Christmas Letter 2008

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More prescriptions than you could poke a stick at

I can't remember precisely (that's definitely my theme this year) but I believe I had the dreaded lurgi from June till September. Certainly I kept the local pharmacy in business with my prescriptions.

While this was going on, I was also trying to get used to sleeping hooked up to a Continuous Positive Air Pressure machine because of "severe sleep apnoea", yet another lifestyle "choice" apparently. It was discovered during extensive tests to find out why I've been breathless (really, really breathless at the drop of a hat) since November 2007.

The fact that the dreaded lurgi meant I couldn't breathe even before I switched the CPAP machine on didn't seem to bother anyone but me. I find this a fairly typical experience of Modern Medicine. After weeks of traumatic nights, I was finally given permission to wait till I got over the flu. Then I turned out to have some incredibly rare situation where all the little, light masks that make sleep apnoea so much easier to treat nowadays were going to make my teeth fall out. It's the full face-hugger mask for me - like something out of Aliens, and almost impossible to seal. If I don't manage to fall asleep during my 20-minute ramping-up period, tiny knives of cold air blast out in all directions, and I have to start all over again.

O'course, once a diagnosis - any diagnosis - had been made, the fact that I was still breathless mattered not a hoot to anyone but me. So I still am breathless. They've ruled out cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and asthma. I think it must be anxiety. I'm trying to live a calmer life but, you know, having fewer medical appointments would be such a help.

The good news for August was the arrival of Mayhem and Mischief, our new cats.

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Page created 20 December 2008; last updated 22 December 2008