Sunday, 29 September 2013

September 2013 - first holiday of the year

Well, 2013, didn't quite go to plan. For the last couple of years we have gone away for a few days in March to the Isle of Wight. However this year, I decided our time would be better spent preparing for the redecoration of the lounge/dining room, so indeed we did get loads done in the week and the two rooms duly got redecorated as planned. Not to worry I figured, our June holiday wasn't far away. However, due to reasons of a Pituitary nature my June holiday was hijacked somewhat and I wasn't fit to go on holiday then. So now it is late September and finally I get to go away for a few days.

We fancied somewhere a bit different to the norm, and bearing in mind wherever we go our elderly dog Nemo has to go also, we booked into a dog friendly hotel in Hampton Wick, which is just across the river from Kingston Upon Thames in Surrey. We had a very good time, relaxed, eat a lot, walked a lot and it was just what we needed....our first holiday of 2013. But this also brought with it the first holiday of Hydrocortisone taking and dealing with post Pituitary recovery.

I still haven't been contacted by my local doctors surgery about my Testosterone prescription (so they will be getting a phone call tomorrow) so I'm a bit out on my full compliment of hormones, so I wondered how I would get on walking and being 'out and about' a lot more than normal. Well the answer was 'not to bad at all'. I had a couple of energy level 'crashes' where the remedy was drink some Lucozade energy drink, which seemed to pep me up, but it is like I have a need for sugar that maybe affects me more now than it did before my operation and maybe before my hormones were a bit 'out'. I am not a fan of energy drinks and have never drunk a Red Bull and probably never will, that drink makes me nervous. So on the odd occasion I have felt the need, I quaff about a third of a bottle of Lucozade and it really does the trick for me....a Glucose shot....I don't want to overdo it and turn myself into a diabetic. Mind you, the stuff is addictive, drinking more would be easy!

The real reason for this post though, is remembering that I now rely on something far more important, my Hydrocortisone tablets. Packing to go away involves more than just a few clothes and a toothbrush, I cannot forget to pack my life-blood tablets. So a whole packet of 30 tablets went into my bag, even though it was only 5 days away. What if I get ill and need to double my dose, what if....what if.....Going down to breakfast in the hotel, don't forget to pop a pill, out during the day, pop some pills in my wallet to have at lunchtime. Popping down the pub for a meal out....need a pill (a half pill to be exact). A whole new regime to get used to. As it happens I didn't miss a dose, with the help of my lovely wife to prompt me on occasion. But it makes you think, something you gave no thought to not so long ago, suddenly is at the front of your mind. I dare say that it will become second nature soon enough. I have been taking them since February after all, but never whilst being away. I now have some tucked away in my work laptop bag, some in my wallet....I wonder where else they will find their way into.

I also need to brave another trip to the doctors to chat about my tingly foot and leg. The consultant from Wessex Neuro confirmed that my MRI scan showed no damage to my spine so ruled out Cauda Equina, but admitted that if the symptoms hadn't gone in 4 to 6 weeks, I needed to get checked out. That time period has expired, so I need to go and see the doctor really. I'd had enough of doctors to be honest so have been ignoring the symptoms, but I think the time has come to go and have a chat....and collect my Testosterone prescription too :-)

All in all though, I felt pretty healthy for my first weeks holiday, managed to walk a long way and spend long days laughing and relaxing....something not taken for granted not long ago. In fact I have just gone over my 4 month anniversary since having my Pituitary Tumour removed (28 May 2013). In a way it seems like an age ago, but parts of the memory are still so fresh. Thinking back to my time on D-Neuro ward at Wessex Neuro Southampton, when you're at your most vulnerable and feeling so scared about what is to come, then when the operation has been done, so scared about how recovery will affect me, the knowledgeable - calming - hard working - team-working - downright amazing - nursing staff are there to be your crutch to help you along and point you in the right direction at a time when you need it the most. I wish I could remember all their names, but they are the most memorable part of the experience. 4 months on, I still clearly remember the care I received....24/7. ;-)

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