoyed my dinner but for B to rave!! B's Mum seemed to like her presents and enjoyed her holiday so all in all a 60th Birthday success!! On the Sunday it was the Open Water Event which went well considering! About half the number of people turned up this year but that was to be expected after the July postponement. I was extremely tired afterwards and collapsed in a heap when I got home!

The injections are going well still, have had no problems with side effects or bad injection marks. My relapse is still hanging around, I can cope with the torso still its just annoying but my left eye is becoming a problem. I was single manned last night and had to split another crew so I didn't have to drive. This is one of the reasons I think I may need a week off........

As for work, I have had some good jobs recently and some fairly naff ones. Picked up a lady having an MI last night. She was absolutely fine the whole time she was with us. A little pale to begin with but on oxygen she started to pick up and her pain reduced. We took her straight to the hospital, where we were it wasn't worth waiting for a Paramedic, from arrival at scene to arrival at hospital it was 30 minutes, 36 minutes from call to hospital. Once we arrived at hospital they prepared to Thrombolyse, as they were putting the drug in our pt arrested, causing a major panic (not what I expect from a Cardiac Care Unit), I was asked (well screamed at) to put the crash bleep in, which I did, and after the arrival of a few more staff things started to look more organised and they managed to get a heart beat back.

I have no idea what the outcome was, we had to leave and get back to work. Unfortunately me being me I now wonder what I could have done quicker to get the pt in quicker. We were in the house just over 10 minutes, did the 12 - lead in the back and left, going very quickly, for the hospital.

Still, I will beat myself up for a day then sort myself out. Seem to spend most of my time trying to pull myself together at the moment, ah well, such is life!!

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Feeling Sorry For Myself..........

I have felt pretty awful since Tuesday last week. I had to leave work early on Tuesday - an overtime shift - which I have never done before. I hadn't stopped for over a week and a half until yesterday. I have had headaches, migraines and felt generally yucky. Yesterday everything got too much. I was ok to begin with, then got a nasty headache and started feeling very sorry for myself. Nearly in tears a few times throughout the day, especially when B got home. Not his fault, I just worry a lot about the fact that I seem to be lurching from one thing to the next at the moment.

He keeps telling me that he loves me and wants to be with me but I can't help thinking why would he want me? I seem to spend half my time not feeling well, I get through work and then end up tired on the sofa, or in bed early. When I put my sensible head on I think well actually I was fine until I relapsed again, going out for dinners, cinema etc It doesn't make it any easier though. I have this constant nagging going on in the back of my head. I also don't want to keep saying it to him as I will start sounding like a broken record. I hate feeling like I need something, even if it isn't all the time.

What really prompted all this was waking up Sunday morning and realising that I have Optic Neuritis. I got through Sunday, I had to. Told D at work, told B in the evening and then woke up Monday morning and had to deal with it on my own. Its not bad, no real effect on my vision and mild pain. Nothing like last time, its just too close to being something that could take me off the road again, which scares me. There it is I am scared. Scared of loosing B, scared of not being able to do my job, scared about the future, just plain scared. I guess when this relapse clears up I will be back to my normal self - just feeling very sorry for myself at the moment.

On a lighter note B's parents visited at the weekend. I was at work both days but made it home at a reasonable time. We went out for dinner Saturday night and B cooked Sunday night. We are meeting them in Bristol next weekend for a nice meal so that should be good as well. B's Mum did some weeding which really needed doing! B and his Dad put up the shelves in the shower, typical Man thing with the instructions but they got it up in the end!!

I had my first full dose of Rebif yesterday morning, 44. I had a headache in the afternoon which may or may not have been caused by the Rebif, I will keep an eye on things. I took it in the morning as I am at work Wed evening and don't really want to be taking the high dose at work, just in case I have any problems. If I get through this week ok I will start taking it at work again.

So all in all some good times and a fair few bad times this last couple of weeks. I will pull myself together at some point.

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Now on 22!

Well I have been on Rebif, 22 for a week now. I have had no problems that I can attribute to the drug, which is great. I didn't sleep well Monday night but I can't put my finger on why, and I felt ill on Wed, but again I can't put my finger on what was wrong. No problems Wed night and no problems Fri night. I actually injected at work Fri night and worked the remaining 9 hours of my shift without a problem - really hope this continues with the 44!

On the down side I appear to be relapsing again. The left side of my torso is numb between my breast and navel. I didn't expect it so soon after the last one finished but I guess the timescales are right. I am just keeping my fingers crossed that the Rebif helps slow them down. I felt pretty bad once I realsised I was numb again. Found it a little 'depressing' and it hit home that yes it is going to keep happening, nothing I can do about it, other than try to keep healthy and take the drugs. I have MS.......

Work is good, I am on my 3rd night shift and surviving! Was on my own Fri night, first time in a long time. Quite enjoyed it really, although I was bored. Still D has been back for these last 2 nights. We are back on our rota on Mon for 2 weeks which will be nice, then over to Windsor for 2 weeks. It is working out well though as I have a couple of extra weekends off! Woo hoo!!

Monday, 20 August 2007

Getting back to normality??

Its been a while since my last post as life seems to have got in the way - which is great!! Work and life in general seems to be getting back to how it was. I have been tired but nothing I can't cope with.

I started on Rebif a week ago today. I am injecting manually most of the time without the auto injector as it takes a lot less time. I have had no side effects and only very minor skin reactions with little red dots and slight pink rings around the dots. I am really pleased so far, just have to wait and see as the dose increases.......

Work has been really good. I was in Slough last week and had a few good jobs, did my second cardiac arrest since coming back to work on Saturday morning - was one of the smoothest arrests I have ever been to mainly due the guys who worked there being really very helpful!

It started out as a chest pain with a description that led me to believe that the guy MIGHT be ill. Having said that I very rarely go out to chest pain patients who have simple easy cardiac chest pain symptoms and therefore there is very rarely anything wrong with them. We were going to a concrete building materials depot.

When we arrived we were calmly waved through to the warehouse area and met by a chap who gave me a brief run down of what had happened. He told me that the gentleman had been feeling fine when he got to work, he then started complaining of chest pain, vomited and collapsed. Very calmly he said 'he's now unconscious'. So I thought ok, he is probably ill then. As we went round a corner I saw a man doing chest compressions on another man. Due to the lack of urgency from anyone I hadn't been expecting this..... I turned to S and said, 'they are jumping up and down on his chest', to which S then went to get the defib. I got to the pt and assessed him. He had definitely arrested, half an hour after the start of our shift....... S returned and I confirmed the arrest to him.

We did all our bits and pieces, attached the defib, CPR, initial airways, phoned for a Paramedic and S then went for the stretcher. The guys that worked at the place were great. The first aider was doing CPR (we even got a PEA rhythm for a bit) and about four others help with lifting the pt and getting him to the ambulance. The first aider was even going to come with us! I thanked him profusely when we let him out and got the Paramedic who had just arrived, in.

All in all this chap had the best chance. Immediate chest compressions, quick ambulance response and ALS on route to hospital. In the end it wasn't enough and his family in India lost a Son, Husband and Father. I suspect a massive heart attack killed him pretty much then and there but we tried.

Otherwise I have been to three diabetic hypos in four days and a couple of minor injuries. I have had some really good crew mates as well, which makes all the difference.

I worked an overtime shift today and start on my rota line with D tomorrow, although we are having to go to Maidenhead. Not sure how they decided on that. Put two people on a response car, makes a lot of sense...... We are now picking up an ambulance at Bracknell and driving over to Maidenhead once we are ready. That is not going to go down well with the crew and responder over there I guess, but I didn't ask, our station manager told us that is what we are going to do. I guess we will see what happens over the next couple of weeks........

Tuesday, 7 August 2007


They arrived! The chap had to ring as my road doesn't appear on maps or sat nav yet but he made it! They are now in Bs fridge and I have a small travel bag, an info pack and an auto injector. No big travel bag and no sharps bin, but I'm sure my MS Nurse will have one if it doesn't arrive by Monday.

I had three good shifts at work over the weekend. Friday was easy, no ill people and no drunk people! Saturday and Sunday were busy, busy! I was working with a good friend which is always good fun but we did work hard. We had to patients who had absconded from their nursing homes. The first had been out for a couple of hours and had not been missed by the home in question and the second had been missing all night, and had been reported missing, about 15 minutes after a fire door alarm went off. One had over heated, one was cold. Other than that I would like to say 'thanks' to the man who had a tonic clonic seizure in the back of my ambulance after the Paramedic had left, my headache had gone by the time we got you to hospital. However I was much more sweaty afterwards and lugging you back onto the stretcher hurt my back........

We also met an unusual number of really nice people, the obligatory call from a house 5 minutes from the hospital for a 21 month old with a high (40.4 C) temperature, and no history of febrile convulsions was dealt with as usual, without the energy to point out that a car ride to hospital would have been just as easy, if not easier. Still her history meant she should have a visit to the hospital so we bimbled back to the hospital and town that we were trying desperately to get away from!!

I am still struggling with my uniform and as it is so warm I am starting to stick to it, as well as it being to small. Need a bigger one.......vowed I would never have to go up a size. Still I need to be able to move so I will swallow my pride and (hopefully) get measured tomorrow. Oh well.......

Thursday, 2 August 2007

Drugs, drugs, drugs!!

The drugs arrive on Tuesday, I will do my first injection a week Monday and I should get my EEG results when Dr W gets back from his hols. Things are moving on!!

Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Fed up.....

Its been over two weeks since my appointment with my MS Nurse and I haven't heard from the woman about my drugs yet..... I am fed up with waiting for things. I am also waiting for the results of my EEG which was three weeks ago. Will email my MS Nurse tomorrow when I get home from shopping (with Mum) and ask re the drugs and test results.

Other than that all is good! Am using my days off well by doing very little, went to the pub yesterday and walked down to the pet shop today. A little bit of tidying and washing and thats it!

The weekend was relatively busy. Friday evening my parents came round to B's for dinner, B cooked, I did the starters, and we had a nice evening with wine and music! Went very well I think! Saturday afternoon/evening was a BBQ on the communal garden at my place. We were really worried about the weather but in the end we were out there from 15:30 till 20:00 and most people from the block attended at some point!

Sunday I re took my Bronze Medallion for the umpteenth time. I'm very unfit and therefore found the water part of the exam tiring but it didn't make any of my lingering symptoms worse which is great.

Back to work on Friday morning - really looking forward to it, especially the weekend as I am working with a good friend!

Thursday, 26 July 2007

I made it!

I have completed my first block of three shifts on the road! 16:00 - 01:00, even finished late on Tues night, my first overtime since March!! Come to think of it I haven't filled in my time sheet as yet, must do that........

I am feeling pretty good today! I guess following my first shift I must have managed to get dehydrated and so felt pretty bad during the day. I think I do need more sleep than I did before but only an hour or so.

Over the 2nd two shifts we did some 'interesting' jobs. Mainly mad women but an RTA (my usual type of job) and a well known alcoholic who had fallen over! Oh and the staff at TGI Fridays in Reading don't appear to be able to tell you what is in their food. This is an issue when you are allergic to sweet peppers and have been told the dish you have ordered doesn't contain them.......fortunately her reaction usually comes on over 30 mins and we took her over to the hospital before it really got started - let the hospital deal!!

So all in all I am really pleased to be back at work and to have coped with the hours. I will have to work 12 hour shifts but I think I will be fine with them. My (and Bs) sleep won't be so disturbed on the 12 hour shifts as they are either all day or all night rather than me getting in at 2am and B getting up at 7am!

4 1/2 months ago when I came off the road I thought, back problem, couple of months with some physio for example then back out to it. Then things like MS and tumors were mentioned and suddenly its neurological. I still chose to hope that it was an isolated incident, I didn't prepare myself at all for the final diagnosis of MS. I think in someways it was better for me to carry on not worrying about the possibilities and wait for the Neuro to give me the results.

Throughout all of this I have always clung to the FACT that I would get back on the road doing the job I love. I am now there. I know there may be a time when I can't do what I want to do anymore but I will cross that bridge if I come to it. I also know that future relapses may take me off the road again but I am hoping that Rebif (the interferon I will be taking) will limit the number and severity.

I have written an email to thank all of those at the RBH that have been involved with my diagnosis as I have been diagnosed quickly with very little fus and have always been listened to and treated with kindness.

Right, I am hungry - lunch!!

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

At Work!

I am posting from work!! It is 00:20 and I have been on base since about 21:30. This is a sure sign that I will not be finishing at 01:00 as planned....... This is my first shift back on th road since the beginning of March. It is such a relief to be back and not be suffering! I am feeling a little tired but then it is gone midnight.

I am working as a 3rd man with a crew tonight and the next couple of nights so I can get back to it gently! So far tonight we have seen 2 patients both of which needed our help! I haven't done anything too taxing though. I have attached the 3 lead monitoring and sats probe and have drawn up some flush, the 2nd pt needed boarding from a very unhelpful place and position requiring a 4th pair of hands! Used the ED2000 (a spinal immobilisation extraction tool mainly used in RTAs) to help so we could move him onto the spinal board as nothing else would fit. I have previously used the ED2000 once to immobalise a pelvis and twice at RTAs. Haven't used it for ages and used it my first shift back!!

I have had a good first shift (fingers crossed I'm nearly done) and look forward to getting out there as a crew again - here's to next week!!

Friday, 20 July 2007


Showed the cracks again yesterday. About 5 minutes after B and I headed off to do shopping for tonight I started getting ratty with him. I have no idea why..... I apologised when I realised and was suddenly much nicer....... I don't do mood swings....... Then when we got home I asked why B had done the hoovering when I said I would do it. One of my jobs, he said he didn't know when I would be back and if I would be capable of doing it. This was the statement that got me. Assuming I wouldn't be able to do it when I got in. I know I wasn't well the day before but I had said I felt fine in the morning before I went to work.

This is when the tears started. I hate it when I cry, I have never cried this much before. I cried for a couple of hours when I got dumped once and I have cried at work but never this many times in 2 months. B just held me and said sorry for the comment, which he didn't really need to, I shouldn't have reacted like that to a simple comment. There is another comment that has been swimming round my head recently, we were both a little tipsy when he made it and I think he was joking, so seeing as I was already in tears I decided to bring it up as well. He put my mind at rest about it.

Once I'd had my little cry I said sorry lots and we carried on with the dinner. I do worry how much of this he'll put up with..... How long will I be 'emotionally unstable' for?? The worst thing is it sneaks up on me........

Anyway, feeling a little better today although I think I am possibly one word away from tears again.....

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Half Day of Appointments

Yesterday was a half day at work with two appointments in the afternoon. I saw my MS Nurse (MSN) for the first time and she was really nice. We chatted about my symptoms and how there were and about the form I have to fill in and send to the DVLA. We then moved on to DMDs and I said I still wanted to try Rebif. According to MSN I can adjust the time I take it per week as long as it is at the same time all that week which is great. She was going to put the prescription in when she got back yesterday and I should hear from the delivery company in the next two weeks. Fingers crossed I will be on the drug within a month!!!

Next was Occi Health, I guess the guy I saw trusted me to know I was ready to go back on shift and asked me what I wanted to do and then said that he'd write the paperwork! Was in there about three minutes. I then bimbled over to base to organise some 3rd manning and my first week back on the road - can't wait (although I am getting nervous.....). Oh and another thing my uniform is now a bit tight......I have a week to loose a few pounds!!

So I am in my last full week in the office this week! I may pop in and make up some hours up next week but I have to check if thats ok with resources. Will see.

I am still waiting but at least my sanity is safe I am going back to work!!

Tuesday, 10 July 2007


So today was my last appointment for a test. I still need to see the MS Nurse but thats not booked yet and isn't for testing, it is so we can meet and have a chat about MS and hopefully drugs!!

Visual Evoked Potentials and Somatosensory Evoked Potentials test the nerve pathways between the eyes and the back of the brain and from the arms and legs through the spinal cord to the brain. It took a while (1hr 20mins) but was very interesting. They did the visual first and then the arms and legs (easier to type and spell....). The technician took measurements of my head and made marks all over it with a soft pencil. She then used a mixture which rubbed the sweat and dead skin off the areas of skin she had marked. Small metal discs were then stuck to my head using a sticky paste. I also had one on my forehead, one on the back of my neck and then one each of my shoulders. No probe in the back of my head - very happy about that!!

Once I was wired up I watched a TV screen which had a black and white board on it. In the middle of the screen was a single white square and while all the other black and white squares moved around I had to focus on the single white square that didn't move - much more difficult than it sounds and I had one eye covered over.

Next the technician cleaned areas of my wrists and forearms. One at a time she attached a little thing that had two probes to each of my wrists which conducted electricity through to stimulate the nerve underneath. Once the electricity was turned up enough my thumbs started twitching!! I couldn't stop laughing and it took ages to do the test as the trace wasn't clear enough..... It was pretty much the same for my toes but I had given up laughing by then. My left hand and both ankles had to be adjusted (well the electric thingy) as my nerves don't seem to be even close to the place they are supposed to be!!

In the end the person supervising the technician came in to move the probe around and then hold it in the right place so all went well! She had been in once before when the technician wasn't sure about the results from my left eye but as I have had ON in my left eye recently I think it was within the 'ok' bounds.

I won't get my results for around 2 weeks - will have to ask for them as I won't see a neuro for a year now - if all goes well! Still waiting for the MS Nurse to ring but she did only just get back from her hols so I'll wait!!

B and I went out for dinner, was very nice! We've been together for 6 months now which is great! I ended up really tired after dinner and couldn't face the pub afterwards and I felt really bad about it. I'm sure B can't be that happy about it, should have been a good night out.....we did stay up late chatting and having a couple of drinks which was nice. We had a chat about how I am feeling as I haven't been writing much on here. I found it hard to explain cause even I don't know. I feel like I should be more upset about this life long, progressive disease I have and am worried I'm not really dealing with it and am worried that it will hit me hard if it suddenly sinks in.. Having said that I am dealing with aspects such as going to appointments, getting the forms for the DVLA and talking about it with family, friends and colleagues. Who knows, going to just get on with it!!

The fun, great, happy news is that B and I got a hamster at the weekend! Her name is Plum and she is a Syrian hamster with dark brown and white markings. She is still very scared!! B thinks she is very cute but reckons the novelty value will wear off!! I think she is great but she keeps hiding from me........such is life!

Right CSI!!

Friday, 6 July 2007

Getting back to normality, whatever that is.....

Its been long enough that I am getting used to the Mon - Fri lark and not doing much in my spare time. This week I have taken steps to get back to MY life! I have an Occi Health appointment (I hope I don't have to get stroppy with them) and have emailed my station manager to let him know I am ready to go back, fingers crossed the first week of August!!! I am back working full hours at HQ as well now. Not really got enough to do as the two new bods are doing all the jobs and there is very little point in me taking on more work. Still finding enough to keep me occupied most of the day!

I have a few little tingling sensations left in my feet and the vision in my left eye is still a little less crisp than my right but between the two eyes my vision is fine. Considering how many parts of my body have been affected over the last 5 months I think I am doing well!!!

I went to watch the Summer Soiree of the Orchestra I play in last night. I haven't played this term and have really missed it. By the time I was feeling well enough to drive and play it was too late to join in. Going next week for a sight reading evening and then back properly in September. I am back to lifesaving stuff, have been for a while so that has been good and am back pubbing more regularly!

So all in all things are going well!!

Saturday, 30 June 2007

MS Nurse

So the MS Nurse rang on Wednesday - earlier than I expected but then she is on holiday next week so wanted to let me know I hadn't been forgotten. She has posted me all the info on the four DMDs (3 DVDs and 1 booklet) and some other bits and pieces about MS. She seemed really nice over the phone so am looking forward to meeting her the week after next. My symptoms are still good, had an interesting time with my right leg Thursday night but I think that was due to sitting for ages.

I went to see Snow Patrol at the O2 Arena Thursday evening and I guess the sitting and doing nothing for a few hours may have led to the weak feeling. Was fine Friday so... The gig was very good and the acoustics of the arena were great. The number of bars and restaurants was impressive and there is a VUE Cinema inside as well, makes you wonder how they managed to fit a 20,000 seat arena in there as well!

Had a busy week off this week but am feeling much better this end of the week than I was at the beginning so I classify that as a success! Haven't had any afternoon naps just a lie down to help get rid of a migraine Thursday (which I didn't deserve...). Have had a nice evening with the girls this evening and had pink champagne! Watched 'Help, I've Married An Axe Murderer' which had me giggling the whole way through!!!

Night to all, VX

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Back in the UK - its raining......

I have just had a very lovely weeks holiday! Costa Brava for the week with B, lovely resort and lovely weather. Hotel wasn't bad - we didn't pay much and plenty of good food and drink in town. I ate shellfish for the first time (apart from the occasional taste). I had a couple of Paellas, Salmon, Sea Bass, a casserole of fish, garlic and potatoes and lots of garlic prawns - I am very proud of myself and very pleased that I actually like the stuff! Think I will stick to eating it where its a specialty though.

We will however have to sort the snoring before we go on holiday again, unless we get somewhere with two rooms.....

I have a few days now to get some stuff done. There seems to be so much stuff to do..... I helped out with the Trainee Techs scenario day today, had to act but seemed to do ok! I had a seizure, fall, tummy bug and OD'd on Heroin - all in one day! Other plans for this week include finding out if my car is going to cost me money, going to the dentist and going to see Snow Patrol at the O2 Arena (The Millennium Dome to most people!).

I had my appointment with the MS specialist on Mon. Was really good. He wanted to know when all my symptoms happened and wrote everything out. Scored me against the disability score and let me babble on. It was a good job I took my log of symptoms with me. The result of the appointment is that the MS nurse will be ringing me re Rebif - a disease modifying drug to try and limit the number of relapses I have. I expect when I get the drugs things will start to sink in and I'll stop ignoring it. I wouldn't say I'm in denial just not letting it sink in properly..... On the plus side things are definitely almost 100% better so I can start sorting out work!!! Yeay!!!!

Thursday, 14 June 2007

What day is it??

Seem to be loosing the plot as to what day it is at the moment......I think I have a better idea when I am working shifts!!

So things are going well, had a bad day on Tuesday, headache (not migrane) that wouldn't go away and overtired but I guess that was a result of the visit to Bridlington at the weekend. Around 4 hours each way in the car and more activity over a weekend than I am used to at the moment! The rest of the week and weekend has been good. Working 5 hours a day instead of 4 (apart from Tues) and not having a nap everyday. Haven't managed as much exercise this week but it will keep raining - took to walking up and down the stairs today.......

B and his Dad went Gliding on Sunday, that is why we went up to Brid. They both landed with huge smiles on their faces!! We also went to a garden centre - bought 4 Clematis and some pots for them and we went and walked along the beach front in Scarborough. Was all very nice and relaxed!

Yesterday was a hard day in that I took Nan for the results of her biopsy, she has 2 tumors but can take tablets to keep them at bay. Think she was pleased that they don't need to operate, yet......

As for me, well I have my 2 appointments, couple of weeks and I will see the specialist at the RBH and then my EEG appointment at the JR is in July. Hopefully then it will be all over and done with....... I think things are getting quite a lot better at the moment, I just need to build my legs up to more walking and get what little fitness I had back first!! Oh and not to mention getting some weight off so as to fit back into my uniform.......!!!!

Thursday, 7 June 2007

Its been a while since I've written, seem to have been busy but not acheived much......

Since going back to work I have continued to do approx 4 hour days. Last week I managed two days before feeling tired and leaving work half hour early on the third, this week I am on my fourth day and am tired but think I will manage till 14:00 before I give up and go home for a snooze! I am hoping to increase my hours a little next week. I have done at least 4 1/2 hours most days this week so will try for 5 hours next week!

Since I last wrote I have turned 26! Older that a quarter of a century!! I was taken to a very nice French Restaurant by B and had a lovely meal. Wasn't convinced to begin with, never been to a French place before but once I had asked a few questions about the menu I picked Duck and it was really good food!! I had a really lovely evening, then I got drunk back at B's place and ended up crying about MS related stuff and then drank sparkley wine and felt better!!

B gave me an MP3 player with lots of music already on it which was a great pressie and also really lovely of him to get it all set up and ready to go.

The weekend just gone we worked in the garden which was really hard work and I survived! Was knackard afterwards and my legs felt like jelly but the next day I was fine, if a little stiff which I was really pleased about!

Just one disappointment since my last post, I went for a walk yesterday and had decided to go to my local park - about 20 mins each way. I made it half way down my road and realised that it wasn't happening so made the end of the road and back my target. About a mile. My legs just felt like jelly by the time I got home. Although I'm pleased my heart and lungs didn't even notice I was walking after months of doing very little I was disappointed as I can't go back on the road when struggling to walk a mile....... Such is life.......

Right think I'm going to go home and go for another walk and then that snooze!

Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Back to work

I went back to work today. After having made the decision to take some time out on Thursday I have had a really nice relaxing time. Five days to do what I please (within reason....) I have seen my family and a couple of friends and spent some proper time with B. We had a chat Friday night, he said he was sorry for assuming that I knew he would be there and gave me the reassurance that I needed. He said that it didn't change anything and thought I would know that, which I think I did, I just needed to hear it....... we got there in the end!

Having taken my last dose of Pred on Friday morning I now feel much, much better. Probably a combination of that and a slow acceptance.....

I am no longer taking any pain relief, I think Sunday was the first day I took nothing. It is quite a relief considering every two hours I was taking either Paracetamol or Ibuprofen!! I still have a little pain in my back, especially when I have been standing for a while and when I first go to bed but its nothing I haven't had before and its not really bothering me. My left eye vision is also much, much better. The vision is not as crisp as the right eye but I can now only tell when I actually check to see what I can see!

There hasn't been much change in my legs and arms but they are not getting worse! I tried the pigeon steps thing when I saw the neurologist on the 21st and I could do it. The last time I tried I couldn't so I am still hoping and praying that there is still slow progress.

So as for today I did about four hours at work. Glad I went back today, getting life back to normal slowly. I felt at the time I could have done another hour or so but I am now feeling tired. I have done a couple of other things tonight, like saying bye to my brother before he goes back on his flight, but not all that much. I guess that means that starting at four hours a day is a good idea and hopefully doing more as I am able.

I really need to start getting some exercise as well. I haven't done a lot over the last couple of months, been to uncomfortable to do anything more than a 10 minute walk. Dad wants to start Slimfast and start swimming from next week so I think I will join him. I am already doing the Slimfast diet thingy, although it went to pot last week for obvious reasons. Started again today!!

Anyway, sometimes I sit there and think, I don't want this. Sometimes the messages I read on the MS website scare me and I think why am I reading this but then sometimes the messages are really helpful and encouraging. Most of the time I am ok, want my life to be as it was (without forgetting the MS), back on the road. Time to just get on with it now!! Stop eating chocolate (mostly), stop drinking wine (apart from on my birthday) and look forward to my holiday for which doing the first two things will have helped me loose a couple of pounds!!

Thursday, 24 May 2007

A few days in.

Well, its been a few days now. Its been a bit up and down. I've been to work for the last couple of days, if only for a couple of hours. I have worn myself out pretty quickly though. I didn't sleep well again last night so have decided to give work a miss, hopefully getting back to it after the Bank Holiday weekend, be off the steroids by then!

B stayed for the first time since the diagnosis. I have seen him since but we haven't really spent the evening together. He's not saying much, not really sure what he's thinking. I guess he is doing the same as me, digesting things slowly. It has to be a lot for him to take in as well. I am finding it hard to spend what I feel is enough time with everyone I feel I should be. My parents have told me not to worry, to see them when I want to. I just feel that I should be trying to spend time with everyone, except just me. I think I may need some time to myself but I'm not sure. Its quite scary as I don't really want the time to think and inevitably cry.

Having said that today should be relatively quiet, I will probably visit a friend and then go to my parents for dinner. After that a little bit of shopping for my Nan and then home to bed. Hopefully more than 4 hours sleep tonight!

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Lack of sleep - again....

My apologies - this is going to become a little self serving while I put down my thoughts at the moment. Having said that it is the point of this blog for the time being.

So last night was interesting. Not long after I posted yesterday I developed lower back pain. I think this is probably the steroids, can't believe I can take that much Pred (500mg) without something unwanted happening, however I woke up this morning without the pain and then it reappeared after about 15 mins so I'm not sure if its the Pred or just tense muscles. Not as painful this morning as last night though.

Having something to frustrate me did however stop my brain mulling over too much which meant that after I finally gave in and consumed (a relatively small amount of) alcohol I slept. I have had about 4 1/2 hours which to be honest is more than I expected.

Today I plan to tell my Station Officer and the guys I am working with at the moment. Was going to try and go to work but I think it'll be a bit much with the constant ache in my back and head. At least my left eye is feeling a bit better, I didn't wake with a headache above my left eye this morning - must think about the plus side!

Monday, 21 May 2007

One Hour.....

Today has been what can only be described as emotional. I had an appointment with my consultant at about 10am to get the full results of my scan. I had a feeling it wasn't going to be good because she checked I was bringing my Mum....

We arrived at 09:45 to find a patient had canceled and we therefore got their space. The basic gist is that by 10:45 I walked out of the consultants room knowing that I have Multiple Sclerosis, obviously not what I wanted to hear but then it could have been worse. On the plus side I got to see an MRI of my brain! Yes there is one there and its generally healthy!! I'm obviously not ignoring the MS but it was fascinating, I saw my eyes and ears and CSF ventricles, very interesting. There was nothing on the MRI of my C-spine so I didn't get to see it..... I had blood taken to test for everything under the sun and have to go to the JR (John Radcliffe) near Oxford so they can aim stuff at my eyes and test for inflammation there. Then its an appointment to see another consultant about Interferons for the MS. So much fun!!

Hopefully this episode of inflammation will go away in the next couple of months and I can get back on the road. Will have forgotten everything already anyway. Every extra day is just compounding it! I have steroids to kick start things as my body is being lazy, I have to take 500mg Pred every morning plus Omeprazole. So fingers crossed I get my hands on the unsuspecting Berkshire public soon!!

Friday, 18 May 2007

Why can't I sleep??

I'm guessing the fact that I had a phone call from my specialist regarding my MRI results has done it. I now know that in theory nothing horrendous is going on, but I still need blood tests and a chat with the specialist.

I am sat at 03:20 starting a blog for the first time, not sure how good I'll be at it but I will give it my best shot. My diary writing got me into a whole heap of trouble when I was about 17, my Mum read it and found out I was doing all the things she hoped to find out I wasn't doing....... Still a few years have gone past since then!!

So the first thing I'll do is recount why I am sitting here typing, not sleeping or working........

I work as an Ambulance Technician for the Berkshire Division of South Central Ambulance Service (formally Royal Berkshire Ambulance NHS Trust) mainly based in Bracknell. I am however on relief and as I am sure you will know from other blogs I can be sent to work at any of the other five Stations(or response points) in Berkshire and the response point in Henley. About 10 weeks ago I took myself off the road because I couldn't feel my legs properly causing me to feel unsteady on stairs (not good when carrying patients.....) and feel unhappy driving ambulances. Since then my legs are still the same and I have developed problems with the movement of both my eyes. Currently my left eye is causing me the most grief......

I had an MRI finally on Wednesday 16th which was an experience! From seeing programs like House I expected something much bigger and intimidating with deafening noise. Well, I picked NOW 51 as my music for the session, which I was told would be about 40 minutes, and then prepared myself. I was in and out, including the walk to and from the department in 1hour - amazing! The machine was small and I could always hear the music over the banging. I think I almost fell asleep at one point - very relaxing!! Think I may be a bit strange thinking that but hey, I rather enjoyed it!!! I make no apologies for my taste in music by the way. NOW 51 was just my thing!

So what am I going to get up to now? I've had a hot chocolate and a nibble, I've tried going back to bed. I think I will just stick to the Hornblower marathon I have embarked on, that should send me to sleep!

December 28th 2007:

Shame the opening paragraph of this post didn't hold true. I was told I had MS about 48 hours after I started this blog, it could have been worse but it was bad enough. I have since had many ups and downs, relapsing for 10 months of this year so far.

I was asked recently if I would like to rewind this year and go back to being well. I replied that if I rewound this year I wouldn't have my other half and I would rather have both B and the MS than lose B to get rid of the MS. 2007 has been very naff in some ways but brilliant in others. Roll on 2008!!