watervole: (Default)
 Interestingly enough, I'm now thinking twice about the iron tablets.

Following up on a couple of comments people made, I decided to do a bit more reading.

Liquid iron supplements can stain the teeth, but not tablets, so that wasn't an issue.

However, the interesting question is the causes of iron deficiency.

I eat a diet with a reasonable amount of beans, green veg (veg box and allotment), brown rice and a small amount of red meat, so should have enough.  Therefore, it was either the pain from the pulled chest muscles that was causing the tiredness, or, if I am actually anemic, there is probably an underlying cause.

In people over 60 (and I'm on the good side of that by fewer years than I'd like...) one of the potential causes of anemia (once you rule out several that are unlikely to be me) is bowel cancer.

My mother-in-law died of bowel cancer that was diagnosed too late.  She was diagnosed as anemic and put on iron tablets for a couple of years, but it's clear from the NHS website that she should have been tested for bowel cancer at that time.

I would be extremely angry about this, except for the fact that she had gone blind.  Her quality of life had dropped dramatically and she was bored to tears.   She had an active mind and was no longer able to read the book she loved, do her cryptic crossword or even garden reliably.  I nearly cried when I realised she'd planted half her cyclamen upsidedown.  Her garden was her life.  The cancer gave her an escape from a life she no longer wanted.

(brief pause while I cry.  It's eleven months since Molly died and I still miss her.  I have many of her plants growing in my garden and I tend them with loving care)

Back again.  To cut a long story short.   I should stop taking the tablets and if I find I'm getting tired again, I should visit the doctor and get a blood test to see if I'm actually anemic, and if I'm actually anemic, whether there is an underlying cause.

So, let's do this scientifically.  

I'm going to stop the tablets today and see if I continue to improve.

watervole: (Default)
 Fingers crossed,  I seem to be getting better.

I've had a lot of problems since my last bad asthma attack  (you have to be me for a bad asthma  attack to be an automatic forerunner to pulled muscles)

Firstly, the weather is getting warmer and that means fewer people burning wood in their stoves, so that pulls the air pollution down a bit.

Second, the pulled muscles are healing up - stretches help, and I'm now well enough to start exercising to build up my strength again.

Thirdly, I've been trying iron tablets to see if they help with the feeling of total exhaustion - I know I have low iron levels as I frequently got turned down as a blood donor (though I was told that I wasn't anemic at the time).  They may be helping, or it may just be the reduction in pain that's making me feel more energetic.

I managed three dances last morris practice (at intervals, not one after the other), before feeling wiped, and that's better than I've managed in quite a while.

I'm also making progress in the garden.  Several beloved plants are being rescued from a sea of ransoms or celandines.

Leg pain

Feb. 17th, 2013 05:51 pm
watervole: (Default)
 I'm hoping someone on my flist will have a suggestion that may help as this pain has been ongoing for weeks now.

I had very bad chest around the Xmas/New Year period and had to pretty much give up any kind of exercise as even walking made me feel as though I was being shot in the chest.

That's gone now, I finally found a way of dealing with it (vicious massage of what was clearly a pulled muscle of some kind)

The hard part has been getting fit again from an almost zero baseline.  I've now got pretty much back to normal again, I can swim fast, do my normal gym workout (though it still leave me wiped), morris dance and walk for a couple of hours.

The real problem is that I can manage the exercise without pain, but about 5 mins after I stop, I get severe pain in my left thigh.  The pain can last a whole day and nothing seems to stop it.  Stretching helps a little, but only a little.  If I go through my warm up routine, the pain will reduce for a few minutes, but then it comes back again.

After a day with no exercise the pain will have reduced, but I don't want to become immobile again!

Can anyone suggest (the doctor had no ideas) why it doesn't hurt until I stop exercising?

Cold makes it even worse, but heat doesn' t make a lot of difference (tried hot water bottles)

Working on the computer is really difficult, because the leg gets really painful after a few minutes stilling down.

I'd really like this pain to be gone by Redemption, or I won't be able to sit down for any programme items!

Help !  All advice welcome.


May. 4th, 2012 04:06 pm
watervole: (Eeek!)
 Omeprazole is a medication for heartburn.  One of the common side effects is stomach pain.

And when I say stomach pain, I mean really crippling stomach pain that takes days to go away after you stop taking the tablets..
watervole: (Default)
I may not be posting much for a while.  The elbow pain is bad again.  I pretty much know what's triggering it.  Driving, concertina playing and stress.  Driving while stressed is probably the worse.  I don't have to do it often now Henry's learning to drive, but I need to occasionally.

The unemployment thing is the biggest stressor by far.  We're into the third month now and from past experience, I know it can get a lot worse than this.  I can feel my stomach muscles starting to tense up - I hope the IBS isn't going to make a return.  I remember that from the last long stretch of unemployment.

Anyway, typing isn't as easy as I'd like.  I'll be doing all the  stretches and exercises - they stop the pain from progressing past a certain point and they stop all the other muscles going as well, but they don't totally cure it. 

The good news is that Richard's being very active on the job-hunting front.  He's following multiple lines of attack on the job-hunting front, and doing a astrophysics Phd in between the job research to keep his morale up.

Here's Richard's Linked In profile.  
"A highly experienced and creative system, network and software engineering specialist. Key ability lies in problem solving in the most demanding technological environments within critical time and budget constraints. Profound analytical and trouble-shooting capabilities are combined with knowledge of a wide range of techniques to solve apparently intractable technical problems. Solutions are communicated imaginatively with clarity and precision. Seeking a senior technical role in a high technology environment where the application of smart and innovative technical solutions can make a substantial difference to the bottom line. "

watervole: (Toothache)
I think I'm starting to defeat the tennis elbow, so I'm going to record here what's working, so that I'll be able to look back to it in the future if I get a recurrence.  We're not totally there yet, but there's a significant reduction in pain levels since two weeks ago.  I'm now starting to try and rebuild the muscles that have vanished in the two months I've been unable to use my arm.  The trick is to do that without setting off a fresh bout of tennis elbow...

1.  Do stretches.  In particular the one given me by the physio which basically involves crossing wrists, bending my hands forward, interlacing fingers  and then twisting the hand  of the sore arm round in an outside direction as far as it will go.  Hold for 30 seconds.  Do three sets three times a day.

2.  Do no lifting or twisting motions with bad arm.  Also avoid actions that need you to hold onto something with a strong grip.  Especially avoid opening jam jars, turning door knobs, knitting, washing dishes, concertina playing, weeding and sewing. Minimise computer use.

3.  Find the sore tendons joining the elbow.  Massage them several times a day.  Find the muscles attached to them and massage those too.  They will be sore before you massage them and easy to find with probing fingers.  Follow the sore muscles all the way to wrist/shoulder and massage every bit that is sore.

4.  Do all arm exercises that do not trigger elbow pain (so as not to let the rest of the muscles atrophy)

5.  Once elbow pain subsides, start (with no/minimal weight) doing the arm exercises that trigger the elbow pain.  Especially the one using the wrists to raise and lower weights with the palms down and the elbows at right angles.  Very gradually increase weight over time. Do three sets three times a day. If muscles ache continue.  If elbow pain recurs, immediately reduce weight to a level that does not hurt.  Carry on doing this for three weeks after elbow pain is gone.  Go swimming, but stop if elbow pain (as opposed to muscle ache) starts.
watervole: (Toothache)
Sometimes, I hate recovering almost as much as I hate being ill.

I had flu and the after-effects of that for nearly three weeks, then a chest infection before I had a chance to get back to normal.

The net result is that I'm tired all the time and my muscles ache.  (and I've still got catarrh in my lungs and a nasty cough caused by that)

Still, at least I'm mobile again.

Now I've got to start the long hard slog to getting fit again.  I have a very strong incentive.  If I don't get fit in the next few weeks, my asthma will get worse, my knees will start to hurt and my shoulder trouble will get worse (it's playing up already).

So, gentle swim Tuesday.  Very gentle gym class Wednesday (body balance, which is basically slow stretches and balances).  Walk to Post Office Thursday.  Gentle half-hour walk on the heath today - that's left me feeling totally exhausted. 

Maybe I'll try a short walk tomorrow or another slow swim.  I need to work the shoulder muscles and I'm not yet ready to tackle my normal routine on the stepper and the rowing machine.

I'll get there, but it's going to be a slow process.
watervole: (Toothache)
Down with the lurgi again, though at least it's only a cold rather than flu.

Nose streaming, eyes watering.

One contrast I'm noticing with the flu is that I really didn't want to eat much when I had flu, whereas with the cold I still feel grotty, but I want to eat.  I wonder if there's any truth in the old adage about 'Feed a cold and starve a fever' and if there is, what the biological reason for it is.
watervole: (Toothache)
One of the hardest things I find about taking a steroid course for asthma is coming off them afterwards.

The side effect I generally notice is muscle weakness (though this may also be due to the fact that I've been ill).

The catch is, that it's hard to tell shortness of breath caused from asthma apart from shortness of breath caused by the lungs being weak after illness and steroids.  Thus, this tends to be a time when I'm never far from my peak flow meter.

I went swimming this morning (imperative after being ill as I need to build up the lungs again asap).  I'm now pretty breathless, but my peak flow meter tells me that my lung function is actually only 30 points below max (ie.  Well within what I'd expect on a normal healthy day).  The feeling of being out of breath is actually a result of my body not having had a decent work out in over a week.  The lungs are tired after exercise, rather than actually asthmatic.

Without the peak flow meter, I would have assumed it was asthma and taken more medication.  (yesterday, the same sensation WAS asthma and I did use the inhalers).

I'm planning on cutting the steroids by 10mg a day (took it down by that much this morning), seeing how much salmeterol I need to maintain lung function, and using that as a guide to see if I can keep stepping the steroids down.

And I'll need to get some form of active exercise every day for at least the next week.
watervole: (Bloody Torchwood)
I can hear the fireworks starting and I'm a little bit nervous.

I'm indoors, which will help, but I'm already on pretty much the  max medication I can take, because of the flu.

The two worst asthma attacks I can remember were both on New Year's Eve and triggered by firework displays.

Fingers crossed.   We don't usually get many fireworks in the village.

It's quite possible that the steroids I'm already on will prevent any problem.  Here's hoping.  (and it'll be useful data for the future if they do)

My mind's mostly with Anonymous Morris.  They've danced out a few times before, but this was our first really big event.  I'm so hoping it all goes well.  (But  I would in no way be helping them if I was there and collapsing on the spot - which I would be.  One has to be realistic.  I'd be a distraction, not an asset right now)

They're all good people.  They'll do fine without me.  (Though I do hope the band are okay.  Our new band members have only been with us for two weeks and that's not long to get confident with all the tunes.)
watervole: (Toothache)
I'm definitely past the worst.  My body temperature is stabilising now.  No hot or cold sweats today.  Still very tired, but more able to move about the house.

The asthma is holding steady (but only because I'm taking max salmeterol and the steroid tablets).  I'm not needing to top up with ventolin today, which is good.  I took so much yesterday that I was getting tremors from it.  I'm almost shaking from the salmeterol alone, but not quite.

I'll keep taking the steroids until I the asthma is stable on half the salmeterol dose I'm taking at present.  (Or the tablets run out.  I've only enough for a four day course, but that should be enough)

Modern medicine may have some problems with side effects, but by Golly, that's massively better than being collapsed on the floor unable to breathe.
watervole: (Toothache)
There are times when you have a bad cold and you think you have flu.

Then there are the times when you actually have flu, and you remember what the difference is.

This is one of the latter occasions.

I started shivering Tuesday evening (even when wrapped up in a cloak and a blanket on top of three layers of clothing).  Since then, I've been through the hot spells, the cold spells and, increasingly, the wheezy spells.

This is why I got a prescription for steroid tablets from the doctor a month ago.  I didn't need them then, but I knew that if I did this winter, I would be feeling far too crap to go to the doctor.

I can't use inhaled steroids - which are the standard preventative treatment for asthma.  This means that when an infection goes to my lungs, I'm in real trouble.  The only recourse I have is massive doses of bronchiodilators (I'm at max now) and short courses of steroid tables.  I don't like the tablets, the side effects include really nasty insomnia, but I don't have much choice.  My peak flow is way down and the slightest amount of effort leaves me coughing and wheezing.  So, I'm now on the tablets.  (It's only about one year in four that I get an attack this bad)

Annoyingly, this means I'll have to miss morris practice tonight.  I hope the new musicians can manage without me...  I'll probably have to miss the dance-out tomorrow which is a real bind. I'd been looking forward to this one. It's the big firework night on Poole Quay and Poole Tourism asked us to dance for it.

I was already planning on taking extra asthma medication to cover myself against the fireworks (I've had some very bad reactions in the past).  But if I'm on maximum dose now because of what the flu has done to my lungs, then I've no higher dose that I can go to.  

I want to be there very badly, but I also don't want to end up in hospital.  (Been there, done that)
watervole: (Toothache)
Another couple of days with a high fungal spore count.  This is really starting to get to me. My chest feels tight a lot of the time.  I've tripled my normal dose of asthma medication and the side-effects are starting to kick in now.  I'm finding it harder to sleep.  It's a choice of feeling tired from the asthma, or tired from the insomnia caused by the salmeterol.  And as the tiredness kicks in, it gets harder to exercise, which increases the chance of setting up a vicious circle in which the asthma gets worse overall.

I hope to goodness it eases up soon. Apparantly this has been a really good Autumn for fungi.
watervole: (Toothache)
Something has been badly triggering my asthma this last week or so. Particularly in the last couple of days.  I'm taking way more medication than usual and still feeling wheezy.

I suspect the cause is fungal spores of some kind.  Grass pollen and weed pollen don't give me much of a problem, but I notice that one of the sites (Zirtek) that lists fungal spores is giving a high count across most of the country at present.

My asthma is always worse in winter.  I need to start going to the gym more often.  My maximum peak flow isn't bad at all, around 490 today after ventolin, but that will fall over the winter if I don't keep up the exercise.

Over the years, I've found the best thing for my asthma is to maximise my lung capacity so that I can better cope with losing some of it to the asthma.

It's probably time for another dust blitz as well. Dust and dust mites are a known allergen for me, and they're always worse in winter as well.  A really good house cleaning can make a surprising difference.


Jun. 23rd, 2010 07:34 pm
watervole: (Toothache)
My knees are killing me.  I'm not exactly sure why, but they got bad on Saturday (when I was dancing, but not excessively so) and I can barely walk at present.  I can cycle to some extent (uses different muscles and isn't weight bearing) but standing is very painful.

And it's the Quayside Cloggies 25th anniversary tour/party this weekend.  Unless things improve, I'm going to have to miss it.
watervole: (brocolli)
I've had a suspicion for a long time that sugar and highly-refined foods are probably the biggest factor behind obesity (more so than fat).  This research seems to confirm that.

I stay at a comfortable weight by the simple tactic of choosing wholefood options (brown bread/rice/pasta instead of white), beans, plenty of veg, etc.  I eat far less meat than most people, but still include it in several meals a week.

I try and avoid anything that contains sugar.  That means eating on of the very small number of breakfast cereals that don't contain sugar (watch out for crystallised fruit that several brands now slip in in order to try and make you think there's no sugar when there is).  Dorset Cereals muesli, and Grape Nuts are the usual ones at present.  (they started adding sugar to my previous brand).

I don't buy or make cakes (but the occasional slice when out for an afternoon is okay - this is a lifestyle, not a prison).  I eat small amounts of chocolate (a couple of squares of Green and Black each day), and that's pretty much it on the sugar front.

I've stopped eating things like baked beans and other similar tinned foods.  The sugar content has risen so much that I now find them unpalatable.

Cheese is wonderful, and we eat all kinds of varieties.

If I had to offer just one tip for a healthy diet, I'd say to eat nothing with sugar in it.  (and no artificial sweeteners either)
watervole: (allotment)
The vertigo has eased off a lot recently (fingers crossed) and I'm able to do a lot more.  My wrist (that I hurt five or six weeks ago) is almost recovered and I'm finally starting to get back to that dimly recalled thing called 'reality'.

Massive backlog of jobs on the allotment, but I've managed to go down for a while every day for the last four days.  My work capacity (measured in 'buckets of weeds' seems to be improving a little each day).

I've now weeded all round the beetroot and am starting round the leeks. Those leeks are seriously big, especially considering the skinny little things we dropped into the holes when we transplanted them.  Definitely a testament to all the compost we dug in before transplanting them.

I've also started work on the summer fruiting raspberries.

If you have summer fruiting raspberries (defined as ones that have finished fruiting by now, in the south at any rate), then sometime during the next few months, you need to do the following:

1.  Cut out all the canes that have borne fruit. Cut them right down to ground level (you can leave an inch or so if it makes the job easier, it won't do any harm)

2.  Look at the canes that are left (the new ones that have grown up this year).  Any that are weak and spindly, cut down to the ground.  Leave the strongest canes only. The weak ones don't bear enough fruit to be worth it and they'll only take light/nutrients from the stronger canes that will bear the decent crop.

3.  If any of your canes are more than four foot tall, then you're going to need to support them - otherwise, the poor things will only flop over when they start having the weight of fruit to support.  The simplest way is to knock in a six/seven  foot post at the end of each row, stretch some gardening wire between them at three and four feet (the height of the wires isn't a precise art.  Look at your canes and pick a couple of heights that make sense for your plants.)  Then use string to tie the canes to the wires.   It will project them from blowing over in strong winds and also stop them going floppy and trying to grow sideways...

4.  If you have a compost heap, spread the cut out canes across it in a loose lattice pattern and pile your weeds on top. The canes help maintain air pockets in the pile and also add carbon to balance the nitrogen in the weeds/grass clippings.  If you have a compost 'dalek', then chop up the canes a bit to get them to fit in.  Because canes are so weak, they rot a lot faster than most woody stuff, so I find them really handy in compost making. 

Autumn fruiting raspberries are fruiting nicely now (yum!) and should keep going for some time.  I'll cover what to do with those later on in the year.
watervole: (Toothache)
Just to balance downright incorrect propaganda on other parts of the web...

I had both my children in NHS hospitals.  I had easy births both times and friendly, helpful nurses.

I had an emergency appendix operation the same day that my doctor referred me to hospital after I had a pain in my side.

I had radiotherapy for my Dupuytren's Contracture (I had to argue for it, but it was a treatment unknown in the UK at that time and the system eventually took on board the German research and gave me what I requested)

I've had nothing but friendly, effective help for recent 'female' problems.

I get medication for my asthma at a price I could afford even when my husband was out of work.

I've just had an MRI to investigate the causes of my ongoing vertigo and I'm seeing the specialist again next week.

My husband's dislocated his patella three times (which is incredibly painful) and had plaster, physiotherapy, etc. on the NHS (not forgetting the ambulances).

We'd better not forget treatment for concussion, visits to casualty with severe asthma, health checkups, an upcoming eye operation and other things that I'm sure will happen to the family in years to come.

For part of our lives, we had medical insurance as a job perk. All of the things I've listed above were treated on the NHS.

Do I love the NHS?

You bet I do.

MRI Scan

Jul. 28th, 2009 09:55 pm
watervole: (Toothache)
I had an MRI scan last week (won't know if it's produced any useful information for a week or two).  I suspect it's only looking for long-shot options on the cause of the vertigo.

Having a scan is staggeringly boring.  You wait for ages in the waiting room (but at least there's decent magazines), then you lie down with your head in a ring just like on your average hospital TV show.  You effectively have your head in a box, but they thoughtfully provide an angled mirror so you can see the guy at the controls. I suspect this makes people a lot less likely to panic.

They offer you a choice of music on big, padded, headphones.  There's a reason for this...

Being in a scanner is noisy - that's the bit the TV shows gloss over.

They give you the headphones for a reason.

Being in a scanner is not just noisy, it is very noisy.

When you have the headphones on, playing banal music of  limited choice, you can just about hear the music over the sound of a pile driver.

It really, truly, sounds just like someone is operating  a pile driver right next to you - and that's WITH the headphones and music.

I shudder to think what it sounds like without the headphones!  The medical staff all sensibly retire to another room with a closed door before they switch it on.

Being a fairly phlegmatic person, I lay back, closed my eyes for most of the 1-15 mins the scan took and day-dreamed about Doctor Who.  I suspect some people might find it a little scary, but personally, it was reassuringly dull.

watervole: (Morris dancing)
The three of us (Richard, Henry and myself) are back again. We're absolutely exhausted. Too tired even to be hungry.

We collected during Friday's procession, danced in Friday's ceilidh, collected all day Saturday (10-6), went to Saturday's ceilidh, collected all day Sunday, then went home and collapsed.

Serious offer: if anyone running an event that needs a lot of collectors wants a workshop on how to collect effectively, then I could probably help. There are definite tricks to doing it well.

I'm gradually homing in on the things that trigger my vertigo.  I can twirl round in a ceilidh without any problems, but I had an attack when I put my specs on to read the titles of the CDs at the music stall. As soon as I started moving my head sideways to scan the titles, the room started wobbling.  Saved me a lot of money on CDs...

The next time it kicked in was Saturday evening.  We always go to the local Italian restaurant after the street dancing finishes on Saturday.  This time, reading the menu outside the restaurant cause me to feel dizzy. It also kicked in inside the restaurant while eating.  I found myself clutching the side of table to try and feel stable.  I had to leave the restaurant at intervals and walk up and down the street to recover some balance.

Conclusion: although ear trouble is at the base of this (I often get a sense of pressure in the ears, occasional tinnitus and my hearing seems to be a bit off), the triggers may be mainly visual.  (Working at the computer is a minor trigger.)
watervole: (Toothache)
Good things.  Body balance class at the gym.  I think the Cawthorne-Cooksey exercises may also be helping.

The vertigo (certainly when I'm indoors) is better when I'm wearing contact lenses than when I'm wearing glasses.  (the peripheral vision confusion of focus with glasses makes it worse)

Bad things - working at the computer can definitely trigger it sometimes.  The most likely occasions seem to be when I'm scrolling down the screen (I'm trying to use page down when that is an option).  Also looking at the computer to a piece of paper and back again several times can sometimes be a trigger.  I've got the screen on the highest refresh rate.

Bonus symptoms - I'm getting a little bit of tinitus in my left ear.  I only notice it when I'm trying to go to sleep as other sounds mask it during the day. (and it often goes away all together).  It's not very loud, just a small pulse of white noise at intervals of around a second, but it's surprisingly annoying.
watervole: (Clanger)
The doctor is referring me to the ENT people.

We both have one concern. It's very likely that there is some inflammation in the inner ear - that's the root cause of a lot of balance problems.

However, the normal, straightforward treatment is anti-inflammatories. Generally a steroid nasal spray.

I can't take inhaled steroids - that's always been the curse of my asthma. (Inhaled steroids make me lose my voice -and we're not just talking about a short term loss. The damage can last for months/years.)

So, if the problem is inflammation, I'm not sure what treatment options will be open to me.
watervole: (Toothache)
Kwells, active ingredient hyoscine hydrobromide, do not help my dizziness.

I may try another brand of travel sickness tablet with a different active ingredient as they do help some people.
watervole: (Toothache)
[livejournal.com profile] adelheid  suggested I try vestibular rehabilitation exercises - here are the Cawthorne-Cooksey exercises.  I've been doing them for the last few days and they may be helping a little - they need to be done over a period of time for maximum effectiveness, so I'm going to carry on with them.  They've also made me decide to try and learn juggling as a couple of the exercises resemble very basic juggling moves.

Another angle I've been following up on is a connection to all the toothache I used to have.  Bruxism, night-time teeth-grinding is due to TMJ  (TemporoMandibular Joint disorder).

Having a BRD (bite-raising device) fitted removed the tooth pain, but did not stop the actual grinding.

Acting on pure suspicion, I Googled for links between vertigo and TMJ (on the grounds that the pain in my jaw is very close to the ear canal) and promptly hit pay dirt.  There is a connection and many people suffer from both.  Here's one person talking about it.

So, what can I do?  Well, I'm seeing the doctor again next week, but I've been looking for suitable exercises as it seems logical that anything caused by tense muscles will have exercises that will help.  Here's the best one that I've found. A video on You tube.

And, brother, the muscle that she predicted would be sore, was indeed very sore.

This one was also useful (I prefer NHS sites when I can find them as they're less likely to have an axe to grind for an dubious therapy).  It commented that TMJ Is often related to the jaw opening to one side and I think I may do that a bit.  I'm pretty sure that I chew more on one side than the other, so I'm going to try evening that out and see if it helps in any way.

Will report back after a day or two of trying the TMJ exercises and let you know if they help.


May. 27th, 2009 05:02 pm
watervole: (Thoughtful)
I've been suffering from vertigo for the last two or three months and have no real idea of what is causing it.

My balance is slightly off kilter a lot of the time. Sometimes it goes away for a while, but it always comes back again. It's wrecking my ability to concentrate, is making me miss several morris dance sessions, and occasionally produces bouts of mild nausea.

The doctor originally tried to treat it with ear drops and then a steroid cream on the outer ear (there was some inflammation there) but it's becoming clear that it's actually something wrong in the inner ear/Eustachian tubes.  I get a sense of pressure on the ear drum most of the time.  Occasionally yawning helps. Blowing my nose generally makes it worse.

We're trying an anti-histamine nasal spray this week, but I don't think the doctor or I have great hopes of it doing the trick. Still, you never know - maybe some kind of allergic reaction is causing mucus inside the ears.

If this fails, then it's probably time to get referred to a specialist.

If any of my medical friends have any suggestions, then I'm all ears...
watervole: (Eye of Horus)
I was having some problems with dry eyes, so took a complete day off on Thursday.  Wore them Friday with no trouble for about half the day and was doing well on Saturday when I hit a big problem.

I'd volunteered for an evening shift in the Green Room at LX and duely arrived and started looking at forms with Kathy with an eye to  seeing what we'd need to produce for Green Room for Odyssey.  I was finding it hard to focus on the forms, both visually and mentally, but managed to get the essentials.  Shortly afterwards, I needed to get my first set of drinks for programme participants, picked up the form, took it to the bar and realised that I was getting a little off balance.  By the time I had the drinks and carefully handed them to their owners, I knew something was wrong.  I was getting dizzy and disorientated and thinking coherently was getting progressively more difficult.

I decided to go to my room and remove the contact lenses in case they were related to the problem.  

I couldn't get the right one out.  In spite of several attempts...

Eventually realised that this was becasue the right one was missing.

Somehow, it had come out on its own and I hadn't noticed.  At least the cause of the dizziness and disorientation (and a pretty bad headache) were now clear.

As soon as I was without lenses, my balance improved greatly, but it took over an hour for the headache and mental fuzziness to clear properly.  I sat in a quiet corner with [livejournal.com profile] thebobby  and alternated between focusing on the far distance, or just closing my eyes, and dictated a Dr Who filk to him.

Today, I saw the optician again.  We're going to try a different kind of contact lens.  A couple of people on my flist mentioned monthly lenses that you don't have to take out overnight.  I'm told these are more expensive, but also less likely to cause trouble with dry eyes (which was definitely a problem for me, and possibly what cause the lens to fall out)

So, a few days to rest the right eye which is still a little tender, and then we'll try the new lenses and see how they go.

watervole: (Eye of Horus)
Took a total break on Saturday to allow the eyes to recover from wearing the lenses too long on the earlier days.

Wore them for four hours today, which seemed about right.  (a little ache, but not too much) They're great for gaming as I can see people's faces without having to keep moving my head up and down.  A lot easier on the neck.

I'm finding them very fiddly to wash.  I'm supposed to squirt fluid over them to wash off protein deposits, but if I hold them while squirting, then there's a bit that fails to get washed.  I'm also not entirely sure if I'm supposed to rub them as well.

How do you clean your monthly lenses?  Do you find you accidentally turn them inside-out a lot?
watervole: (Eeek!)
Thanks to those on my flist who mentioned wearing schedules and the need to start off gradually with contact lenses. Because my optician forgot!

The box labelled wearing schedule on the back of the leaflet she gave me has not been filled in, and the overall impression I gained from her was that I could wear them all day right from the start.

Yesterday evening, I had to take out the lenses as my eyes were starting to feel really uncomfortable, especially the right one.  They still feel odd this morning - a day, aching feel.  I think I'll wait until later in the day before trying the lenses again.

Research on the web suggests the lenses should have been in a maximum of four hours on the first day, six on the second, eight on the third, ten on the fourth and never more than 12 hours in any day even when you're used to them.

Could other users of monthly disposables please tell me if this sounds correct?

I probably wore them for ten hours on both of the first two days...

I think it was [livejournal.com profile] winterbadger who mentioned rewetting drops - another thing the optician didn't mention...  Can people tell me more about these - what they're useful for and whether they extend the period you can have lenses in?

To recap --

1.  If you use monthly disposables, please tell me what wearing schedule you used initially and if you had any problems.

2.  THe maximum number of hours per day it is safe to leave them in when you're used to them.

3.  If you use rewetting drops and how you use them.


watervole: (Default)
I'm trying contact lenses for the first time.  Life had got to the point where I had to wear specs to be able to focus on the faces of people I was talking to.  Wearing glasses all the time tends to be tricky for me as the field of vision is smaller and I have to move my head rather than my eyes to see what I want to see.  Holding the head at unnatural angles makes my neck hurt - which is not a good idea.

So, I'm experimenting with fairly weak contact lenses backed up with reading glasses.

So far, (all of one day) I love the lenses when they're in. The world close to me is suddenly far more detailed and I don't need glasses for gardening, dishwashing, etc.  However, the reading glasses I'm now using (slightly weaker) turn out to slide down my nose...  I suspect that can be resolved (they were only ten quid from the rack in the chemist, so I'm not complaining), but I'll get someone else to try it.. 

The hard part is getting the lenses in...

The lady at the opticians gave me several practices and was very helpful, but it's definitely an acquired skill.  I need to get a tall shaving mirror asap so I have a fighting chance of seeing what I'm doing.  I almost lost a lens this morning trying to put them in.  It took around a dozen attempts before I managed it - I hope it gets easier with time!

I hope I get better at it.  I'm enjoying having peripheral vision again - and I'm finding it easier to move around the house as well.
watervole: (Clanger)
I was supposed to be going to London this weekend, to catch up with two friends I haven't seen nearly enough of, and to do some editing work with another friend.

Instead, I'm sitting here with my throat all swollen and unable to talk above a whisper.



watervole: (Default)
Judith Proctor


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