Friday, May 29, 2009

Outpatients and the moany king of nowhere :)

Clinic on Wednesday. Hum. FEV1 was a disappointing 2.8 and FVC was 3.95. Disappointing in that I was hoping for some reward for all my 10K training, however in mitigation I haven't done anything since the run itself and I had been up taking Kleanprep most of the night before. It's now been a while since I've hit above 3.0 in my FEV1; to his credit Roly noticed this and pointed out that my LF was not so good for me, and so we agreed that if my LF was still down by the next clinic I should have IVs. I've timed the next clinic to come next month so my two weeks of IVs will end just before my holiday to Menorca. I did feel slightly wheezy (have been for a while really) nothing profound like ABPA but I do wonder sometimes whether the Colymycin adds to this; I guess it's a balancing act between killing the bugs and avoiding asthma like symptoms of wheeziness.

Roly also asked me about Oscar and whether I had been keeping up with my meds which slightly annoyed me as I've been pretty good with my compliance generally, but then he went on to say that CF women who get pregnant can have a fine LF during the pregnancy but can then slip after the pregnancy as looking after a baby takes it's toll. I explained that the Ineb was brilliant for this because it meant I could feed Oscar a bottle of milk while also doing my Ineb and put it down while I was doing other stuff like getting Abby's breakfast, etc. I guess he's only looking after my best interests, maybe lack of sleep is a factor. He also questioned my request for a prescription for a four-pack of Kleanprep, I told him it was just in case I got another bowel blockage when I was unable to attend clinic (like at the weekend) as I didn't fancy going into A&E and explaining what CF and DIOS was while my guts were kicking seven bells out of me.

Roly also mentioned that my annual blood results contained a higher than normal level of paraprotein, so they took some more bloods off me. When I asked him what this was associated with he said it's not associated with CF and it's probably nothing. I promised myself I wouldn't google it but then I did. I really hope it's nothing now :-(.

Haven't heard this for a while I've lost the CD. It's a great song and video, inspired by Bagpuss, I think ;-)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Pooley Bridge

Well, I'm sat here at 2AM in the morning drinking Kleanprep reflecting on the consequences of overconfidence and the inevitable crashing back down to earth that CF can sometimes give you. There I was, chuffed at how well I had done in the 10K run the previous week, and dispatching (what I thought was) sage advice on the CF Forum on how to avoid gastric blockages, when I get hit by one myself after a weekend of excess in the lakes. Drenched in hubris and gut pains, I am the proverbial Greek tragedy ;-) So here I am drinking the minging sea water brew that is Kleanprep and waiting for it to work its inevitable way through my alimentary canal. Grrrrr...

Anyway, on with the show. This weekend we went camping in Waterside Farm, a *really* nice lakeside campsite by the side of Ullswater. There was a lovely lakeside path that is an hour long walk into Pooley Bridge, a picturesque village to the north of Ullswater. We met up with G and N and their two daughters who are about the same age as Abby and Oscar, and to my relief Abby and M got on pretty well and were soon playing make believe princess games together, not too many arguments either ;-). We had a very relaxed time of it, although in the evening we ended up drinking far too much beer and eating far too many cheap supermarket BBQ burgers at the campsite long after the kids were all tucked up in their beds. It was a good laugh though; G and N are funny, I personally hadn't laughed so much in ages, although I'm afraid most of the humour was of a low (i.e. lavatorial) tone ;-) We put the kids in loads of layers of bedclothes because it gets really cold in the middle of the night in a tent. I'm sure I feel the cold much more as I get older, the cold never used to bother me in the old camping days.

Anyway, the good news is that Oscar went camping for the first time and he passed with flying colours. He only woke once for 5 minutes the first night, and he actually slept all the way through the next night, something he doesn't manager very often at home. We should go definitely go camping more often, especially when the weather was so good!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Manchester Run

Well, the big day of the Manchester Run finally came and this time I didn't get a convenient (that's what my misses reckons ;-)) bowel blockage to stop me running! We arrived quite early on the Sunday morning and got parked up and waited to meet up with R's in-laws as they would be looking after the kids while we ran. At that time the weather was sunny with a cold icy wind that made my bed back home look very enticing. We had a wander down to the G-Mex, (which for some reason has now been renamed to Manchester Central, grrrr...) and tried but failed to find the CF Trust stand which was laying on post-race massages (and presumably high fat post race meals for PWCF ;-)) We did find a stand giving away free isotonic drinks so we both took 2 bottles for before and after the race, although I drank far too much before the race. Abby was having lots of fun spotting all the people dressed up as cartoon characters like Scooby Doo, Spiderman and Batman, but there wasn't really anything laid on specifically for kids, which was a bit of a shame.

After some brief and, with hindsight, inadequate stretching it was time for the race to start. My plan was to take it easy for the first 5KM and then try and pick up the pace towards the end; I had heard that the best way to run a race is to start slow and finish fast, the idea being that you keep some energy in reserve for the later parts of the race. That was the plan anyway, in the end I just didn't have enough energy left! I started running with R, but I had told her to leave me behind if she was feeling confident because I didn't want to hold her back. I managed to keep pace with her for the first 5KM before I began to feel the effects of drinking too much isotonic juice before the race and had to duck behind some bushes near Old Trafford to relieve my aching bladder (I would have happily relieved myself on the stadium, but security might have had a thing or two to say about that ;-)). When I came out I could see R in the distance but I decided rather than knacker myself out trying to catch her it would be better to try and concentrate on running my own race at my own (slower) pace. The race was quite well supported and there was music played along the route, including a float with DJ Clint Boon (folk hero from old Manchester band Inspiral Carpets) knocking out some old 90s rave tunes to give us old timers a boost (no kidding, hairs stood up on the back of my neck as I ran past!) Towards the end of the race I began to struggle quite badly, and rather than keep to one pace, I started to do bursts of running followed by walking, which thinking back was probably why I pulled so many muscles. I also didn't do any proper stretching; when I trained I would start by running for 500M to warm up, then do my stretches; (and try and bring up all that horrible upper gut wind ;-)) but on the day of the run I was too excited to stop running until it was too late and the damage had already been done. Towards the end of the race there was a car wash style run-through shower to cool the athletes down, but by then it had started to rain, so it hardly seemed worth it. After that it was down to the final 2K where I could see the big Hilton tower looming in the distance near the finish line, but thanks to my aching legs it seemed to take me an eternity to reach it. Thankfully we all had some help from the crowd who geeing us all up. Crossing the finish line felt great, (I must have looked a sight, soaked wet through with snot streaming down my nose, and my hands shaking so much it took me 5 minutes to figure out how to open a bottle of water ;-)) but pretty much as soon as I finished I became aware of how freezing and wet it was. We had planned to hang around for a bit after the race if Abby and Oscar were up for it, but with the weather being so rubbish we decided to head back home for showers and pizza.

We were in the pink wave, which I think was mainly full charity runners, and I did get a bit emotional before the race seeing all the other runners, some of whom had pictures on their shirts of the friends and family they had lost and were now running for, and it got me to thinking about Toria and Poozie and the others on the CF Forum, whose brave fights had made me want to do something like this in the first place. I'd made a point of writing Poozie's name on my arm to help with motivation (for which I got told off by Abby later on in the day "We don't draw on our arms, Daddy!"), and although I'm not a particularly religous person, I did feel I got some help along the way. I did spot a few CF Trust runners along the way, as well as a big group from the North West Lung centre (which my CF Unit is part of), but I didn't recognise anyone from outpatients. Anyway, after all the sponsorship comes in we'll have raised more than £400 for the CF Trust between us :-).

Some tips for first time runners: (i.e. don't do what I did ;-))

1) Try and train for at least 2 months before the race, 4 months would be even better.
2) Do proper warm ups and stretching on the day of the race.
3) Don't drink too much before the race.
4) Try and run the distance (at a slow pace) at least once a couple of weeks before the big day.
5) If you're a bloke then don't wear boxer shorts. They chaff, owwww...

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Crawler Part 2

Some vids of Oscar starting to crawl, mostly filmed in the static caravan we stayed at in the Isle of Wight. It was a nice holiday, I just found it a bit cramped with me, R, Oscar, Abby and the in-laws all in the same caravan; there just wasn't any space!

Edit: For some reason the video overlay is a bit wrong, I need techy help on this one...

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Lakes

Before the kids arrived me and R did quite a lot of camping (as long as the weather was nice, fair weather camper, me!). Our favourite place to stay was the Lake District, although The Isle of Skye (and Glen Nevis) comes a close second. Over the years we've probably stayed at most of the campsites in the Lakes and my enjoyment tends to come down to whether it's sunny or not. We also used to do a fair bit of fell/mountain walking. I used to hate the start of the walk, being really grumpy, hungover and chesty after an uncomfortable night in a cold tent; but gradually, as we neared the top, I would feel better (I would also bring up a heck of a lot of phlegm on the way up ;-)) and I'd feel really elated as we finished the walk (the first pint in the pub after you've finished tastes fantastic as well ;-))

Anyway, this is a long-winded way of saying that last weekend we took Abby (and Oscar) to the Lakes for the first time. We stayed near Grizedale forest in Hawkshead near Windemere. We also took Abby and Oscar on a little walk in Grizedale forest (I carried Oscar in the backpack) and Abby had a play in the wooden play area at the start of Grizerdale trail, a place that's very popular with mountain bikers. We decided rather than take a chance on the weather we would book a place in a Youth Hostel (surprisingly nice, actually more like a cheap hotel with bunk beds) and leave the camping till June/July) Oscar is now crawling all over the place; he's a real handful! And he's put on loads of weight after putting that ill spell behind him. Has some allergies though, nursery rang me up today because he got a rash after eating a casserole with peppers in it.

Time is getting very close now for the Manchester Run, (next Sunday) we've been training 2-3 times a week; R has been running well but has got a massive blister, I've got no blisters but I've been struggling with the running part. This is mainly due to horrendous stomach pains and trapped upper-gut wind that is so painful I have to stop running and try and bring the wind up. I've upped my omeprazole on the days when I run and this seems to be helping, I just wish I had another month or two of training to go and then I could maybe get a reasonable time...